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Stress relief tips to help you stay cool, calm and collected

College students are no strangers to stress. High levels of stress are more noticeable and common around midterms and finals, but this isn’t the only time that students are affected. Having to work and go to school could also be a big part of why students are stressed.

New Mexico State University student Alfredo Nahum says school is quite difficult this semester. His approach to keeping stress levels down is to listen to classical music and shower two or three times per day to keep his mind fresh.

NMSU engineering graduate student Alfredo Nahum prepares to anchor a weekly Noticias 22 newscast in Milton Hall. Nahum says organization is one of the keys to managing stress. (Photo courtesy of Noticias 22)

Nahum, a graduate student in environmental engineering, is very involved in campus organizations. He is a reporter for Noticias 22, a Spanish newscast produced by NMSU students, and he works in the NMSU Office of Education Abroad.

Nahum indicates organization is one of the keys to successfully juggling so many extracurricular activities in addition to his school work. “I have task lists to organize everything that I do. I actually have a master list, a day-to-day task list, and a planner on top of that. Organizing and planning is what helps me keep track of all my activities. I commit to those plans and follow them.”

Nahum also says he knows his limits. “There comes a point when I’m just too busy for other stuff, so I’ve learned how to say ‘no’ when I don’t have the time to help or to do additional stuff. Sticking to my plan and schedule is what helps.”

Every semester NMSU offers stress relievers for students during finals week. ASNMSU offers hammocks around campus for students to take a nap, the Aggie Health and Wellness Center offers free massages for students who need it, and on occasion they also have therapy dogs for students who just need to get their minds off their studies.

Here are some additional tips to help students manage stress and stay cool, calm and collected:

Make to-do lists

Making daily to-do lists is an efficient way to make sure you accomplish your short-term goals. To-do lists will also help you to remember every assignment, test, quiz, work shift and chore that you need to prepare for to complete the day.

Take study breaks

As important as it is to stay on top of schoolwork, giving your brain a chance to breath and think of something else other than work is vital to your success and mental health. According to fastweb.com, students should take study breaks every 90 minutes to maintain better attention spans. Choose a positive activity to fill the time.


Sometimes all we need is time to decompress and escape from our thoughts. Exercise is scientifically proven to lower stress levels and increase endorphin production. If working out at a gym is not your thing, try going on hikes or taking up yoga.

Additionally, exercise can improve your sleeping schedule. What seems like a given to most people turns into a luxury for a stressed-out college student. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is imperative to your success and overall mood. A full night’s rest will leave you rejuvenated and prepared to take on a new day.

Reward yourself

This tip is to always remind you who you are besides being a full-time student. It is important to recognize when your hard work pays off. Rewarding yourself after getting an A on an exam or essay is a good thing to do. Splurge on those shoes you’ve had your eye on if you finally land that internship you lost sleep over. Rewards encourage us to continue working hard to meet our goals and make the stressful moments that lead to success a little less bitter.

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