Tips with Trish: Stress management

By Tricia Borelli (TheLorian)

Dear Trish,

I have been struggling lately with feeling unmotivated and unfocused on school work. I don’t know how everyone else is handling the constant changes in how classes are delivered because of quarantine and positive COVID-19 cases, but it is causing me a lot of stress. I’m worried that I will not be able to get all of my school work done and stay caught up on everything. I am exhausted all the time and feel like I have zero free-time because it takes so long to get my work done. Any advice that could help?


No Motivation

Trish (with a lot of help from Taylor Tittle) says,

Firstly, I want to start by saying that you are not alone! This has been a constant struggle for students since the start of the pandemic. Second, lets cover the different types of stress that students could be experiencing. The first type is quantity stress. Quantity stress is those feelings of being overwhelmed. Did all your teachers assign tests or papers in the same week? Have you felt you were expected to do too much? Did you look at your desk and see more projects than you could clear off? These are all questions that run through our minds when we have too many stressors on your mind. The second type of stress is quality stress. Quality stress is when you feel like you are being expected to work beyond your ability or experience. This could be seen when you are studying a topic that is beyond what you were prepared for or your ability to learn it. This type of stress is often seen when we are faced with a family need that is beyond our knowledge about how to handle the situation.

There are several different ways to cope with stress or learn how to turn stress into productivity! Here are 10 easy steps to turn that stress into productive time management:

  1. Breathing: a simple breathing technique that focuses on inhaling deeply all the positive air around you and exhaling all the negative emotions.
  2. Physically relax: choose an activity that you know helps your body to relax! This could be progressive muscle relaxation that is a pattern of tensing individual muscles for a few seconds and then relaxing them.
  3. Be Assertive: make yourself a priority! Make sure to schedule time into your day to do something that you enjoy.
  4. Manage noise: get rid of the noise around you, turn off the electronics and go outside for a short break.
  5. Waiting: take advantage of those moments where you might be put on hold and get a small chore done, such as organizing that junk drawer that everyone has.
  6. Change your perspective: surround yourself with images of family, friends, pets and favorite places.
  7. Eat: choose nutritious foods and take the time to find pleasure in what you’re eating. Use meal times as a break to get away from work for a little bit. Avoid unhealthy foods but be sure to still choose food you enjoy.
  8. Get active: try to go for a walk daily and get up and move around in your work environment. Be sure to continue your normal exercise routines as well!
  9. Achieve inner peace: make time to pray or meditate. There are some really amazing apps that can guide you through meditation (Calm and Headspace, just to name a few).
  10. Play: be sure to interact with others and incorporate enjoyable activities into everyday life!

Always remember that if the stress is still too much to handle, the Counseling Center is always available to help!

Signed, Trish

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Written By :

Tricia Borelli is the Director of Counseling Services at Loras College. In Tips with Trish, she will answer student questions concerning anything that relates to keeping it together while doing this crazy thing called college. Send questions or comments to Ms. Borelli, Loras Box 100, or to the e-mail address All names of those sending questions will be kept confidential.

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