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

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Whitewater offering ski program for people with cognitive impairments

Discounted tickets for skiers and chaperones, as well as lessons, are available

Breanna Faulkner, Kootenay Swim Club win at Kelowna Snowfest

Faulker won four medals, including two gold

Calendars for a cause: Linocut calendars raise funds for Kalein Centre

The last few calendars and cards are available at Cowan’s Office Supplies and Zinnia Textiles

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Victoria-area wolf tranquilized after being seen running around neighbourhood

Officials say wolf unharmed during its ‘arrest’

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

Most Read