Stress Resources

Stress is your body’s response to a real or imagined threat and evolved as a response to help keep you safe and protected from harm. When under stress, you might notice physical symptoms like:

  • Increased alertness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tense muscles
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Upset stomach

You may also notice emotional signs of stress such as:

  • Restlessness
  • Hard time making decisions
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Self-criticism

Moderate amounts of stress can be useful – it helps you think more clearly, stay focused, and respond quickly. 

However, chronic stress and major stressors can negatively impact physical and mental health. While stress can’t be eliminated completely from our lives, there are strategies to help manage it. 

Stress Management Strategies

Focus on the basics.

  • Try to get 8 hours of sleep (or close to it) as frequently as possible.
  • Move your body every day to relieve physical and emotional stress in your body.
  • Focus on eating foods that fuel your body. Avoid skipping meals.
  • Limit caffeine intake, since caffeine can amplify many of the physical manifestations of stress.
  • Don’t rely on alcohol and drugs as a stress reliever. 

Implement time management strategies.

  • Try the Pomodoro method – do work for 20 minutes and take a 5 minute break and repeat as needed.
  • Say no to things that aren’t essential to your own wellbeing.
  • Be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Being overambitious with time is a frequent stressor.
  • Visit the StAAR Center to learn more about scheduling your time, effective study techniques, and more to help balance your time. 

Make time for your own wellbeing.

  • Practice deep breathing when you’re feeling stressed.
  • Be kind to yourself and talk to yourself the same way you would talk to a friend.
  • Spend time with people who make you smile.
  • Talk to someone you trust about what you’re going through.