Five Ways to Manage Stress at University

Posted by Deea Deb on August 10, 2021

Academic Success | Student Life

Illustration of Vari Hall with 3 students relaxing by the fountain.
Manage stress with support from York University!

Whether you are new to university or an upper-year pro, stress can get to you at times. At university, there are multiple things that you need to manage—coursework, co-curricular activities, assignments, exams, physical and mental health, and social and personal life. All this can take a toll on anyone! To help you stay on top of your game, we are here to share five ways to manage stress at university.

Keep yourself organized

Michelle's hand is holding a black pen and she is writing in her planner. Her weekly tasks and daily tasks are written on the page. Cute stickers and sticky notes are used in the planner.
Michelle uses bright colours and inspirational quotes in her planner for motivation!

Organizing your work wins half the battle. If all your work is in one place, your room is clean, and your workstation is decluttered, you will be able to focus on your priorities. If you don’t have a dedicated study space and need some inspiration, here’s how to create an optimal workspace at home.

When it comes to organizing my life, I find the best way is to get a planner and write down all my commitments and to-do lists. This way, I never miss anything and I’m always ahead of my deadlines. If you have never used a planner before, here’s everything you need to know before buying a planner!

Get ahead with these guides

Check out our essential guides for York students!

Are you looking for resources to help you manage remote learning? York has many resources to help you productively handle online learning and succeed in achieving not only your academic but career goals too! Here are five essential guides for York students that you must have in your toolkit for success. The Lion’s Pride Study & Assignment Guide may also be a helpful resource.

Take regular breaks

As students, we tend to get carried away with readings, assignments, and work and forget to take breaks. Working from home has taught us that it is very important to take a breather. It’s not only good for your physical and mental health but also keeps you energized throughout the day. Need ideas on mindful activities to do during breaks? Check out these five activities that’ll help you be mindful and these top five mindfulness apps to declutter your mind!

If you are looking for online group workouts, don’t forget to check out York’s Athletics & Recreation’s free online MUV classes for all York students.

Explore the city

An illustration of the Scarborough Bluffs, with a steep cliff in the distance and a beach and ocean in the front. Two people are kayaking in the water.
Destress with a walk outdoors. That fresh air is so rejuvenating!

Take this one with a grain of salt. While many countries are still on lockdown, Toronto has returned to some normalcy. If you are in Toronto, there are a ton of places that are now open. Get out and take in the city, its parks, nature hikes, restaurants, and more! Need some recommendations? Here are 10 spots to explore in Toronto.

Use York’s resources

In my experience, a lot of the stress comes from academics—writing essays, managing time, taking effective notes, studying for exams, and the like. York’s Learning Skills Services offers workshops that help you figure these out and be successful. Check out their events calendar to register for the ones you need.

You are always encouraged to visit York’s Student Counselling, Health & Wellbeing (SCHW) for professional support and guidance related to your mental health.

Good2Talk is a free, confidential helpline for Ontario post-secondary students, providing professional counselling and information, and referrals for mental health, addictions, and well-being. It operates 24 hours every day of the year. Call 1-866-925-5454 or text GOOD2TALKON to 686868.

Keepme.SAFE provides international students and students residing outside of Ontario with access to free, real-time, and appointment-based support from anywhere in the world in any language. Get to know keepme.SAFE / My SSP, or visit the MySSP online portal, download the mobile MySSP app or call the toll-free numbers: 1-844-451-9700 (Canada & USA) or 1-416-380-6578 (international).

SCHW Skills Workshops equip you with the skills you need to better manage stressors and to reach your full academic potential. The workshop is open to all current York University students. Topics typically covered include what is stress, symptoms of stress, what burnout can look like at school, combatting unhelpful thinking behaviours, and developing positive coping strategies.

During the Fall term, these workshops are available on:

  • Mondays 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. (weekly starting Oct. 19)
  • Thursdays 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (weekly starting Oct. 22)

To join the next workshop or for more information, you can reach out to

Here are some additional resources to help you manage stress:

York also hosts virtual coffee breaks and social events where students can interact, play games, watch movies, and make new friends! Check out York’s events calendar to find the ones that interest you.

Let us know in the comments below how you are organizing yourself.

To stay up to date on campus life and events, connect with York on social media. You can follow us on Facebook @YorkUStudents, Twitter @YorkUStudents, Instagram @studentlifeyu and with our weekly This Week @ York emails.

Deea Deb
Deea Deb

Deea Deb is a third-year English and Professional Writing major at York University. She loves reading, travelling, being organized, and writing. She hopes to help York students succeed at university.

See other posts by Deea Deb