Top 10 Stress Management Techniques for Students
Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
Most students experience significant amounts of stress, and this stress can take a significant toll on health, happiness, and grades. For example, a study by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that teens report stress levels similar to that of adults.
That means teens are experiencing significant levels of chronic stress, and that they feel their levels of stress generally exceed their ability to cope effectively. Roughly 30% report feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or sad because of it.
Stress can affect health-related behaviors like sleep patterns, diet, and exercise as well, taking a larger toll. Given that nearly half of APA survey respondents reported completing three hours of homework per night in addition to their full day of school work and extracurriculars, this is understandable.
10 activities to help college students to relax and de-stress
It’s understandable that, while you’re a student, you might not have as much disposable income to spend on a little getaway to help you destress. You don’t need a big budget to de-stress – there are plenty of activities you can do right in your dorm. Here are 10 activities you can try to help alleviate stress.
1. Enjoy the flicker of electric candles
Candles are a great way to add decor and spruce up the room. But in dorms, they should be electric – some colleges don’t allow real candles due to the fire hazard. And electric candles truly are the next best thing. So place your electrical candle near (but maybe not right next to) your bath or use it as a light for some late-night reading. The dim lighting can ease your mind and provide stress relief on even the most overwhelming days. Some battery-operated LED alternatives even come in soothing scents like vanilla or lavender.
2. Explore the outdoors
Sometimes, reconnecting with nature is all you need to destress. Taking a simple walk can reduce stress, and so can the exercise it involves. The more often you move, the more your mood improves. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, ditch the library for a bit and go for a quick walk. You might be surprised how deeply relaxed you feel once you’re done.
3. Create an outer space experience
Want to change your boring study area into a fun hangout spot with your friends? Galaxy projectors like the Sky Lite 2.0 can turn any room into an immersive outer space experience. You can customize and control the colors, effects, and lights all from your phone for the ultimate calm and comfort. It’s just as perfect for late-night dance parties or laid-back movie nights with friends – or, of course, studying, but we’re talking about relaxation here!
4. Make your favorite foods
When you feel your to-do list growing, you might be moving so fast you forget to eat. While you might think that skipping meals saves time and allows you to do more, it actually can make you less focused and more irritable. So step away from your desk to indulge in your favorite meals and treats – you might feel more relaxed and rejuvenated. After all, there’s nothing a little dessert can’t fix.
Few things can chip away at stress better than a little sweat. Working out releases endorphins, which can change your stressful mood and help you feel a little calmer. Whether heading to the pool or playing a quick pickup game of basketball with your roommate, all forms of exercise relieve stress in their own way. And if you aren’t keen on working out, drag a friend with you to a group class to make it a little more enjoyable. Or create a calm yoga space under the shimmering stars of a galaxy projector and let your mind and body drift away.
6. Unwind with your favorite streaming service
Who doesn’t love to watch TV or movies and let their mind turn off for a bit? Take your mind off your vigorous classwork and watch an hour-long episode of your favorite show to make you laugh and feel like yourself again. Once you feel a bit more relaxed, you can go back to finishing up your coursework for the day. You might find it all much more bearable and less stressful.
7. Dance party
Hearing the phrase “dance party,” the first thing that comes to mind might be, “But I can’t dance!” But you don’t need to be the next Michael Jackson for dancing to be a great stress reliever. Dancing can help you shake off your stress – it is exercise, after all – and just have a little fun.
You can easily create a dance floor right in the comfort of your own room. All you need is a fun, engaging light such as the BlissRadia, which you can customize right from your phone. Set it to a bright gradient if you’re raving or a dim color if you’re slow-dancing. Next time finals come around, grab some friends, turn on your BlissRadia, take a quick dance break. You’ll notice how much better you feel afterward.
Unwind and de-stress with BlissLights
All these de-stress activities for college students can help you manage your anxiety the next time you face finals or a stressful course load. And no matter your situation, the astonishing, calming sights of BlissLights can help. Browse the BlissLights collection now to transform both your surroundings and your mind.
BlissLights has been a leader in the laser lighting industry since the company was founded in 2006. Our team of experienced engineers and technicians helped create award-winning special effect lighting for major theme parks before minaturizing ourpatented technology for home use. BlissLights is dedicated to laser safety and education, and is registered with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).
13 Stress Relief Activities for Kids
1. Mindful breathing
When a child is experiencing feelings of stress and anxiety, his or her breathing pattern will change. He or she will start to take short, fast, and shallow breaths, which does nothing but amplify feelings of worry. Mindful breathing – taking in a slow breath through the nose, holding the breath for a few seconds, then exhaling slowly through the mouth – will help your child focus on something other than stress and anxiety, and once his or her breathing has slowed, he or she will feel more calm. Mindful breathing is the perfect tool because it is portable and can be used anywhere at any time your child needs it. This is especially important when you can’t be there with your child to help.
The Bubble Blowing Technique is one of the best mindful breathing techniques for very young children, as it allows them to learn through play. To make it work, give them a small container of bubbles so they can practice blowing bubbles with a wand. They will learn quickly that if they blow too hard or too fast, the bubble will burst before it has time to take shape. But by blowing slowly and with purpose, they can blow a perfect bubble. Have them practice the technique with real bubbles before removing them and letting them use only their imaginations.
2. Do a sensory check-in
When your child is feeling overwhelmed, ask him or her to sit in a quiet place and use each of his or her 5 senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste) to identify with his or her surroundings. What does your child see, hear, and smell? It may seem a bit silly at first, and if your child feels that way, that’s totally okay! The point is to focus on the sensory input he or she is receiving from the world around him or her instead of the invasive, anxious thoughts he or she is feeling. And when those anxiety-provoking thoughts do threaten to take over, remind your child to dismiss them and imagine them floating away.
3. Counting or reciting
This is one of my favorite stress relief activities for kids as it can be used absolutely anywhere, and it continues to help me when I feel overwhelmed and anxious. When big worries start to brew, remind your child to count or recite something. You can make this as easy (count from 1 to 20) or complex (recite the alphabet backwards) as your child needs it to be, and over time you can teach your child to do this silently so they have an invisible and portable strategy to calm their mind and body!
Yoga for stress isn’t anything new. Some of the benefits of yoga include mental wellness, relaxation, improved respiration and lowered heart rate, so it’s no surprise that many parents with children who suffer from anxiety disorders are turning to yoga for relief. I’ve also noticed more schools are including yoga in their weekly lesson plans as a way to teach kids how to calm their bodies when they feel overwhelmed. If you’re looking for an easy way to introduce your kids to yoga, these yoga cards for kids are a great place to start!
Journaling is often considered an adult thing to do, but kids of all ages can benefit from journal writing, and it’s another one of my favorite stress relief activities for kids. Learning how to write our feelings out on paper can make a big difference in all of our lives, and teaching kids how to express themselves freely and work through their problems through their writing can be a very valuable life lesson. Guided journals offer an easy way to get kids used to the idea of journaling, and there are tons of different themes and ideas to choose from. Here are 6 of my favorites!
- Gratitude Journal. Described as a ‘toothbrush for the mind’, The Five-Minute Journal for Kids is a great kid’s journal for beginners as it doesn’t take a lot of time to complete, but helps get kids into the habit of carving out time each day to jot their thoughts on paper. The Five-Minute Journal is unique in that it is designed to train our brains to begin and end each day with feelings of happiness and positivity. By encouraging our children to focus on the good in their lives, we help improve their mental well-being by steering them away from negative, overwhelming thoughts. The Five-Minute Journal is also available for adults, so you can purchase a set for the entire family and make it a ritual you complete together at the start and end of each day. Learn more about The Five-Minute Journal for Kids HERE.
- Mom and Me Journal. If you’re looking for a way to connect with your child while also teaching him or her the importance of regular stress management, one of my favorite journals for kids is one you complete together. There are tons you can buy online – Just Between Us: Mother & Daughter and Between Mom and Me: Mother Son Journal are both great – and they provide wonderful opportunities for you to discuss lots of fun topics with your child to help you get to know one another a little better. They contain journal prompts for kids and parents as well as fun quizzes, blank pages to draw pictures on, and lined pages to write fun lists together.
- Fill in Journal. Not all kids are designed to write long-form journal entries, and that’s 100% okay! Whether your child is too young for a formal journal or has trouble focusing for long periods of time, Me: A Compendium might be just the kind of kid’s journal you’re looking for. It’s filled with a bunch of fill-in-the-blanks ranging from a child’s description of him- or herself to his or her likes and dislikes, and is designed to encourage creativity with space to draw pictures. Get your copy HERE.
- Draw and Write Journal. My daughter started keeping a draw and write journal when she was in first grade, and it was one of her most favorite things to do each day. The exercise was pretty open-ended, and the only ‘rule’ she had to follow was that she had to write a complete sentence each time she wrote in her journal. My daughter wasn’t much of a writer prior to grade 1, but by the time she reached grade 2, she was writing complete fiction stories, and creative writing is definitely on the list of her favorite stress relief activities for kids! We really love this draw and write journal from Amazon.
- Scrapbook Journal. If your child is artistically inclined, scrapbooking is a great activity to get them involved with as it provides a great creative outlet and gives them a place to collect and reflect over their best memories as they grow, which can be very calming and therapeutic. Beginners will probably need a scrapbook kit to get them going, but as your child gets older, let them choose a notebook and some gel pens, and then watch as they work with other materials already available to them at home.
- Writing Prompts Journal. Older children with big emotions and worries will benefit greatly from writing their thoughts in a blank notebook each day (consider buying your child a diary with a lock for added privacy), and if they have trouble coming up with things to say, this post has a month’s worth of writing prompts for kids to inspire you and your little one! You can go in order, or write each idea on a popsicle stick and create your own ‘journal prompts for kids’ jar your child can draw from each time he or she is stuck and doesn’t know what to write about.