7 stress-reducing tips for students

Photo of schoolwork and coffee

Imagine sitting at your desk with piles and piles of work you have yet to do, with the clock fast approaching midnight. You have tons of school work and text books placed in front of you, but your stress level is climbing. Picture finishing one assignment just to remember you have another paper due.

Maybe this is something you don’t have to imagine. If you’re a student, chances are, this is a reality. Trying to focus when you’re completely overwhelmed and anxious can be almost impossible.

Stress levels are high this time of year. With final projects, exams and post-strike school days becoming condensed, it’s no wonder students are feeling the pressure.

Below are seven students from uOttawa, Carleton and Algonquin with their own ideas on how reduce stress.

1. Social Break

Cell phones can be ideal for students, but they can also become a distraction and add even more stress.

That’s why Kalina Elliott, a 19-year-old Algonquin College student, has gotten into a routine on how to not be distracted with texts or snapchats while doing homework.

“I turn my phone on airplane mode and shut out everybody else for a bit,” said Elliott. This way, she won’t be distracted by any notifications her phone receives and can really focus on her homework.

2. Exercise

Sophie Brukel, a 20-year-old uOttawa student, finds that going to the gym is one way to get rid of school stress.

“When I feel stressed, I go to the gym to channel my energy into something else other than studying,” said Brukel. “It helps me get rid of all the background noise and stress that I feel.”

Brukel believes that using the gym is a good way for a quick escape. For Brukel, going to the gym is one core way she releases anxiety by focusing her brain on something else. By the end of your workout, you may feel less overwhelmed.

3. Tea

As odd as it may sounds, drinking tea is a good way to reduce stress.

Multiple types of tea leave people feeling calm and relaxed due to the ingredients tea consists of. Peppermint, lemon, rose and green tea are a few natural examples of tea that are calming and lack caffeine.

Kaitlyn Morrill, 20 years old and studying chemistry at uOttawa and has gotten into the habit of drinking tea come exam time.

“I think one time I went through like seven cups while studying,” said Morrill.

By the end up the day, Morrill felt more relaxed and calm, and noticed she wasn’t nearly as stressed.

4. Lists

Get the stress out of your head and onto paper. Writing down everything that is bothering you can be a big stress reliever.

Physically seeing what you have to do and when you have to do it is a good way to focus and stay on track.

Hiyam Ansari, 19, is studying neuroscience at Carleton University. She got in this habit back in high school and has been doing so ever since. “I make a list of everything and when it’s due,” said Ansari. “Then I make a schedule of which days I’ll start studying and stuff like that.”

For Ansari, seeing it written down not only helps clear her head, but also motivates her on when to start, leaving less time for stress and more time for work.

5. Disconnect

When exams are coming up and our workload gets heavier, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of it all.

For Walid Baitul Islam, a 19-year-old student studying software engineering at Carleton University, he makes sure that he has time for himself to clear his head and take a break.

“To limit the amount of stress, I feel like some sort of constant is needed to disconnect temporarily from being a student,” said Baitul Islam. “For me, this constant is simply watching a TV show with my friends once a week and giving me something to look forward to.”

6. Prepare

Stress from school is usually due to all the work we get and assignments we need to complete. There is no avoiding it.

Especially with midterms and exams on top of all the homework, it can be rough. However, we all know it’s coming. “I work hard and prepare myself for the challenges,” said Abdul Alsibai, 19, studying neuroscience at Carleton University.

Students receive their exam schedules months before and depending on the professors, are able to access course material for the semester. This makes it easy to get ready and prepare for the workload when entering exam seasons, helping us maintain our stress levels.

7. Goals

Setting goals can help reduce stress levels as it gives you motivation to push through and complete your work on time. It can help you focus on actually finishing the work rather than all the effort and time it requires.

For Nolan Scheier, this method has helped him when his workload gets heavy and he becomes overwhelmed. “The way I deal with stress is I just sit down and think about the way I can cope with it and plan on how I’m going to achieve the goal that I want,” said Scheier, a culinary management student at Algonquin College.

For Scheier, having an end goal in mind gives him something to focus on.


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