Cope with stress

It can be stressful fitting study in to the rest of your life, particularly when facing assessments or exams. There are lots of different things you can do to manage stress.

Recognising stress in ourselves helps us manage it. Use the Symptoms and Sources of Stress Questionnaire below to check your stress. It’s a good idea to find something to do each day that relaxes you. Use the Reducing Stress Activity Sheet below to get started.

Look after yourself by ensuring you get enough sleep and eat wellSlowing your breathing down helps you feel more calm in a stressful situation. Exercise also plays a part in helping to relieve stress and improve your mood.

Developing healthy study habits to manage stress will help keep you happy and healthy. Finding the balance that keeps your mind and body functioning at its best will create a positive energy.

Remember, you can always seek help from your TAFE counsellor.

A very stressed man behind a laptop. From the edges of the laptop stick out a large number of coloured post-it notes.

Things to do

Find your balance

Your life is made up of many parts – work out how they best fit together.


  • allocating time for the ‘big rocks’ (important things) before fitting in the ‘small rocks’
  • making a pro and con list
  • don’t take on too many units of study
  • working to live, not living to work!

Take a mind break

Concentrating for long periods of time creates mental tension and fatigue.

Try these techniques to refresh and energise your mind:

  • give your brain a change of pace
  • take your mind to another place
  • find a meditation technique that suits you
  • live in the moment!

Rest your body

Studying often means you are sitting still for long periods – this is tiring.

Shake it up a bit to relieve the physical tension by:

  • listening to your body
  • taking a five minute break every hour
  • simply exercising at your desk
  • take it easy – don’t overstretch!

Activity sheets

  • Symptoms and Sources of Stress questionnaire [DOCX] | [PDF]
  • Quick relaxation techniques (Black Dog Institute) [PDF]

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