Stress is a normal part of life. It's the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts.
Stress isn't a positive or negative experience, it can be both! It's a bodily response to a real or perceived stimulus that initiates our "flight, fight or freeze" responses (AHS Community Helpers Program, 2019).
Negative forms of stress can affect our thoughts, feelings, and bodies negatively. This type of stress is considered unmanageable and persistent.
Positive forms of stress can motivate us to focus on tasks, take action, or problem solve. This type of stress is considered manageable and at times, helpful.
Reframe the stress.
Think "My body and brain are getting me ready to face this challenge. I am getting ready for an important task."
Identify the source of your stress response.
Ask yourself why you believe you’re feeling stressed.
Make a plan.
Use past experiences or brainstorm new ways to approach a difficult situation. Discuss the situation with friends and family and ask for help, if needed. You can also visit the Wellness Centre to talk to a Wellness Peer Educator.
Apply your solutions to the problem.
If academics is the source of your stress, access support and resources around learning strategies. You can also find tips on how to manage your time. If roommate conflict is causing stress and you live in residence, take steps to address the conflict productively.
Evaluate the success of your solutions.
If you’ve attempted to resolve your problem and it doesn’t work, return to step 3 and consider alternative solutions (Here to Help, 2016).
Get more restful sleep by meditating with relaxing music.
Meditate and clear your mind for 10 minutes daily.
Set a timer for yourself and practice deep-breathing.
Learn to relax, cope with anxiety, and develop helpful ways of thinking through this app.
If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and having trouble coping, learn how to cope with stress effectively.
Determine the best way to balance for you. Tips for balance at school, work, and at home.
Try these 12 ways to reduce your stress!
Self-care is any activity that individuals deliberately engage in to take care of their mental, emotional, and physical health. It can be a simple few habits that support well-being and basic functioning.
It's important to make yourself a priority to replenish your personal resources, whatever those might be. Self-care prevents burnout, counteracts negativity attributed to stress, supports the immune system, and increases mental focus.
Self-care is a personal matter. Everyone’s approach will be different. What may work for one person may not work for another (Carello, J., Butler, L. D., & Critelli, F. M., 2019).
Physical - Tending to the needs of the physical body in order to achieve of support optimal function and to avoid breakdowns or deterioration within systems (Sleep, Exercise, Nutrition, Health)
Psychological - Practices concerning the mind and experience of self, Pursuing and satisfying intellectual needs and purposeful and reflective efforts (music, visual arts, fiction, poetry, cinema, humor, crafts, etc.).
Emotional - Practices that are engaged in to safeguard against or address negative emotional experiences, or create and enhance positive emotional experiences and well-being (meditate, journal, music, therapy, etc.).
Spiritual - One’s understanding of spirituality and how they view themselves in the context of the broader world (faith, religion, mediation, nature, etc.).
Relational - Efforts one makes to maintain and enhance interpersonal connections (spending time with family, staying connected with faraway friends, etc.)
Professional - Manage or prevent work-related stress and stressors, reduce the risk or mitigate the effects of burnout and other workplace hazards, and increase work performance and satisfaction (taking breaks, asking for a raise, etc.).
This handout can help you learn to slow down, manage your emotions, and live in the present moment.
Take time and discover what helps you to feel good and recharge.
Counselling Services Hours
Monday-Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Closed Saturday, Sunday,
and all Statutory Holidays
Red Deer Polytechnic recognizes that our campus is situated on Treaty 7 land, the traditional territory of the Blackfoot, Tsuu T’ina and Stoney Nakoda peoples, and that the central Alberta region we serve falls under Treaty 6, traditional Métis, Cree and Saulteaux territory. We honour the First Peoples who have lived here since time immemorial, and we give thanks for the land where RDP sits. This is where we will strive to honour and transform our relationships with one another.