Two young woman with downs syndrome and dark hair doing yoga in studio

8 Healthy Stress Management Tips for Students

Stress and anxiety are at an all-time high for students. So to combat that, we have eight tips to help you manage your stress in a healthy way.

Whether you’re new to college or already a junior or senior in the thick of your studies, you may be on the hunt for some stress management tips. Some people think college stress is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to be stressed out to get your work done, just like you don’t need to be stressed to be successful in life. In fact, remaining calm and finding balance are some of the best ways to ensure you create a sustainable workflow. 

While stress management and self-care are all individual acts and processes, there are a few healthy stress management strategies you can try out to see if they stick. Whether you favor organization techniques, calming exercises, or processing your thoughts, you can find stress relief. If you’re on the journey of how to de-stress as a college student, here are a few strategies that may click for you.

1. Do deep breathing exercises

Sometimes it really is as simple as breathing to ease your stress. It might seem like a cliché, but you could be surprised at how good you feel after taking a smooth, deep breath in and out. This is perfect for reminding you to slow down and giving your mind a moment to rest. If you want to take it a bit further, you can even do some breathing exercises, like square breathing or counting your breaths. Trying this before bed is a great way to get started and relax you for a good night’s sleep.

Related: 5 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed by College

2. Try out yoga

If you’re loving the deep breathing, yoga might just be a great practice to add to your repertoire. There are so many ways to practice yoga—whether you’re looking to sweat it out or just sit in a restorative child’s pose for 10 minutes straight. Listening to your body and giving it what it needs can sometimes be the well-needed break you’re craving, leading you to an overall calmer and more relaxed state.

3. Keep a consistent schedule

Our brains don’t always want to do the work of forming and keeping track of ever-changing daily events. Even though you may not be able to control things like class times and due dates, keeping a consistent schedule throughout your days when you can is a great way to give your brain a bit less to stress over. Plus, consistent schedules are great for your sleep hygiene as well as your overall organization. Who needs to pull all-nighters and rush to club meetings when your body works like clockwork?

Related: How to Get Adjusted to a New Schedule

4. Get enough sleep

Speaking of sleep hygiene, you probably saw this one coming. While staying up late to study—or hang out with friends—might seem like the best decision in the moment, the toll it takes on your body and mind usually isn’t worth it. When you’re well rested, you have more energy and tend to feel better throughout the day. If you’re looking to get more sleep, try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, or even using calming techniques like meditating before bed.

5. Try meditation

Meditation is a great tool for reducing stress and practicing mindful self-compassion, even in your busy college life. Meditation comes in many different forms, whether you meditate before bed to calm down or simply take five minutes at the start of your day to center yourself. Meditation doesn’t demand that you clear your mind completely or sit for hours—it’s simply a way to take some time for yourself.

6. Avoid substance use

Even though college can be stressful, it’s important to avoid any kind of unhealthy stress relief such as drinking or drug use. Did you know that of college students ages 18–22, more than 30% participate in binge drinking to relieve pressure and blow off steam? Don’t become a statistic, and don’t jeopardize your future! Make a point to avoid substance use, especially when you’re most stressed. Focusing on healthy stress management methods not only helps you through college but builds beneficial habits you can carry into your career and other areas of life.

Related: The Do’s and Don’ts of College Partying

7. Make lists

Another way students can manage stress in their daily routines is to make to-do lists. Just like a steady schedule, making lists is a great way to give your brain a bit less to do. By turning to your lists, your mind can find a sense of steadiness and completion in your tasks for the day, and you’ll be much less likely to forget things.

8. Start journaling

Another great stress reliever is journaling, no matter how you do it. Journaling can be a great way to process your feelings, explore your desires, and understand yourself on a deeper level. You can go on for pages and pages if you want to, or you can also write just a sentence or a paragraph. Either way, it can offer a bit of release.

Related: How to Manage Your Stress for Better Health as a Student

Being stressed in college isn’t fun, but luckily there are many ways to reduce and manage your stress. You can try one of these tips or mix and match them to find out what works best for you. No matter what you do to relieve stress, it’s important to consistently care for yourself throughout your college experience. Balance is the best way to get things done.

For more stress management and general college life advice, check out our Student Life section.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Ginger Abbot

Ginger Abbot is an education, learning and student life writer, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Read more of her work for college students on her Classrooms author page.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress


High School Class of 2019

My favorite feature of CollegeXpress is the scholarship search. As someone going out of state for college, I needed all the financial help I could get, and CollegeXpress helped me easily find scholarships I could apply for to help fund my education.



High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress gave me options of schools with my major and from there I was able to pick what was most important to me in a school. Everything was so organized that I could see all the information I needed.

Carlie Cadet

Carlie Cadet

High School Class of 2019

CollegeXpress has helped me learn about an abundance of scholarships available to me and my situation. I was able to do research for colleges in my best interest with your website. I've had multiple colleges email me and offer me multiple scholarships and things of that nature because of this website! Thank you so much for uploading scholarships I didn’t even know existed, even if my life took a huge turn and I wasn’t able to go to college straight out of high school. CollegeXpress helped me a lot in high school to be even more motivated to get into my dream college (which I did, by the way). I'm looking forward to using the materials CollegeXpress has kindly provided me for free to look for scholarships to help pay for college.

Dani York

Dani York

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped in my journey by comparing multiple colleges for my final decision. While looking at different colleges, I was able to compare the tuition expenses and that landed me with the college that I’m currently enrolled in, Western Kentucky University. Thank you!

Kelly Nogueiro

Kelly Nogueiro


For me, CollegeXpress has given me a valuable tool to use with my students to explore colleges easily beyond objective data. It helps me find colleges for students that fit their needs and wants that aren’t quite so black and white. It's a wealth of knowledge, and the Type-A side of me loves all the lists and the fact that I know they're coming from folks who know what they're talking about. I share it with colleagues and students alike, and it's always well received.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Asbury University

Wilmore, KY

Dean College

Franklin, MA