How to Manage the Stress of the New Semester


Stressed out? Try these tips! Image from Pexels.

S. Paladugu, Staff Writer

As we enter the new semester, new stress enters our lives along with it. Assignments start to accumulate, and the pressure to finish them in time can leave you stressed out. However, you can break the hold stress has on your life with some efficient stress management techniques. Here are a few to help you make it through the semester stress-free. 

Listen to Music:

This is a simple but effective way to manage stress. It is one of the best techniques since you can carry on with your regular activities while listening to it. There is a scientific reason behind this method, and that is because listening to music lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation:

Also known as PMR, this technique involves tensing and relaxing all the muscles until the body is completely relaxed. However, one drawback of this method is that it requires setting aside quite some time to do it. To do this, first, choose a place where you can’t be interrupted and lay down comfortably. Then, breathe in and tense the first muscle group, for 4 to 10 seconds. Breathe out, and suddenly completely relax those muscles. Relax for 10 to 20 seconds until moving to the next muscle group. When all the muscle groups are relaxed, count backward from 5 to bring your focus back. 

Exercise Regularly:

This is another simple relaxation method. Exercise benefits your overall health and well-being. Studies have shown that regular exercise can improve your mood and even lower symptoms of mild depression or anxiety. It also boosts the production of endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter, in the brain. The exercise doesn’t have to be high-intensity either. Yoga, walking, and cycling are all great low-impact physical activities. 


This is also known as guided imagery. This practice consists of creating a detailed mental image of a peaceful environment. To visualize, first find a private space and make yourself comfortable. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and close your eyes. Imagine yourself in a beautiful location, becoming calm and relaxed. Focus on the sensory attributes of the environment to make it more vivid, and relax within it for 5 to 10 minutes. While relaxed, assure yourself that you can return here whenever and open your eyes again. This is another time-taking method that requires around 15 minutes. 

Deep Breathing:

Probably one of the most common stress management methods apart from listening to music, deep breathing helps your brain calm down and think clearly. There are many different breathing exercises, and belly breathing is one of the most simple. To practice this, start by laying in a comfortable position. Put one hand on your belly just below the ribs and the other on your chest. Take a deep breath in and let your belly push your hand out, careful not to let your chest move. Breathe out through pursed lips and feel your belly go in and use it to push the air out. Do this 3 to 10 times, going slow. 

If these techniques don’t work for you, here are a few more ideas to help keep your stress in check.