Being a student can mean being constantly under academic pressure. More often than not, students are working for long hours, pulling all-nighters with little to no breaks, trying to manage academics, jobs, and social lives.
If you are experiencing this pressure, then it might be reflected in your mental and physical well-being. One of the common manifestations of this stress comes in the form of fatigue. If left untreated, such stress-induced tiredness can lead to other serious issues in your life.
What is stress-induced fatigue?
We have all experienced fatigue in our lives. Most commonly, this comes as a result of a tiring physical or mental activity, such as from exercising or working continuously. You can easily overcome such cases of exhaustion with proper rest and diet.
On the other hand, if your exhaustion is a result of stress, then it might be more challenging to deal with. You might be experiencing fatigue caused by stress or anxiety rather than from physical exertion. Whatever you seem to do to address this might not be making things any better.
In many cases, this exhaustion could last for days, weeks, or months, wearing you out emotionally and physically. This might further manifest as mood changes, irritability, difficulty in concentration, or lack of motivation and can adversely affect all other aspects of your life.
If you think you have been experiencing this stress-induced fatigue, then here are some ways that you can combat it.
Identify the sources of your stress
There could be any number of reasons for you to be stressed all the time. Sometimes, students often struggle with academics, relationships, or finances during college life. If you can point out which aspects are causing you stress, then it is easier to handle them.
For instance, if academic assignments are a factor, you can always reach out to experts for help. Educational platforms are available in case you need assistance with paper writing or doing research. Having some demands taken off your shoulders might ease the stress.
In case you cannot figure out the sources of your stress or find it too difficult to manage them, it might be best to seek the help of your college counsellor or a professional therapist.
Add exercise to your routine
Virtually any form of exercise, be it cardio or weight lifting, can aid in relieving stress. It does not matter if you are completely out of shape – any little effort you put into getting your body to move can go a long way towards your mental fitness as well.
Exercise has proved to improve your mood by boosting the production of endorphins. It can lower symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also help you get a good sleep, which is often disrupted due to stress. All you need to do is set aside 15–30 minutes every day for any physical activity, and you will feel better throughout the day.
Use relaxation techniques
Apart from exercise, you can try some relaxation techniques to help manage the overall feelings of stress. Yoga or meditation comes at the forefront of this, which will allow you not only to calm your mind but also to have better control of your body.
Even if you are completely clueless about such methods, today, your options are plenty. Thankfully, there are many videos and apps that can guide you through the process of meditation.
Maintain a good work-life balance
Yes, even students can have a bad work-life balance in their lives. There is no way to define how this will work. If you feel that your academic demands or part-time jobs are taking up too much effort, leaving you with little to no time to yourself, it might be a good idea to rearrange things a bit. Remember that without a healthy body, you will not be able to give your 100% to any aspect of life.
Try to be mindful
The term mindful can be ambiguous for many. But let us look at it this way. When you are doing a task, does your mind wander off to other thoughts? If this happens, you might end up worrying and overthinking, which can lead to stress. Moreover, it will impact how well you can do the job at hand.
Being mindful means focusing on something and being consciously aware of it. This can help you control your thoughts, and sometimes, even your stress.
Eat right and sleep well
Most importantly, it is imperative that you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is understandable that you might not have the willpower to get up and make a meal, or because of fatigue, you might be finding yourself asleep or not able to sleep at all.
However, the key is to try to build a routine. It can not only help you get to sleep but also improve other walks of life. Make sure that your regular day revolves around everything we have mentioned here. In between, make time to eat a well-balanced diet every day. You might want to reduce your caffeine and alcohol consumption and drink more water.
Even if you can do only five minutes of activity during a day, such as an exercise, continue in the same vein. What matters is that you are taking the initiative. Eventually, with consistency, you will be able to figure out a routine that works best for your body and mind.
Above all – get help when needed
With the tips mentioned above, you have high chances to successfully cope with stress-induced fatigue. However, not every stress can be managed by yourself. If you think you need some guidance on your mental wellness, never hesitate to reach out to your friends or family. You can and should seek support from your loved ones or a professional therapist.
Helen Bradfield did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has a particular interest in mental health, lifestyle, and wellness.