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

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Alert Bay tested for COVID-19 antibodies, results prove efforts were effective

Just 3.7 per cent of people tested have the antibody

BC Parks acquires private land in Cape Scott Provincial Park

Land previously held by B.C. land and cattle mogul Rudy Nielsen

Family Literacy Society surveying essential skills among displaced workers

Survey results will help get training opportunities to fufill real needs on the north Island

A thousand items donated to the Port Hardy RCMP’s summer toy drive

‘Building strong relationships with the people of our communities is fundamental to our success here’

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Most Read