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Teen Health

5 Ways to Reduce College Stress

We asked a top-level college counselor for tips on staying balanced. The answers may surprise you!
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Get Your ZZZs

You already know that lack of sleep makes it harder to kick stress to the curb. The question is: How can you catch your eight hours when you're in a dorm full of partyers, and your roommate considers 3 a.m. prime study time? Keep it simple: Lickerman suggests buying a pair of earplugs and an eyeshade (really!) and talking to your resident assistant if rowdy neighbors consistently keep you up. Also, daytime naps as short as 15 to 20 minutes can help you feel refreshed after a poor night's sleep.

Don't Cram (Food, That Is)

Yes, a small snack can help replenish your energy during a study session, but it's easy to distract yourself from stress with copious amounts of food, which causes pounds to pile on, which causes more stress -- you get the picture. Instead of chowing down an entire bag of tortilla chips whenever you feel anxious about a project or exam, Lickerman says, distract yourself with a nonfood activity you enjoy. Read your favorite blog or a short magazine article, or click on the TV for some news headlines, or get outside for a quick walk around your dorm building. Your urge for mindless eating should go away so you can return to studying -- without a junk-food break.  

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Reviewed on June 14, 2011

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