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Developing resilience is a personal journey. People do not all react the same to stressful life events. A method to building resilience that works for one person might not work for another. People use varying strategies.


College life can be demanding and it's easy to get worried about assignments and exams – sometimes it feels like it's all getting too much. It's easy to say that you shouldn't get stressed, but life isn't always that easy. There are a number of tips on avoiding and reducing stress, hopefully at least some of them might work for you if you do feel stressed. Firstly, listen to your body and recognise when you are feeling stressed, you might:

  • be sweating
  • have a fast heartbeat
  • feel sick
  • have aches, pains or tense muscles
  • be worrying repeatedly

It’s crucial to learn how to manage stress so it doesn’t overwhelm you.

When you can recognise when you are stressed, you can start taking steps to reduce your stress levels. Here's some tips you can try... some might be easier than others!

  • Don't try and be a perfectionist - setting idealistic goals for yourself might only increase your stress levels.
  • Say "no" more often - don't take on anything extra if you think you're doing too much already.
  • Adopt good time management and study practices.
  • Try to reduce time spent on social media and online in general.
  • Get a good night's sleep.
  • Change your diet - a healthier diet will improve how you feel.
  • Exercise more.
  • Try a relaxation technique like deep breathing, or meditation.
  • Talk to someone - don't bottle up how you feel.
  • Always find time for yourself - aim for a better study life balance. You need to study, but you also need to take some time to do things that you enjoy doing.

Resilience involves maintaining flexibility and balance in your life as you deal with stressful situations and/or traumatic events.

10 Ways to Build Resilience

  1. Make connections.
  2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems.
  3. Accept that change is a part of living.
  4. Move toward your goals.
  5. Take decisive actions.
  6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery.
  7. Nurture a positive view of yourself.
  8. Keep things in perspective.
  9. Maintain a hopeful outlook.
  10. Take care of yourself.

Source: American Psychological Association.

Getting help when you need it is vital in building your resilience. Remember to turn to your family, friends and peers. Or, some find it helpful to turn to self-help and support groups.

Further Reading & Resources