Simon Fraser University is pictured in Burnaby, B.C., Tuesday, Apr 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Some practical tips to manage anxiety and stress in post-secondary education

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to coping with mental illness and soaring stress levels

Universities are working to bolster the mental-health services they offer but students often have to take the first steps themselves. Here are a few expert tips on how to manage high stress levels and anxiety:

Figure out what’s available before a crisis

It’s a mistake to wait until you’re in the midst of a mental health emergency to figure out what supports are available, said Andrea Howard, an associate professor of psychology at Carleton University.

“Figure out what resources are there for you and figure out who you can go to if you are experiencing some kind of distress,” she said. “Sometimes that’s really just reminding yourself to check in with a trusted family member or friend, and not keeping it to yourself.”

Consider multiple options

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to coping with mental illness and soaring stress levels, said Kevin Friese, assistant dean of students for health and wellness at the University of Alberta.

“What works for one person may not necessarily be the right fit for another,” he said, noting that it’s important for students to have access to a variety of services so they can figure out what works best.

Psychotherapy not doing the trick for you? Try cognitive behavioural therapy. If that doesn’t work, check out peer support groups or guided meditation.

Build resilience

Some people have the natural ability to persevere through difficult times, but others need to build the muscle up, Howard said, and it’s crucial to realize that resilience doesn’t mean suffering in silence.

“I worry that some students are trying to struggle along because maybe they’re embarrassed to admit they’re having difficulty, or they feel they maybe don’t have the full support of people in their network,” she said.

Resilience means identifying who can help you get through the difficult times, Howard said.

ALSO READ: Harm reduction, student-led initiatives targeting binge-drinking at Canadian university

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Vancouver Island B.C. Hydro Customers without power

Due to high winds nearly 3,900 B.C. Hydro customer will be out of power

Sidney signs off on 2020 budget with 1.79 per cent tax increase

Budget also includes additional funding for Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Search begins for two missing scouts near Sooke

Crews headed to Jordan River area after receiving call just after 2 p.m.

Scaffolding falls due to strong winds at Millstream Village Sunday afternoon

No injuries or vehicles damaged, according to West Shore RCMP

Cold water swimming a morning ritual for Willows Beach crew

Group turned heads when they slow-walked into the Polar Plunge

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read