5 Ways to Say NO to Stress

You can learn to manage the pressure without stressing out!

Students’ lives can get very busy. They can get overloaded with assignments, papers, lab work, and final exams, and before they know it, they feel like a pressure cooker. Learning how to manage your workload and reduce your stress can be important skills to get you through your school years and the years beyond. Try these tips for stress management, and see how the stress can melt away!

Tip 1: Learn when and how to say NO
People who get overwhelmed by stress are often the people who say “yes” to everything. They might overcommit to school clubs, take too large a part in a group homework assignment, or try to work two part-time jobs while going to school full-time. Remember that you are only one person. You can only do so much. Look at what is on your plate, and try to prioritize it. Ask yourself:

  • What activities in my life are taking up too much time?
  • What is the priority order of the things I need to do today?
  • Are there any responsibilities that can be dropped?
  • Are there tasks that can be given to someone else?
  • Are there any activities or commitments that I should quit in order to be less stressed?

Tip 2: Get organized
Poor organization can lead to extra work and extra stress. Knowing where things are and when things are due can save you a lot of time and frustration. Some tips for organizing your school materials are:

  • Get a separate binder or folder for each subject.
  • Keep a separate folder on your computer for each of your classes.
  • Keep a calendar with reminders about homework due dates and exam dates.
  • Keep a file drawer at home dedicated to your school work.
  • Spend 5 minutes per day de-cluttering your home and your workspace.
  • Incorporate better time management strategies.

Tip 3: Talk to a friend
Stress can build up, and the more you keep the pressure inside, the more tense and uptight you can become. For some people, talking to a friend or family member can help. Take just an hour out of your week to meet a friend for a cup of coffee or a walk. This kind of break gives you a chance to talk about what’s been stressing you, and hopefully you will see it in a new perspective. Make sure to listen to your friend’s concerns too! By the end of your talk, you will be looking at your responsibilities with fresh eyes and less stress.

Tip 4: Get those endorphins working
All work and no play can be exhausting to your mental health. One great remedy for those pent up feelings of stress is to exercise. Physical exertion can take your mind off your stress and release the feelings of tension. Getting back to the books won’t be so hard once you’ve gone to the gym or taken a run. Hard exercise also releases endorphins in your body, which bring about a sense of well-being.

Tip 5: Treat your body to adequate sleep and nutrition
Students are notorious for staying up too late and eating poorly. Try not to fall into this trap. Lack of sleep and poor nutrition can wear your body down exactly when you need to boost your body up. Try to get 7-8 hours of good sleep each night, and eat a healthy, balanced diet. You will definitely feel the difference!

If you begin practicing these 5 stress-management tips, you should find that you have better control over your life and more time for yourself. Students can use these tips throughout their schooling and well into their careers.


This article is provided by Branford Hall Career Institute, with campuses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. For information about Branford Hall’s career focused training programs, contact us online.