Top Stress Busters for Pharmacy Students

October 1, 2014
Aimee Simone, Associate Editor

With exams, labs, rotations, and obligations to student organizations, pharmacy students can easily become stressed out. These simple solutions will help students feel relaxed and ready to take on their heavy workloads.

Take care of yourself: When feeling the pressure from your to-do list, you may neglect your basic needs. Taking the time to eat full meals away from your study materials will not only give you the energy to keep working, but also help you focus. In addition, be sure to get enough sleep. Although you may be tempted to pull an all-nighter, getting a full night’s rest will help you accomplish more in the long run.

Disconnect: Taking a break from the constant notifications, emails, and reminders can help relieve stress and refocus your energy. Try turning off your phone or disabling notifications when you start to feel stressed. In the middle of a study session, completely power down your computer for 5 minutes, and then take deep breaths, move around, and think about anything else before rebooting it and returning to your studies.

Laugh: Laughing out loud instantly reduces stress and boosts your mood. Spend 5 to 10 minutes watching funny videos on YouTube for a quick dose of the giggles.

Exercise: The endorphins released during exercise will help you feel better, and the physical movement will keep your mind distracted from obsessing over your work. If you do not have time for a full sweat session, take a quick walk, stretch for little bit, or move through a few yoga poses. You can also find free, short workouts online.

Play games: Although you may feel that you cannot spare any of your precious time playing games, doing so can help you de-stress. Play a few rounds of your favorite free app games that require focus and concentration. Playing violent or adrenaline-inducing games, however, will do little to reduce tension or improve your focus.

Get steamy: Heat can help your muscles and mind relax, so steam up a wet hand towel in the microwave and place it on your head, neck, or shoulders, or hold a heating pad on your neck and back for a few minutes. Try taking a hot, steamy shower while directing your thoughts away from your stress. For extra relaxation, use soap with relaxing scents, such as lavender. Make a call: Talking to loved ones can help soothe stress. Vent to close friends, catch up with family members, or check in with your parents—they will happy to hear from you.

Drink tea: Instead of guzzling coffee and double shots of espresso, try getting your caffeine fix from tea. Theanine, a natural chemical found in green tea, can produce a calming effect, so take a few minutes for a relaxing tea break.