• Stress Management Consultation by appointment only


  • Mental Health and Stress Management Coordinator

    Olivia Mays


    (301) 314-8123

  • Health Promotion and Wellness Services

    (301) 314-8128

Stress Management & Self Care

Stress is a part of life. Small amounts of stress can actually serve as a helpful motivator for accomplishing goals. It's not uncommon, though, for stress to become overwhelming, creating unpleasant symptoms and sometimes impacting our daily life. In fact, according to the National College Health Assessment, stress is consistently ranked the number one impediment of academic success at the University of Maryland.

Attending programs, services or events aimed at reducing stress or meeting with a health educator can be a helpful step for many as they work to better understand their individual sources of stress, their own body’s stress response, and ways to manage stress.

Important Note:

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency or urgent concern during regular business hours, please contact Behavioral Health Services at the University Health Center or the Counseling Center.For mental health assistance after-hours, please call the Counseling Center crisis support line at (301) 314-7651.

A $25 no show fee is applied when appointments are not canceled in a timely manner; at least 24 hours before the appointment time. This fee may also apply for late arrivals and missed appointments. To cancel an appointment please call the appointment line (301) 314-8184.

Community Services

Adult Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. This 8-hour training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. Learn more about Mental Health First Aid here: mentalhealthfirstaid.org or visit go.umd.edu/4MHFA to sign up! 


Workshops and Presentations

Health Promotion and Wellness Services offers a variety of workshops, presentations, and activities. For more information on how to request a presentation, visit our workshops and presentations page, or check out our Wellness Tips & Toolkit to learn more about how you can bring wellness into your space. 


Wags For Wellness, Therapy Dog Visits

Wags for Wellness is the University of Maryland’s signature pet therapy program, offering drop-in visits several times a month.

Learn more

Individual Services

Personal Wellness Services

Individual consultations, with a health educator, are available to address issues related to stress and learn more about coping strategies to better manage everyday stress. Appointments focus on topics such as time management, sleep, meditation, or light therapy. 

Check out our Personal Wellness Sessions to learn more, or call 301-314-8184 to schedule an appointment with a health educator.

A $25 no show fee is applied when appointments are not canceled in a timely manner; at least 24 hours before the appointment time. This fee may also apply for late arrivals and missed appointments. To cancel an appointment please call the appointment line (301) 314-8184.


Wellness tips for Navigating College

Seek out healthy support

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A healthy support system is typically made up of trusted individuals who collectively support your emotional well being. For some, their support system may include family and friends while for others, it may include faith leaders and healthcare providers. There is no “perfect” support system but having a group of people who value and respect you can be helpful while navigating these extraordinary times. 

Nourish and recharge yourself daily

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Listen to your body and discover what wellness practices make you feel better and suit your lifestyle and level of mobility and fitness. Set aside time to fuel your body with food. Move. Dance. Run. Grab a snack when you need it and nap when it helps you recharge.

Keep in mind, some of the strategies you use to nourish and recharge may change over time. That is OK. Give yourself time and permission to embrace the changes and explore new strategies

Take a break

Remember to take some time away from your work. Research shows that taking an intentional break can improve your physical and emotional health, increase productivity, boost creativity, and so much more. 

Incorporating breaks into your daily routine can be tricky. Start by intentionally taking a break for lunch. This will give your brain a chance to rest and regain its focus and energy while you fuel your body with the food you enjoy.

Practice deep breathing

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Deep breathing is considered one of the most effective ways to begin relieving stress immediately - and sometimes in as little as 30 seconds or less. 

For those ready to take deep breathing even further, meditation is a great next step. Meditation can be beneficial in reducing stress, increasing focus, and enhancing creativity. For many, meditation might be even more beneficial during these stressful and uncertain times. It has the ability to help us regulate our own emotions and be present in the current moment. Visit health.umd.edu/meditation for more information on the Health Center’s FREE online group meditation.

Get some rest

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Sleep is crucial to our wellbeing. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it is recommended that young adults get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Adequate sleep can reduce feelings of stress, improve your immune system, and enhance your brain function. When you sleep, your muscles have a chance to relax and energy can be restored throughout the body. 

Here are a few helpful tips on how to improve your quality of sleep from the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. It’s important for your body to have a regular sleeping schedule.
  • Set a relaxing bedtime routine, such as listening to calming music, reading a book, or taking a warm bath.
  • Make sure your bedroom is cool. Your body temperature naturally decreases to initiate sleep. A bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit helps promote sleep.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet. Turn off noisy distractions such as a TV. Silence unwanted noise with earplugs or use “white noise,” such as from a fan, sound machine, or an app.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark. Use blackout shade to block out unwanted light and dim the lights on your digital clock.
  • Create a comfortable and soft sleep environment.
  • Finish eating meals 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • Incorporate movement into your day. Low-impact fitness programs, like walking, swimming, or yoga can be helpful for managing pain and stiffness and improving sleep.
  • Try to limit how many caffeinated products you consume in the afternoon.
  • Alcohol and nicotine in your body can disrupt sleep and can cause nighttime waking. For optimal sleep, skip them close to bedtime or altogether.

* If you are concerned about your sleep patterns or you see that your sleep problems are worsening, please contact your healthcare provider.


Express yourself

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Self-expression looks different for everyone and is beneficial for all. Whether it's journaling, photography, spoken word, painting, or something in between, conveying your emotions is good for the mind, body, and soul. In fact, expressive writing is not only a way to let creativity flow, it's a route to healing - emotionally, physically, and psychologically.


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Do something every day that makes you laugh. Laughter activates the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good hormones. This promotes an overall sense of well-being. Read a funny meme. Watch a comedy movie. Reflect on some of your favorite laugh-out-loud moments. 

Treat yourself

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Take time away from your responsibilities when you need it. Video chat with a friend. Go for a run. Read a book. Take a bath. Watch a movie with friends. Stay in your pajamas all day. Honor what feels most authentic to you. This is not selfish. It is rejuvenating and necessary.

Stay connected

Connect with friends and loved ones

You may find yourself missing your friends and loved ones, especially if you are going to school out of state or country. Check-in with friends and loved ones often. Make technology your friend and try platforms like FaceTime, Duo, WhatsApp, Google Hangout, and so many more to nurture those important relationships. Some people might even want to send handwritten notes to those who feel far away. There are many ways for you to still feel connected to your friends and loved ones, even if they are not nearby.


Connect with animals

Yep! You heard it here first. You can even connect with animals. Petting a dog or a cat has been proven to reduce stress levels and increase comfort. 


Connect with the outdoors

Nature has many restorative properties - from reducing stress to facilitating physical activity, there is something for us all.  In fact, studies show that as little as 10 minutes sitting or walking in nature can have a profound impact on your mental health. Even if you can’t get outside, there are ways to stay connected to the natural world - live-streams, documentaries, artificial plants, social media, and more. 


Connect with yourself

We encourage you to connect inwardly. Your relationship with yourself is important and vital to how you connect to the world. Take a moment to yourself. Ask your body what it needs at this time. We recognize for some this might prove to be a lot. You may realize you need more support and, at times like these, connecting with people you trust is essential. You can can also connect with the Counseling Center (301.314.7651) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1.800.273.8255). We are here for one another during this time.