Stress and worry are a normal part of life.  Stress is a response to what is around you and can help you focus on important tasks or prepare for challenges.  If the stress response does not switch off, then stress can cause problems with your health.  Stress tends to become problematic when it occurs regularly and suddenly with high intensity or when it occurs almost constantly without periods of relief so that it accumulates over a period of time and slowly overwhelms our coping skills. 

Stress has four categories: 1) Physical; 2) Mental; 3) Behavioral; 4) Emotional.  There are many stress relief tips and relaxation techniques to help you manage stressful situations as well as integrate relaxation into daily routines to clear stress before it accumulates.

Stress is a part of everyday life. Learning how to relax can be very beneficial to your health and overall well-being.  There is no "off-switch" for stress.  There is only an "on-switch" for both stress or relaxation and they are mutually exclusive states.  Distraction from stress, albeit relieving, does not necessarily engage a relaxation response.

Stress Relief Tips

Do one thing at a time

Sometimes school work seem like an endless job, no matter how much you do there is another pile waiting. Time management is important in completing many tasks over the course of a semester without stress accumulating.

Maintain your personal space

A well-organized space is relaxing and restorative; while a chaotic, cluttered mess can be a source of stress.  Eliminating the clutter allows the mind to rest.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is anything that you do that allows you to relax and be present.  Often its associated with meditation or breathing; however, it can be many different things such as journaling, creating art, exercise, leisure reading, or cooking a meal.  While doing these things, connect with the idea that you have what you need, you have enough time, and in the moment your life is manageable.  Visit the Jana Marie Foundation Virtual Calming Room.

Get more out of life by doing less

Don't feel that you have to be a part of every club on campus and every event that comes to campus. It is okay to take time out for yourself.

Data Detox

Change the settings on your devices so that you are not as easily pulled into checking on your technology.  Turn off notifications, badges, and alerts from all your apps (don't worry, the conditioning has worked so you'll check them anyway) so that you can limit the stress caused by constant demands on your attention.  Leave your technology behind when you practice a mindfulness exercise.

How do you deal with stress? There are many stress relief techniques.


Exercising releases stress. Moderate physical activity (breaking a sweat) for 20-30 minutes engages a stress relief response.


Developing social connections can be stressful, but it is necessary.  Social connection and spending time among people who matter to you (and you matter to them) is significant in maintaining emotional health and managing stress.  This includes developing healthy friendships, colleagues, and intimate relationships.

Sleep well

You always feel better when you have adequate sleep (not too much or too little).  For tips on how to get a better night's rest, follow this link.


Simply stretching can release stress. Stretching your back and rolling your neck are simple exercises that release tension. This can be done while sitting at your desk or while standing. Yoga is a wonderful stretching exercise.

Organize Large Assignments or Projects into Tasks

Often a large assignment can feel overwhelming because of the tendency to view the entire project as "finished or not finished."  When a large assignment is broken into tasks, you can feel accomplishment, progress, and relief while the project is ongoing rather than holding all the stress of the assignment until it is completed.  This also helps limit procrastination.

Complete One Task

Set aside a time today to complete a task.  Accumulation of unfinished tasks leads to two types of outcomes.  One is a constant thought of "not enough time" as you think about a task that isn not finished.  The other is a sense of panic when you remember a task you've forgotten and now suddenly must add to the list (especially if the task must be done quickly).  


Your faith can be very helpful during stressful times. For spiritual guidance contact the Campus Ministry office at the Unity House.

Have Fun

Go play, take a walk, talk to friends, or watch a funny movie. Doing something that is fun for you can be very important for releasing stress.

Take an Anonymous Screening

CCAPS Screening

The CCAPS screening is anonymous and provides an immediate result regarding distress levels across various domains of wellness.  This may help pinpoint an area of wellness to address to resolve stress.