Activities For When You Feel Stressed, Overwhelmed, Anxious, or All of the Above

Posted: December 15, 2022 | Author: Clare-Estelle Perkins | Read Time: 4 minutes

SUU student studying in the libraryAlong with college come all sorts of overwhelming emotions and states of mind. This can make studying and staying organized difficult at times. Of course, there is no cure for any mood but there are ways to help coax your mind out of a toxic mentality. Here is a list of activities based on what you may be experiencing that can help you re-adjust your mindset and carry on with your day.

Activities for when you are feeling...


One of the best ways to calm your mind when you are overwhelmed is marinating in nature. Letting the subtlety of the earth calm your nerves can really reset your mind. Whether it’s just a few breaths of fresh air or a weekend camping trip, these moments in nature will surely help. Luckily, Southern Utah University offers many opportunities for outdoor adventure. Take a look at SUU Outdoors to sign up for your next nature retreat.


The easy answer for this one is to get more sleep each night. If you are repeatedly getting restless sleep, try to include regular exercise in your weekly routines. The next solution is to take a nap. Everyone knows that those three-hour naps make you more tired. The trick is a 20-minute nap or a 90-minute nap. 20 minutes qualifies as a power nap and 90 minutes is a nice reset button nap.


Going on a walk helps you wind down those high emotions as well as provide you with physical activity. Research has shown that walking releases brain chemicals called endorphins that stimulate relaxation and improve our mood. You don’t have to break a sweat, even a stroll at a comfortable pace promotes relaxation.


Everyone feels generally confused from time to time. Whether it be about a homework assignment or you woke up from a nap and are a bit disoriented. A great way to re-ground yourself from that lost feeling is to organize your space. Organizing your room will help your mind relax. Clutter and mess have been linked to negative emotions like confusion, tension, and irritability, while an organized home tends to produce more positive emotions like calmness and a sense of well-being.


A good way to help mediate anxiety is through meditation. Setting aside time for your mind with the sole purpose of calming it will break anxious patterns. If you start to experience relentless anxiety please utilize the Mental Health Resources offered by SUU.


It is easy to get swept away by feelings of failure. It is important to remember that whatever you feel you’ve failed at doesn’t have to consume your mind. A great way to mediate feelings of failure is to serve others. Helping others promotes a rush of endorphins in the brain brought about by positive physiological changes. It is something you can easily be successful at.


There could be many causes for a feeling of emptiness. A really great way to help reduce an empty feeling is to take a break from social media. A break from exposure to social comparison and effortless entertainment will encourage your mind to fill with more meaningful ideas.

Off Track

Sometimes it is hard to place how it is you are feeling, but you cannot quite keep yourself on target. Whether with schoolwork or socially, everyone has felt off track from time to time. Creating a schedule will help organize your mind and your day. Sometimes when it is hard to keep your mind on track, the best way to get it back on is to keep your motions on track as much as possible through a detailed schedule.


Write! Writing it out is a great way to slow down your racing thoughts. It’s a great way to understand what it is you are thinking about or what you are unsure of by taking a step back to analyze.

Burnt out

When you feel burnt out, it is good to participate in any calming activity. One such helpful activity is reading. A great way to avoid burnout is to nurture yourself. Reading is a simple activity, keeping the mind calm while also enriching it.


Next time you feel your mindset slipping into unhealthy tendencies, try to interrupt it with one of these activities as soon as you can.

Any students feeling these emotions an excessive amount are encouraged to reach out and receive help. If you or a friend are struggling, talk to someone at Counseling and Psychological Services or use SUU's Mental Health Resources.

Tags: Student Life CAPS

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