Student Wellness Services

Student Wellness Services

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What is Stress?

Picture of the stages of stress.

Stress occurs when a situation or event (i.e.: a stressor) is perceived as threatening and provokes a stress-response. 

(Image from the University of Chicago)

Stress Busters

There are lots of relaxation techniques that can help you manage stress and help you improve your concentration, productivity, and overall well-being. 

To get started: 

  1. find a quiet, relaxing place where you can be alone for 10-20 minutes
  2. try to practice 1-2 time per day
  3. stick with a technique that works best for you
  4. keep trying even if you don’t notice a major change right away – it make take a few weeks.

As you read through each strategy, try it and see if it fits with you. List each technique on a cue card (or something you can slip into your pocket or purse). Write down just enough to help you remember the exercise. Try out 2 or 3 strategies several times each day. Do this for a week or for long enough to get a feeling for which ones seem most helpful to you – long enough to choose your own particular strategies then use the ones you select.


Deep Breathing

Progressive Muscle Relaxation


Massage Techniques: face massagehand massageback massage

Drawing & Colouring

  • Free yourself from mass media – turn off your internet and computer
  • Reduce your consumption – give unneeded belongings away
  • Take a walk to feel connected to your surroundings
  • Practice slow food – cook at home and eat with others you care about
  • Attend services or other activities of your church or religious organization
  • Learn a new skill or craft
  • Volunteer for a special event or on a regular basis
  • Practice meditation, yoga or tai chi
  • Carry a special object with you that reminds you of what’s important to you
  • Keep a diary or journal
  • Take a personal retreat or change your routine and give yourself a break from your responsibilities
  • Travel
  • Spend some time alone