Counselling corner – stress management tips for students

Counselling Corner articles feature tips from George Brown College counsellors. In this post we hear from Counsellor Aarti Dhanda. 

Assignments. Relationships. Money. Work. Health. Sleep? 

Wanting to do well and being driven by our passions can be positive. Still, many students share that they feel overwhelmed and struggle to cope with everything on their plate. And we know it’s usually more than school alone that students need to manage. So, what’s the solution? 

You’ve probably heard it before, but self-care is key. Below is a quick and effective way students can incorporate this into their busy lives: 

The A-E-I-O-U-Y Method (adapted from Brene Brown’s research

Reflect on the questions below and focus on 1 or 2 that feel manageable. 

A—Abstain: What unhelpful habit can I stay away from or do less of today that doesn’t help me?  Some examples include binge watching Netflix, social media, or eating junk food. 

E—Exercise: Can I take 15 minutes to walk, stretch, shoot hoops or dance? Fifteen minutes of exercise a day is proven to reduce our stress. 

I—I as in me: What is one small positive thing I can do for myself today? It can be an activity you enjoy, such as a hot shower or listening to your favourite song. 

O—Others: What is one small thing that I can do for others today? A small act of kindness towards others like opening a door. Simply saying ‘hello’ and smiling are shown by research to decrease stress and improve health for both people. 

U—Unexpressed feelings: Are there any feelings, such as worry, sadness or irritation that are stressing me out? Talking to someone, journalling or finding other healthy ways to share these feelings can help you feel supported and improve your mood. You are always welcome to talk to a George Brown counsellor

Y—Yeah! What went well today? Practicing gratitude for 1-3 specific things has a significant impact on reducing stress and increasing happiness. If you can only try one, this is a good place to start. For some ideas on how to do this, try this sample gratitude journal

Connect with a George Brown counsellor 

You can find Counselling Services at all three campuses. The support is non-judgmental and there is no issue too big or too small.

If you’d prefer to use an app to chat with a George Brown counsellor, try the Bean Bag Chat app.