Manage Stress for Success

Student schedules are hectic. With tests this week, a group project due the next, all while juggling five papers, community service and social activities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Luckily at WSU, there are many resources to help students stay on track and reach their academic goals.

Stress is unavoidable in college. However, it is manageable. When students are stressed, performance drops, creativity crumbles and regular day to day tasks can become daunting.

“According to annual assessment data from the American College Health Association, WSU students report that stress is the number one impediment to academic success here,” says Brad Stewart, Assistant Director of Programming and Outreach for Health and Wellness Services. “Proactively identifying ways to improve our coping skills for stress can significantly improve our performance in all aspects of life and help create long-term positive health behaviors.”

There are numerous resources available to help students positively take control of their stress through midterms, finals and for everything in between. Below are several ways that students can take stress into their own hands.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services offers programs, and services to help students develop lifelong skills for addressing personal, social, academic and career-related concerns. If you are struggling with stress, they can help. Want to work on relaxation or meditation? They suggest that regular practice of relaxation and meditation will improve mental clarity and increase feelings of wellbeing. Stop by during their walk-in hours or visit their website for more tips on how to reduce stress.

Health and Wellness Services

Health and Wellness Services supports the mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing of students through health-promoting programs and medical services. They offer a variety of free stress management workshops throughout the year that have been popular with students in the past.

“Students should attend these workshops so that they can learn ways to manage and cope with stress before it begins to cause an issue in their lives,” Stewart said. “Stress management should be an ongoing and everyday pursuit. The workshops Health and Wellness Services provides are short, free and focus on skill development so that a student can hopefully learn multiple easy approaches to stress management and implement them in their day-to-day lives right away.”

Visit the HWS website for more information on these opportunities or to sign up. You can also find them on OrgSync.

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University Recreation

University Recreation provides recreational services and activities for the Washington State University community that inspires active, healthy, living. Physical activity aids stress management in a number of ways, and can be both fun and socially engaging. UREC’s Sweat the Stress weeks invite students to try activities and classes to aid them in their pursuit for a better well-being.

“Our fitness classes, especially yoga, are very popular during Sweat the Stress weeks,” says Joanne Greene, Programming Director for University Recreation. “We offer the classes at no charge and students can just drop in to the activities that fit into their schedule that week.  I think that students respond well to these programs because many report to us that they work out to relieve stress and our fitness classes also offer a social component as well.”

As well as the Sweat the Stress events, UREC offers intramural sports and group fitness classes that begin in October. Intramural leagues for volleyball, basketball, football and CrossFit run through the fall semester and offer both workouts and chances to engage with other students in a fun environment. Group activities not for you? Then head over to the new Down Under recreation center in the Stephenson Complex and sweat out those midterm worries.

Cougar Success Program

The Cougar Success Program is designed to take highly motivated students and develop them to be future leaders beyond Washington State University. With workshops that range from stress management, time management, self-care and public speaking, this program inspires students to enrich their lives while becoming the leaders of tomorrow. Students will learn the skills needed to make positive impacts on themselves, the WSU community and the world. 

-Story contributed by Matthew Tradewell, Student Affairs