Not all stress is bad, but if you are left feeling worn out at the end of the day, even to the point where you are anxious and frustrated and have trouble sleeping and concentrating, you are most likely stressed. For most students, stress is at its worst during midterm and final exams.

One way George Mason University counters stress during this time is by hosting De-Stress Fest, which provides free food and prizes right before final exams.

However, stress can creep up at any time, leaving many feeling overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to help you deal with stress throughout the school year.

  1. Relax. Lighten up and don’t stress the little things. It’s not the end of the world if you fail your first test (but if it becomes a repeated problem, then you might have something to worry about). Try practicing some breathing techniques or writing in a journal to help you feel more at ease.
  2. Identify the source of your stress. Taking too many credits? Annoying roommate? Get rid of or work through the problem. After you weed it out, you’ll feel a huge weight being lifted off your shoulders.
  3. Exercise! Being fit is good for both body and mind. When you work out, your body releases endorphins that produce pain and stress relieving properties similar to morphine. From state-of-the-art gyms to daily aerobics classes, Mason has a wide variety of fitness choices for everyone to explore.
  4. Get enough sleep. Pulling an all-nighter might seem like a good idea at the time, but the next day it will come back to haunt you. Sleep is your body’s way of restoring energy and “re-booting” your brain for the next day. Without it, you risk side effects like depression, slower reaction times and even weight change.
  5. Find something you enjoy doing and stick with it. Whether it’s weekly Wii tournaments with your roommate or watching Jersey Shore with your best friend, remember to make time for things that are important for you.

Still not enough? Check out Mason’s Counseling and Psychological Services. They provide programs to help you cope with stress and anxiety in your everyday life and even offer one-on-one counseling sessions designed to resolve issues that can cause emotional distress.