University of Florida | GatorWell Health Promotion Services - Health Topic

Stress Management


Stressed about school, work, life, etc.?

Take a breath...and read on to find more strategies to manage your stress.

UF students consistently report that stress is the top health concern that adversely affects their academic success. Feeling overwhelmed with all that you have to do can lead to procrastination and decreased productivity. Remember that even small steps will move you closer to your goal.

These 5 simple strategies can help you manage your stress effectively:

Set goals, identify priorities, create a schedule, and start early!

  • Assess your workload. What do you need to do between now and the end of Summer A? Try using a planner or calendar to help you prioritize what to tackle first. Make a daily or weekly to-do list and break big projects into small steps. Writing things down can be helpful so you don't have to worry about forgetting important tasks.
  • Reward yourself. Plan ways to reward yourself for crossing key tasks off your to-do list. Even small positive rewards can boost your mood and reinforce all the hard work you have been doing. Knowing that something you enjoy awaits can also increase your motivation to stay focused and finish the task.

Fit some type of physical activity into your schedule every day.

  • Try fitting some type of physical activity into your schedule every day. Exercise helps your muscles release tension, burns off stress hormones, and releases endorphins (feel-good hormones). If you are having trouble finding time to go to the gym multiples times a week, try incorporating simple things such as going for a walk between classes or taking the stairs instead of the elevator at your dorm.

Take regular study breaks.

  • Taking 5-10 minute breaks throughout your day will help you get a fresh look at what you are working on and can reduce frustration. A quick exercise break, even a 10-minute walk can help reduce tension and improve your concentration when you return to the task.

Take time for you by building a little relaxation into each day.

  • Make time for yourself! Living a balanced life is important to your overall wellbeing. Schedule time to take care of yourself and manage your stress. Set aside time each day to do something that you enjoy such as volunteering, hiking, dancing, going to sporting events, or spending time with friends.
  • Learn how to calm yourself in a stressful situation. Try deep breathing, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization exercises.

Get adequate sleep to feel rested every day.

  • Sleep helps to consolidate memory and learning, increases your ability to process new information, and boosts mood and energy levels. We need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to perform optimally.

Find more strategies to manage your time and stress.

  1. Check out the UF Teaching Center’s website for strategies to improve your study skills as you prepare for finals. https://teachingcenter.ufl.edu/study-skills/   
  2. Consider taking advantage of free campus resources like GatorWell's Wellness Coaching for Academic Success http://gatorwell.ufsa.ufl.edu/services/individual_services/#WellnessCoaching , the Counseling and Wellness Center's Biofeedback lab, or the UFlourish Campaign http://gatorwell.ufsa.ufl.edu/programs/UFlourish  to learn even more strategies to manage stress.
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