You have three papers due this week, a test on Wednesday, a quiz next Monday, and your parents want you to get a job. Can you say STRESSED!? With the overload of work you’ve been getting, it may seem like there are just not enough hours in the day for you to conquer everything. But in all reality, you may have more control than you think. It’s all about learning to manage your stress.

So how do you go about doing this? I smash my stress by following these four easy tips:

Learn to say NO- Being a college student while also managing a social life is no easy feat. So in times when I feel overwhelmed, I remember it’s okay to say no to friends. In the end I know my friends will understand that I have work that needs to get done. Then, when I have finished everything I feel stress free and can go out and have a fun time.

Avoid people who stress you out- At moments when everything seems to be going wrong, the last thing I want is to be surrounded with stressful situations. I try to remove myself from those adding to my hectic schedule rather than relieving it. It’s times like this where I find it more vital than ever to take a few hours to myself, go to the library or a secluded area and focus on what’s really important.

Make a to-do list- Ever feel like you have so much to do that some things just seem to slip right through your fingers? Then when you finally remember, you’re totally stressed about not completing whatever it was you had to get done? Well, I know I have and it is not something I ever want to experience again. So to make sure I don’t, I put pen to paper and write a to-do list! Now I always know what I have to do and no longer feel stressed about whether or not I’m forgetting something.

Focus on the positive- Whenever I’m trying to study or do anything productive I’ve found that positive thoughts are key. Telling yourself “you can’t do this” or “you’ll never finish” won’t help get anything done. It’s important to remind yourself that you can get through anything, even if it may seem impossible. Each day repeat in your mind “I can do this.”

Just remember that whenever you find yourself overwhelmed, take a minute and go over these few easy tips. You’ll soon find that you feel less stressed and more capable to take on what lies ahead!

Written by Carly Odynsky, Wellness Education Volunteer