Working while in college can be extremely taxing. College itself is hard enough, so when you start to throw in a part time job and/or an internship, things can get really crazy, really quickly. 

As a student with a full course load, a part-time job, and an internship, I found myself having a mental breakdown once or twice a month. It sounds silly, but I would find myself in tears every few weeks because I felt so, so overwhelmed. 

In order to stay faithful to my commitments and responsibilities and take care of my mental health at the same time, I came up with a list of things that I find helpful when I feel the need to combat my stress and anxiety.

For anyone in the same boat or for anyone feeling overwhelmed in general, I hope these strategies help you as well.

1. Make a list.

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Whenever I feel like I have way too many things to do and way too little time to take care of it all, I like to make lists. Being able to visualize everything on your plate and being able to physically cross items off the list is really soothing, and it truly does lessen the stress.

2. Practice yoga.

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Okay friends, I'm here to let you know that yoga is not the hippie bullshit that people make it out to be. Yoga can really be life-changing. After just 30 minutes of dedicated practice, you will feel refreshed, lighter, and free of the weight of your stress and anxiety. If you don't know where to start, Yoga With Adriene is an awesome Youtube channel with plenty of videos to choose from. 

3. Play with pets.

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Playing with pets is a great way to destress. Whenever I'm having a bad day, I always feel better when I get home and play with my cats. Take 10 minutes to play with your animals and love on them, or get a group of friends together and go to your nearest animal shelter or pet store for play time.

4. Have a movie and takeout night.

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Sometimes the best thing to do is just drop everything and take some time to relax. One of my favorite ways to do that is to order pizza and have a movie marathon. If you get to the point where you're so frazzled you just can't function, then just drop everything. Let yourself recoup before you continue hustling. 

5. Call your support system.

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When I've reached my limit, I call my mom and just whine and cry to her about my insane workload. I almost always feel better after dumping my emotional baggage because parents usually know what to say to make their kids feel better. Thanks, Mom!

Your support system may be your best friends, your grandparents, your siblings, your significant other, etc. Call anyone who is a source of comfort and solace for you. Support systems are so diverse, but what matters is that you talk to someone you love who can make you feel at ease. 

6. Get together with your friends.

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Take an hour or two out of your day to meet your friends for coffee or dinner. Talk to them about how you've been feeling, and I guarantee you'll feel better after getting their feedback. Your friends are most likely in a similar position, so they'll definitely relate and will probably have some good advice to give.

7. Take a bath.

This is really cliché, but honestly, baths rock. Don't do it half-ass though — Get a nice bath bomb or bubble bath, light a few candles, and play some music. The hot water will relax your muscles, which will help to relieve any physical tension you may be feeling.

8. Take a weekend off of work every now and then.

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I work nearly every weekend of the year, so I rarely get a traditional weekend. Since I have class and my internship on weekdays and work on the weekends, I literally have no days off, which is how it is for a lot of college students. I like to take a weekend off every two months or so just to have a solid block of time to take care of homework, to relax, and/or to adventure. 

9. Clean.

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You probably read that and thought, girl whaaaat?, but seriously, you already do this. Don't you ever wonder why you always seem to end up deep-cleaning your bathroom at 2 am? Yes, you're avoiding your responsibilities, but cleaning gives you something else to focus on and accomplish. 

10. Go outside.

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This one depends on where you live and what the weather is like that day, but if it's sunny and relatively warm, go outside. Do homework outside, go for a walk, sit in a patio chair and soak in the vitamin D — you'll feel like a new person afterwards.

11. Exercise.

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Exercise creates endorphins, and endorphins make you happier. Go for a run, do a quick HIIT workout, play a game of basketball with your friends; do some kind of exercise and you will feel better afterwards. Plus, you can exercise with friends and talk to them about how you've been feeling at the same time — two birds, one stone.

I know you may be thinking, but Alyssa, doing all of these things is just going to make me more stressed out because I'm not actually taking care of my responsibilities. I feel you on that, but soak in these words: you have to take care of yourself first. If you're putting yourself last, you're not going to be able to put your best effort into your responsibilities.

So do yourself a favor: pick one of these strategies, do it, and see how you feel after. Hopefully you find this is helpful to you, and you can continue to kick ass at life. You're taking on a lot, but that's such a huge deal. You're freaking awesome, dude. You got this.