Dr. Dayna Watson counseling a group of young women

April is Stress Awareness Month, a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies, and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society.

In honor of National Stress Awareness Month, the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Dayna Watson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the UAB Counseling Program, specializing in mental health counseling in children, adolescents, and young adults, compiled a list of tips to help you manage your stress levels.

Move your body

Whether it is stretching, a brief walk between classes/meetings, or an intensive regular exercise routine, moving your body can go a long way to helping you manage your stress!


Practice healthy sleep habits

It can be tempting to stay up later and later when you have a long to-do list, but practicing good sleep hygiene can go a long way in helping you manage your stress. Go to bed at the same time every day (preferably before midnight), avoid caffeine in the later afternoon/evening, and turn off your electronics well before bedtime to improve your sleep quality.


Get organized

whether you use an app that tracks your tasks with due dates or a good paper planner system, getting your responsibilities organized outside of your head can help you form a more realistic plan of attack!


Learn to say NO - when you can

Sure, you don't have the option to say NO to completing an assignment, but consider saying NO to some opportunities when you are already feeling strapped for time and energy. While this new club or organization is a great cause, it may not be the best time to take on more responsibilities.


Prioritize some time for fun and seeing friends or family

Having some downtime to relax, do an activity you enjoy, and connect with a friend or loved one will help recharge your batteries and reduce your stress. In the long run, you will get more accomplished if you allow yourself to have fun along the way.


The UAB Community Counseling Clinic offers affordable counseling services to the residents of Jefferson County through its Community Counseling Clinic. To schedule an appointment, please call 205-996-2414.