Counseling Service

Stress

Stress is one of the most common concerns of college students. Sources of stress in college include leaving home; living with roommates; facing new challenges related to relationships, intimacy, socializing; and striving to meet expectations related to academics.

Stress is a normal part of college life. A moderate amount of stress can be a positive influence when it motivates you to be active and productive, such as when you are working to meet academic deadlines and involved in competitive efforts. Too much stress can negatively impact mood and the ability to accomplish day-to-day responsibilities. Excessive stress that is not addressed can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Physical Symptoms

  • nausea
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • eye strain
  • sleep problems
  • muscle tension or pain
  • chest pain
  • fatigue
  • change in sex drive

Mood Symptoms

  • anxiety
  • Irritability or anger
  • restlessness
  • difficulty concentrating

Behavioral Symptoms

  • social withdrawal
  • blaming
  • overeating or undereating
  • angry outbursts
  • drug or alcohol abuse

What Can I Do

Taking time to care for ourselves is an important aspect of stress management. These activities help trigger the relaxation response, which can prevent chronic stress from affecting your health.

Physical Self-Care

  • Eat regularly (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise: walk, ride, hike, or swim
  • Get regular medical care
  • Take time off when needed
  • Do some sort of fun physical activity
  • Take time away from cell phone
  • Get enough sleep

Psychological Self-Care

  • Write in a journal
  • Read for fun
  • Try something new
  • Be curious

Emotional Self-Care

  • Spend time with others you enjoy
  • Stay in contact with important people in your life
  • Praise yourself
  • Reread favorite books, review favorite movies
  • Allow yourself to cry
  • Seek out comforting activities, places, relationships
  • Find things that make you laugh

Spiritual Self-Care

  • Make time for reflection
  • Spend time with nature
  • Be open to inspiration
  • Be open to not knowing
  • Meditate, pray, sing