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Student Wellness

Stress & anxiety

Stress or anxiety?

Knowing the difference between stress and anxiety can be confusing.  Minor feelings of stress and anxiousness can be good, like worrying about school, relationships, work, and family. This stress or anxiety can give you the creative juices for success. 

Anxiety involves a constant feeling of nervousness, fear, or dread. Sometimes these feelings can be so intense that they seem beyond our control. This kind of stress can be harmful, impacting your health and wellness.

It can be difficult to access support for stress or anxiety due to feelings of doubt, uncertainty, or shame.  Thinking anxiety will pass or willingness to endure the anxiety can have impacts on your body, relationships, and life successes. It is essential to recognize the signs or symptoms when life gets too much.


88% of university students
felt overwhelmed by everything they had to do at least once in the last year.

Feelings of overwhelming anxiety
were experienced by 69% of university students at least once in the last year.

60% of university students
found their academics very difficult to handle at least once in the last year.


Members of minority groups may experience more stress. When minority groups experience inequity or discrimination, it impacts their health and well-being.

Learn more about minority stress.


What can I do when I am feeling stressed?


Check in with your schedule

It is important we balance our schedule with homework, self-care, and social commitments. Instead of spending lot of time studying or leaving things to the last minute, create a schedule that includes your commitments and things you love to do. 


Check in with your body

Our bodies respond to stress differently, impacting our ability to eat, breathe and sleep. Sometimes it is important to give our bodies the essential nutrients we need. Check in to see if you need to put the books away, eat a snack, stretch, and get a good night’s sleep.


Check in with your feelings

Stress can sway our moods, attitudes, and emotions, making it hard to cope. Finding ways to unwind can be a key step in managing stress. Relaxation and mindfulness exercises like deep breathing, reading a book, exercising, and listening to music can help regulate those emotions.


Check in with your community

Sometimes studying extended periods of time or being away from friends, family or community can feel isolating and lonely. Being able to connect with others can help gain insight and share experiences. Connect with someone, whether it be a friend, family or UFV group or club.

When to reach out for help

Sign you may be experiencing harmful anxiety

Mental Health

  • Repetitive or Racing Thoughts
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Negative self-talk; low self-esteem
  • Thoughts of Dying,    

Emotional Health

  • Nervousness, fear or dread
  • Feeling out of control
  • Sadness; unhappy; tense
  • Fearing the worst 

Physical Health

  • Difficulty Breathing; heart palpitations or racing
  • Fatigue; reduced Sleep
  • Irregular eating habits
  • Body aches; trembling; sweating   

Social or Community Health

  • Fear of leaving the house
  • Avoidance; not attending classes
  • Lack of enjoyment in social environment
  • Overuse of alcohol or drugs

If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek help. Below you'll find a list of resources and supports available to you as a UFV student.

UFV resources

Community resources


Pop into the Wellness Centre to speak to someone if you are stressed. My top tip for managing stress is to set aside some time for yourself to relax or do something that you enjoy. The Wellness Centre offers an inclusive and calm environment for you to destress and engage with peers. 

— Arshdeep W, BSc student (3rd year)


Please note that this website does not constitute, and should not be interpreted as, medical advice, diagnosis, or opinion. This website is for informational purposes only and is not guaranteed to be accurate, complete, reliable, or error-free. This website is not intended as a tool for self-diagnosis, is not a recommendation of a specific treatment plan or healthcare provider, and is not a substitute for proper medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek a consultation with a qualified medical or health professional.