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 it: the end of the semester is a challenging time. With the help of TRU resources and supports, she was able to manage stress and maintain a balanced sense of well-being.   

When it comes to student life, there is always an exam, project or deadline to worry about. Blame it on the end of semester crunch — a time when anxiety and stress can occur or be heightened.

I’m not afraid to admit that the end of the semester can feel overwhelming for me. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done, 24 hours is hardly sufficient! I often feel anxious over the quality of my work. This anxiety would boil into other areas of my life: my thoughts spiraled, heart pounded, palms sweated and I never knew how to get out of my own head. This year, I decided to be proactive and take advantage of the services offered at TRU. 

I checked out TRU.ca/current , the hub of all services and supports. If you check out the Counselling Services section, you can find contact details. To make an appointment, you can send an email to studentservices@tru.ca or call 250-828-5023.

There is also a link to provincial counselling services Here2Talk, and other great resources to review at your own pace. Under the Counselling Resources for COVID-19 subheading, you’ll find the Anxiety Workbook, which 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.

If you or someone you know is struggling, TRU offers a variety of services and resources. Connect with counselling or the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy if you need someone to talk. Support is also available through Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response.