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Need to De-Stress in College? You’ll Love These Activities

Woman taking time to relax with a spa day College is stressful. Just ask the data.

Here are some pretty shocking stats:

● Between 2009 and 2015, even though college enrollment only grew by 5%, the number of students seeking counselling grew by 30%.

One study found that 79.3% of college students were suffering from psychological stress or anxiety.

● 9.5% of Canadian university students stated that they have experienced suicidal thoughts.

From that stressful first day of school when you don’t know anyone and have to find your classes, to balancing a part-time job and a pile of assignments, there is always something to worry about.

It’s extremely important to find ways to relax and de-stress in college, for your health’s sake.

1. Build a New Playlist

Sometimes all it takes to kick back and relax is your favourite, comforting songs. Explore the songs that make you feel calm and collected and throw them onto your new go-to playlist. Put it on whenever you feel stressed.

2. Get Outside and Play

If your school is near a beach, lake, major park, or other notable attraction, take a Saturday or Sunday and head out there for a day of relaxation in the great outdoors. If you have a part time job and work on weekends, book a day off to spend outdoors. You deserve some fresh air.

3. Move Your Furniture Around

Take a page from the book of feng shui, the Chinese philosophy based on feeling a sense of harmony through your surroundings, and rearrange your furniture. Changing up your environment will help you get a fresh take on life, and moving things around will take your mind off the other stressful obligations in your life.

4. Find a New Series to Binge Watch

Pick a new Netflix show, get comfortable, grab your favourite snack, and get watching. Even if you don’t have Netflix, CraveTV, Amazon Prime, or even Hulu (in the USA), most of these streaming services offer free trials. Sign up, pick a show, and cancel your membership when it’s done.

5. Indulge in Some Comfort Food

Hey, no one said you have to be healthy all the time. Sometimes it’s nice to take a time out and indulge in your favourite foods, no matter how greasy or deep fried they might be. Sit down with your go-to comfort food and feel the waves of relaxation crashing over you.

6. Get Moving

For many of us, exercise isn’t something we really love doing. However, physical activity releases endorphins that rev up the feel-good transmitters in your brain, and it also helps distract you from whatever is causing you stress because you have to focus on the activity at hand. Even if you just go for a quick walk, you’ll feel a whole lot better.

7. Dig up Some Memories

Take a trip down memory lane and remember some of the good times you’ve had. Dig through your oldest Facebook photos and think about those happy, fun moments. This is sure to put a smile on your face and help you hit the pause button for a little while.

8. Treat Yourself to Some Me Time

Indulge in yourself. Whether that means giving yourself a manicure, making a DIY mud mask, or simply taking a nap, take time out of your day to do something solely for your own happiness. This will help you feel better and take your mind off those stressors for just a little while.

9. Watch or Read Something Funny

Laughing makes you feel good! It doesn’t take a psychology degree to understand this one. The more you laugh, the more your body will start to feel those happy thoughts instead of the worries you’re feeling about the stressful things in your life.

10. Establish a Stress Outlet

Pick up a new hobby, join a club or organization, or start playing a new game that can become your go-to activity. Whenever you feel stressed, this new activity can become your temporary escape from the world.

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Mayo Clinic Staff. (n.d.) Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from

Miller, Adam. (2017). Canadian students feel stress, anxiety, have suicidal thoughts, survey reveals. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from

Saleh, D., Camart, N., & Romo, L. (2017). Predictors of stress in college students. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(19). Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00019.

Winerman, L. (2017). By the numbers: Stress on campus. The American Psychological Association. Retrieved from