10 SEL Activities to Help Students Manage Stress


As an educator, you are in a unique position to provide stability and care for your students and their families. One of the best ways to support students in these uncertain times is to teach them effective stress management strategies.

Much like adults, unmanaged stress in college students can lead to anxiety, depression, irritability, poor concentration, aggression, physical illness, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. It can also increase the consumption of tobacco, drugs and / or alcohol.

Here are 10 activities to help your students learn effective stress management.

1. Be a listening ear.

Encourage students to talk to you about their feelings and problems so that you can resolve their concerns. Keep in mind that some students do not have an adult at home that they feel comfortable turning to when needed. In addition, many students have been isolated from their normal environment, peer groups, relatives, etc., in the past year. It will take some time for them to adjust to our “new normal”.

Why it works: We have all been through a lot during the pandemic, and an important way to help students process and overcome their emotions, experiences and issues is to listen. This is an important first step in helping students overcome and manage their stress.

2. Set up meetings in the morning.

Start the school day with a morning meeting to take stock with the students. This may be the time to address issues they may be facing, talk about their feelings and emotions, and practice their social and emotional skills.

Why it works: Morning meetings are an important way to stay in touch with your students and resolve any issues they may be having. They can also strengthen student-teacher relationships, increase social awareness and self-efficacy, and reduce stress.

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