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How to manage my stress

The easiest way to manage stress is to try to prevent it. This may not always be possible, but there are steps that you can take to try to reduce the chances of being stressed.

  • Plan ahead. This might help you prepare for potentially stressful situations and come up with plans to reduce stress. For example, if you find that you get stressed before going home for breaks, plan fun activities into your breaks. You can also plan physical activity into your schedule, which is a great stress reliever.
  • Set priorities. Decide what needs to be done first and finish the most important tasks before moving onto the next things. For example, complete your school work before going out to dinner with friends, or read the next chapter of your textbook before logging on to Facebook. Doing the necessary stuff first can help reduce stress, and saving the fun stuff for last creates a reward to yourself!

If you are finding that you still experience stress, you might try one of these options to see if it helps reduce your stress: 

  • Talk to friends. Not only will this help you get your feelings off your chest, it will allow you to take a break from school work or other stressful situations.
  • Engage in physical activity. This is a great way to relieve the mental and physical symptoms of stress. It can also reduce the risk for depression.
  • Get plenty of sleep. It is recommended that adults get six to eight hours of sleep every night. This may seem impossible for a college student, but it can be done.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and protein can give your body the energy it needs to fight off some of the signs of stress.
  • Laugh. “Laughter is the best medicine.” It also helps to make you feel good. Take a break from studying, paper writing or whatever is causing you stress to watch a funny video online or to read a comic strip. 
  • Avoid caffeine. Some people might consume caffeine to help them focus, but caffeine can make people feel anxious, contributing to their stress.
  • Avoid alcohol and other drugs. These can sometimes make feelings of stress worse. Do not use these substances to manage your stress -- there are other options.

If stress seems to be interfering with your school work, personal life or other aspects of your life, it might be helpful to seek professional assistance in managing your stress. You can call the UHS Behavioral Health Clinic  at 859-323-5511 to make an appointment with a psychiatrist for more information on how to manage your stress. You can also call the UK Counseling Center at 859-257-8701 to set up an appointment with a psychologist. UHS offers a Zen Den where students can go to relieve stress and relax. There are also stress-management workshops offered at UHS and the UK Counseling Center. Call for more information.

For more information about stress, please visit:

American Academy of Family Physicians » 

Medline Plus » 

American Psychology Association » 

Page last updated: 10/23/2014 3:55:15 PM