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First to Finish: Self-Care

Find resources to help TCC's first generation college students.

2.2.10 Video: How Stress Can Affect Your LIfe

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Manage your Stress

Stress Management

Stress: it's an issue. When you add college to an already busy life, stress can build up very fast. So, we must control our stress. The number one thing to reduce stress is to organize your life. To organize is to prioritize and manage time. Therefore, you should have an active calendar so you can see what needs to be done and when. College is not a forced institution, such as attending high school, but it adds much stress because it takes a lot of work, which takes a lot of time, and that adds up to more stress. However, we all know the benefits of a college degree, so take a big breath and organize your time.

Time management is stress management.  Avoid procrastination. Use pockets of time. Turn off Facebook, TV, and video games, and get your work done. When you finish your work, give yourself a treat: update Facebook, watch The Walking Dead, play your favorite video game. We all have work that we don't like, but don't avoid it. Get it done so it doesn't haunt you. Get free, people! 

There are other factors that can help control stress:

Sleep. The number one factor besides time management is sleep. We fail to sleep well as Americans. Get good sleep and your life gets better, quickly. You should create a routine for sleep and stick to it. Get the required amount of sleep your body and mind need. Do not eat junk food and try to go to bed. Try not eating after 7pm. Do not watch TV until the last minute and try to go to sleep. Turn off all technology at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Avoid alcohol and drugs, even sleeping pills. Work out until you're exhausted. You'll sleep. Read that textbook until you can barely keep your eyes open. You’ll sleep. All of these factors aid in positive sleep. Be proactive with your sleep patterns.

Health. Being healthy has proven over and over to reduce stress. You can do so many things to get healthy. Work out. Meditate. Take long walks. Sit quietly. Mow the grass. Clean the house. Be active. Eat healthy. It not only affects your physical wellbeing, but your emotional and psychological wellbeing as well. Avoid people, things, and activities that stress you out. Don't let them drag you down, man. 

A positive attitude. Positive activities and reinforcement reduce stress. Stop doing negative activities. It just keeps piling up. Try using the carrot/stick approach here as well. Instead of looking at all that homework as an obstacle to time spent with friends, start thinking of homework as steps on a ladder that will make you a success, and when you finish it you can go hang with friends because you did all your work and you feel good about it.

Finances. Finances really cause stress: especially when there is a lack of it. We all need money, and it can cause so much stress when we can't pay the bills or our kids go without. Like college, organization is the key. There are always strategies to help with finances like decrease spending, create a system, avoid credit cards, and create a plan (a financial goal). List out all of your expenses, and then list your monthly income. See where you can make changes. You might need to decrease spending, or shift priorities. Maybe you can make extra payments on a credit card. Whatever your approach, only you can control your financial peace of mind. So be proactive.

Work and school. Many of us need to work to go to school. Be careful not to take on too much. You have to find balance. It could mean cutting back on work hours or cutting back on school hours. Balance.

Family. Believe it or not, family can cause much stress. Sometimes they are so supportive they drive you nuts. Sometimes they are not supportive at all. Sometimes they always seem to need you to do something for them, etc. Communicate with your family. They are your family after all, and they love you. Communication is key. And that goes with professors too. Let them know when you need help.

You time. Always find time for yourself. Give yourself some time to breathe and enjoy life, even when you're crazy busy. Just stop, look around, take five minutes, do something that makes you happy. Life is short; don't make it all about stress. So laugh and smile. Laughing helps everything. It reduces stress big time. And who doesn't like to laugh?

Get Involved




COPES (Community Outreach Psychiatric Services): 24/7 crisis support, including. mobile support, 918-744-4800

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: text RELIEF to 741741 for free, 24/7 confidential support

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE; chat:


VA Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 to talk with someone

VA Crisis text service: text 838255 to connect with a VA responder; chat:


TCC’s Wellness Services: short-term counseling, 918-595-7569; case-management services, referrals to community services, 918-595-7570

Student Assistance Program: 24/7 free crisis support, up to three in-person, telephonic, or video counseling sessions 1-800-327-2251

TCC’s Veterans Support Services office: support for TCC student-veterans @ Northeast campus; contact Karen Harmon, Director of Military Support Services and Special Programs, 918-595-8080

Mental Health Association of Oklahoma: mental health resources for students and student-veterans;

Family and Children’s Services: counseling services, classes to strengthen relationships, 918-587-9471

Domestic Violence Intervention Services: services and resources for survivors and aggressors of domestic violence, sexual assault, teen-dating violence, and/or stalking, 918-743-5763;

The Coffee Bunker: 6563 E. 41st. Street (between Yale and Sheridan); drop-in support center for veterans transitioning back into civilian life, 918-637-3878

  Metro Campus Library: 918.595.7172 | Northeast Campus Library: 918.595.7501 | Southeast Campus Library: 918.595.7701 | West Campus Library: 918.595.8010

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