8 Ways to Calm Yourself When Stress Overwhelms You

Four midterms, two papers and wait… I actually had to read that book? Everybody knows too well that dreadful feeling you get when workload piles up, especially when all you want to do is decorating for fall and finding the perfect Halloween costume. So here are some helpful tricks (and treats) to relieve your stress and help you stay focused on what really matters: your mental health.


1. Get moving

Exercise is an awesome stress reliever: it increases endorphins in the brain to help you unwind and de-stress. Whether you prefer outdoor yoga or a calming walk on Lakeshore Path, find a place on campus that you can be active and relax!

2. Breathe

Take a series of calming deep breaths to help yourself refocus and clear your mind. If you want to take it a step further, meditation is a great option to help calm your body and focus on your mind-body connection.

3. You Are Not Alone

When you are starting to feel like the whole world is against you, take a step back and remember that you have people on your side. Call up your BFF (it’s okay if that is your mom) and talk it out. Having a quick chat with someone close to you will help you refocus and feel more confident in whatever task you are trying to accomplish.

4. Write it Out

I know the last thing you want to do is to write more after all long hours of taking lecture notes, but hear me out: keeping a thought or gratitude journal is a great de-stressing tool. Taking the time every day to write a sentence or two on the things that you’re thankful for will help remind you of all the good things in life amid your stressful life.

5. Take a Break

If you are in hour five of studying for midterms and feel like your brain is going to combust, take a break before it blows. Brain breaks are great tricks to help you step away from a task, recharge your brain and come back with a new focus and perspective. Have a snack or take a walk— just refuel your brain so you can ace those midterms!

6. It’s Tea Time

Ditch your daily coffee and go for tea! Green tea will give you a caffeine boost to help you recharge. So take a quick break, grab your favorite mug and enjoy a nice, hot drink that will not only help with your stress but also improve your focus.

7. Tune In

Take a break and listen to your favorite album to help soothe yourself. Even sounds of calming waves or peaceful piano pieces will help reduce your stress and keep you progressing on the task at hand.

8. Catch Some ZZZ's

Sleep seems to be an urban myth to most college students these days, but it’s still the best remedy to de-stress. A good night’s rest will help you wake up feeling recharged and refocused—it is only after then will you you be ready to tackle your day and beat whatever stress is thrown at you.


These quick tips and tricks will help you calm yourself as responsibilities pile up on you. As much as we all wish our classes focused on “how to decorate for fall for less” or “DIY Halloween costumes,” that sadly isn’t the case. Use these tips to help reduce your stress while studying. Who knows? Maybe you will still have time to create an adorable fall space and come up with the cutest costume.