Self-Help Information: Anti-Stress Tips for Students
1. Begin your day by ordering your priorities. List what you want to
accomplish during the day and prioritize these items. Realize that you will
likely NOT get to some of these things that are of less importance. Do the
important tasks first (rather than those tasks of lesser importance that you
use to distract you from the important or harder tasks.)
2. Learn to say no. Often the students who are most stressed are the ones
who too easily say yes to extra responsibilities because they don't want to
disappoint someone, rather than because they think it is a task they want to
or should take on.
3. Work on a time management plan that includes time for classes, family
time, study time, and personal time. Make this time "sacred" and do not
allow interruptions. Give yourself "permission" to take time for yourself.
It needs to be intentional rather than something that happens when you can't
stand to work any longer, leaving you feeling guilty about "wasting time".
4. Focus on efficiency in completing your work. Don't get bogged down with
trivial tasks that are not your priority. Be realistic about how much time
the work will take. This usually means that you need to estimate the time it
will take and then add more time.
5. Remember that the manner in which homework is approached affects stress.
Find your own pace for learning, one that gives you the most comfort and
least agitation. Do you need to complete your work in short work periods
over a period of time? Do you work best by putting in several hours of
concentrated study? If you "cram", as do many students, how does that affect
your stress level?
6. Focus your total concentration on the task at hand. "Multi-tasking" only
dissipates your mental focus and energy for studying.
7. Human performance deteriorates after five yours. Take short relaxation
breaks, do stretching or deep breathing, go for a short walk, or distract
yourself with something else for a while. These breaks will improve your
efficiency when you get back to studying.
8. Do not expect that you will complete all your homework every day.
Preparation and studying will be heavier on some days than others. Accept
this, allow yourself to leave things undone sometimes, and plan to make up
for work that is undone on days when your workload is lighter. Doing a
weekly or monthly study schedule and flexibly sticking to it will help you
feel more in control of your workload.
9. Avoid interruptions when you are studying. You may need to close your
door, not answer the phone, and tell others you will talk with them later.
Need Additional Help?
Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Counseling and Wellness Services offer free individual counseling for these
and related issues for veterinary students (WSU Veterinary Students ONLY).
For more information or to schedule an appointment call or e-mail:
Anne LaFrance, MA, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
135A McCoy Hall
NOTE: The information contained in these self help documents is not to be
used as a substitute for professional care. Neither the authors, Washington
State University nor the College of Veterinary Medicine assume liability for
injury incurred by following the information presented in these self-help