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What is stress

Stress is how the brain and the body responds to any type of demand or challenge. Stress can be a response to both a negative or a positive event and is based on how you interpret the situation. Stress can affect your health so it is important to pay attention to how you deal with your stressors so you know when to seek help.

What symptoms may be present

  • Increased worry.
  • Exhaustion or trouble sleeping.
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety or irritability.
  • Stomach or digestive problems.
  • Disinterest in activities.
  • Challenges with focus and attention.
  • Changes in sex drive.
  • Muscle tension or jaw clenching.


In a study conducted by Harvard Medical School in 2018, researchers found that 3 out of 4 students reported having experienced at least one stressful event in the last year. More than 20 percent of the respondents, reported experiencing six or more stressful events in the last year. 

From May 2020 to June 2020, TimelyMD conducted a nationwide survey of undergraduate students regarding their mental health experiences during COVID. Seventy Seven percent of students reported the pandemic increasing stress, emotional distress and anxiety for them. Nearly 72% of students plan to seek out support from counseling centers and medical professionals to address stress and anxiety. 

Things you can do to help yourself

  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Exercise
  • Eat nutritious meals.
  • Spend time with supportive family and friends.
  • Yoga
  • Mediation
  • Make time for leisure activities.
  • Develop a positive self-talk habit.
  • Practice gratitude.


Apps that help

  • Finch: Self care pet app that helps you feel prepared and positive, one day at a time. 
  • My Possible Self: Interactive tools and coping strategies for anxiety, sleep, stress, depression and wellbeing.  

Other resources

Self-Care Strategies for Overall Stress Reduction

Tips for Managing Stress

How Stress Affects Your Body and Mind