Thompson Rivers University

Managing stress and anxiety

  Posted on: November 20, 2020

A book that has the title, Today I am grateful

The end-of-semester crunch is upon us, which can heighten feelings of anxiety and stress. Be kind to yourself, listen to your body, make time to recharge and refer to resources for fresh coping strategies.

Student Storyteller Shannon Cooper admits that student life can be a source of anxiety, but with the help of TRU resources and supports, she managed stress and maintained a balanced sense of well-being. 

Whether it’s anticipatory anxiety from an upcoming semester or the stress that comes from projects, deadlines and exams, university can be a test of your intellect, but also your time management and coping skills.

There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done; 24 hours is hardly sufficient! As a result, I often feel anxious over the quality of my work, which boils over into other areas of my life. My thoughts spiralled, my heart pounded, my palms sweated, and I never knew how to get out of my head. I took a proactive approach and took advantage of the services offered at TRU. 

I checked out TRU.ca/current, the hub of all services and supports. There were many resources to review at your own pace. The Anxiety Workbook caught my attention. 

While I was familiar with a lot of the tips, it was an opportunity to revisit what practices I needed to implement in my daily life. Pushing myself to complete different parts of the workbook helped me be more accountable. I started to enjoy filling out my daily gratitude journal and found myself focusing on what I was grateful for throughout the day, as things happened. This was an incredibly uplifting experience, as I often get caught up in the negative, especially when I am feeling anxious or stressed. 

To be honest, I’ve never referred to a resource like this before and I was hesitant. But my hesitancy melted away as I scrolled past the first few pages and realized by working through this book, I could discover different strategies that would help me to reduce anxiety, improve social connections and feel more grounded in gratitude. 

I particularly enjoyed working through the My Spheres of Influence Worksheet, which helped me to understand that not everything is within my control. When I shift my focus to what I can control, I will be able to see meaningful differences in my performance and health. I also learned that while I cannot stop myself from having hypothetical worries, I can control the way I react to them. This was an important message that I had somehow forgotten and it was nice to be reminded. Be kind to yourself, listen to your body, make time to recharge and refer to resources for fresh coping strategies.

TRU offers a variety of services and resources. If you want to make an appointment, you can send an email to studentservices@tru.ca or call 250-828-5023.