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Relax and De-Stress at TCC: Stress Management

Finals week is stressful during any semester, let alone during a global pandemic. This guide provides resources to help you relax, de-stress, and lower anxiety before and during finals.

Stress Relief at Home

Image -courtesy of Harvard Health Publishing 

Techniques to De-Stress

  1. Change the environment

Do something pleasurable or relaxing for a little while such as reading, watching TV, or taking a shower. If you are glue to computer working on assignment or deadline, step outside for a few minutes and get some fresh air.

  1. Practice breathing exercises

Focus on your breath, pushing all other thoughts aside. Be conscious of the breath coming in and going out; focus on the sensation of inhaling and exhaling.

  1. Meditate

It does not mean sitting crossed leg on the floor and burning incense. There are different ways to mediate. Even a minute can make a difference. Be in the moment noticing everything around you and just observe without reacting.

  1. Pray

Often, one’s faith can be a comfort. Saying a small prayer or series of prayers can be calming.

  1. Do relaxation exercises

Practice tensing and then releasing each of your muscle groups (if you are able). 

  1. Go walking or running

Exercise can be a great stress reliever. It helps you blow off steam and releases endorphins. Take a walk or go running. Remember to practice safe distancing!

  1. Practice a rhythmic activity

Walking or running are great rhythmic activities that readjust your focus and relieve stress. You can also drum on a table with your hands or a few pencils.

  1. Immerse yourself in a creative outlet

Doing something creative that you enjoy like cooking, baking, art or photography can take you away from the stress at hand. For example, cooking or baking requires focus, concentration and physical activity—especially if you are making bread or rolling out dough.

  1. Express your feelings

Write your stress away in a journal, take out your colored pencils and paper and focus your concentration on drawing, or have coffee with a trusted friend and just talk.

  1. Be in the moment with one of your senses

Sight, smell, sound, and taste—you’ll be amazed how quickly the stress melts away when you focus on just one of them. Eat something that you crave and savor each bite. Light a scented candle and breathe in your favorite scent. Listen to a wonderful piece of music and let it take you away. Look at something beautiful in your surrounding that makes you stop and stare.

There is no one-way to de-stress. Find what works for you!

Managing Your Stress


Keys to Managing Stress

  • Notice that you are stressed as early as possible
  • Identify who or what is stressing you
  • Learn to be appropriately assertive and say “No” to yourself and others
  • Develop realistic goals
  • Change the negatives if you can, and change your attitude about them if you can’t
  • Learn not to panic or over-react when things don’t go well
  • Take time out to relax daily and exercise at least 3 times a week
  • Eat and sleep well, and limit alcohol and tobacco use
  • Take care of academic, medical or other personal problems as soon as you notice them

6 Myths About Stress

The American Psychological Association debunks 6 myths about stress

Facts About Stress
NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) Stress Fact Sheet

Download this fact sheet to learn:

  • What is stress?
  • How does stress affect the body?
  • How does stress affect your overall health?
  • How can you cope with stress?

Courtesy of University of Nevada Las Vegas

Stress tolerance can be heightened by following certain techniques. Twenty-three such techniques are described, including biofeedback and yoga. The stress-reducing suggestions center on the belief that individual therapies are required, since people respond to stress in different ways. Read more at Psychology Today
DIY Stress Relief
Courtesy of Marshall University Libraries

Ted Talks Videos




TCC's Streaming Videos for Stress Management