Let’s get one thing straight first; college is a stressful time for everyone. No matter who you are or what you decide to do with yourself, university demands a new level of commitment from us all. That said, stress management has to have some priority. Now at face value, stress management gets more attention from women. They’re usually the ones more concerned with their mental health and more willing to address the stress. With that in mind, some guys aren’t on that same page of self-care. They’d rather roll with the punches and “suck it up.” Instead, we offer to these guys some basic tips on how to unwind in a way that won’t leave them feeling “weak,” or “sensitive.” This is for the different types of dudes:
The Socialite, The Sports Fanatic, The Artist, The Gamer, and The Gym Rat.
For the Socialite:
People know you. You’ve been to more than a few parties and don’t need any convincing when a friend says, “let’s go out!” According to MentalHealth.net, “spending time with others directs our energy outward (rather than inward).” That way, if your attention is more focused on other people, it is a temporary distraction from what is stressing you out. As human beings, we need to be social in order to maintain our mental health. Not only are you relieving yourself from stress, but you’re also having a good time in the process, so take advantage of that! Get a drink at a place you’ve never been to before. Take an Uber to center city and just walk into a random store. It doesn’t matter what it is, so long as you’re with some folks with good energy and good vibes.
For the Sports Fans:
Nothing gets school off your mind better than the crack of opening a cold one while you watch loud sports on a big TV. There’s also recapping that great play you saw to a fellow fan on campus. American sports have a wide-reaching fandom, so it won’t be hard to find someone you can shoot the breeze with about it. According to LastWordsOnSports.com, “The action and excitement of the games is a great way to reduce stress and take your mind off of the things that stress you out.” Watching sports is a great motivator when you are looking forward to tuning into your favorite team’s game after a long week of nonstop work.
For the Artsy Type:
Maybe you like to express yourself in order to let off steam. The field of art is so vast and broad that finding something tailored to you is super easy. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Creative Arts Therapies (CATs) or arts interventions are an innovative way to prevent stress and improve stress management.” CATs include art (drawing, painting, etc.), music, dance, and drama as our major therapeutic methods to tackle stress. Maybe you should take up an art elective drawing or sculpting to let your creative side flow. If you’ve got the drive to do it on your own time, try picking up a hobby that forces you to create something. The point is to make some kind of output for all the constant input we get every single day.
For the Gamer:
You aren’t unfamiliar with a controller. They remind you of when you were a kid and everything was so much simpler—and stress free. According to wellness coach, Elizabeth Scott, MS, who specializes in managing stress, “most gamers report that playing video games—even violent games—is a way to relieve stress and enjoy playing with friends” (verywellmind.com) Playing alone is one thing you can do to chill out, but we recommend sticking to two-player and party games. They keep you actively social and will be less likely to take studying time away from you. Try the JackBox party collection! It’s great for social situations involving large groups of people.
For the Gym Rat:
Exercise is objectively good for anyone, but you take it an extra mile. You feel unaccomplished if you don’t have a healthy layer of sweat after the gym. If this is you, then it’s safe to assume that working out is how you manage to get over school. You like the idea of setting goals and smashing through them with 100% effort. According to the Anxiety and Depression of America Association, exercising can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate, all things which are needed when it comes to school performance and, overall, reducing stress. Take this mindset with you when you do schoolwork and you won’t be able to remember what work stress even feels like. It also doesn’t hurt to bring a friend with you. Both to the gym and the library. We all know how strong you are, but think of how much stronger you could be with a buddy helping you along the way.
With that being said, guys, if you ever feeling too overwhelmed, take heed to these different types of de-stressors, and you’d be all relaxed and stress free!