College is stressful, there’s no doubt about it. From midterms to essay deadlines, there’s always something that needs to be done, so students’ stress levels tend to rise, especially during the latter part of a term. However, there are some easy ways to reduce your stress. Check out these tips! 

Make a to-do list

By making a list to check off, it may help you visualize everything you have to do, and the act of crossing out a task can be a huge stress reliever. You can write down everything you need to do, tasks both big and small, and you’ll be able to see exactly what you need to do. It might also be a good idea to estimate approximately how much time a task will take, in order to avoid missing a deadline. If the idea of a list doesn’t work for you, maybe consider making three daily goals of your biggest tasks, or write down what you need to do on colorful sticky notes. 

Hang out with friends

Taking some time to enjoy moments with friends is one of the biggest stress relievers. Go to a coffee shop and chat, check out a local band, have a movie night, just do something that’s fun! Curious what’s happening around campus? Visit our campus event calendar to look for things to do with your friends.

Make use of WOU services

WOU offers a variety of services dedicated to student success, and staff and faculty members are here to help! One of these services is the Student Health and Counseling Center, which provides mental health counseling, wellness coaching and offers an R&R room. You can even make an appointment online

Try to sleep 

Getting adequate sleep is probably the biggest way to reduce stress levels. However, sleeping the recommended eight hours a night can be pretty difficult as a college student, so it’s best that you just try to sleep as much as you can. White noise machines (or phone apps) can help, too. There are white noise machines available to check-out at Hamersly Library. And there are free meditation apps with sleep-focused meditations.

Eat right

When you’re in college, and especially when you’re living in a residence hall for the first time, it can be difficult to ensure you’re eating right. Try to include some form of fruits and vegetables with each meal. There are lots of options in Valsetz Food Court, where on-campus students eat most of your meals. Campus Dining works hard to make sure there are food options for various dietary preferences and allergy needs, too.

Drink water

When you’re dehydrated, your stress levels rise, so it’s important to stay hydrated. WOU makes this easy by providing water bottle filling stations throughout campus. That also supports our focus on sustainability! Want to show your school spirit? There are WOU water bottles available at the Wolfstore.

Don’t try to manage your stress alone 

One of the most important aspects of stress management is asking for help when you need it. This doesn’t mean you have to immediately speak with a counselor, as you can ask your friends, your family members, or your professors for help. If you’re struggling, talk to someone! You’ll feel better after vocalizing your concerns, and you can gain another individual’s advice.

Want more? We have a great resource online to support your mental health and wellness. Visit our suicide prevention and mental health promotion website. There’s a page all about managing stress with tips for boosting your mood that builds off of what we have in this post.

Written by WOU student Erin Worley