If you need someone to talk to right now, text the Crisis Text Line (Text HOME to 741741), call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255), or call the Trevor Project LGBTQ Lifeline (1-866-488-7386) for 24/7 support.

What is Stress?

Gemma Correll cartoon of a girl stressed out

Do you feel stressed out? You are not the only one. SF State students report that the number one thing that gets in the way of focusing on school work is stress. Stress is the body’s response to a demand. Stress can be caused by a variety of things including school, work, conflicts with roommates, financial distress, and changes in sleeping habits. Stress effects everyone differently. It can cause sickness, headaches, depression, sleeplessness, etc. If you think you are stressed, there are many ways to keep it under control.

What can you do to de-stress?

You can make a personalized relaxation or self-care plan.

How can you make a personalized relaxation or self-care plan?

  1. Identify what stresses you out. Take a deep breath to clear your mind. Reflect on the things that stress you out.
  2. Brainstorm what may help you overcome these stressors or what helped you in the past.
  3. Choose a few practical solutions to try out for the next time you get stressed out.
  4. Try out some of the options below!

Tools to reduce stress:

  • Practice Self-Care
    • Find self-care practices that work best for you to reduce your stress and support your personal growth. Here are some ideas to get you started!
  • Stay Nourished
    • When you are well nourished, stress may not have a great impact on your health. Make sure to eat regularly and have healthy snacks on hand. Remember to eat your veggies and high-fiber foods.
  • Get Your Body Moving - try a new exercise class through Campus Rec!
    • Regular exercise can increase your energy, overall health and improve your mood. Pick something that you like doing. It can be a sport, a dance class, or even a hike in nature. Feeling too busy to exercise? Even a 15 minute walk can have a positive effect on your stress.
  • Sleep Well
    • Sleeping well is vital to good health, doing well in your classes, and managing your stress. Try going to bed and waking up within one hour of your regular schedule every day. Are you usually up at 8am? Try waking up no later than 9am on the weekends. You will find that it’s easier to go to sleep and to wake up in the mornings.
  • Spend Time with People Who Make You Happy
    • Hanging out with people you feel good around can act as a buffer against the negative effects of stress. Talk to your support system, have a game night, or go to dinner with your friend!
  • Manage your time
    • Find a way to manage your time that works for you. Try using a calendar or organizer. Let your support system know ahead of time that YOU come first, and you may have to stay in some nights to study. Remember, it is okay to say no, and to set boundaries.
  • Practice Mindfulness
    • Practicing yoga, meditation, or Pilates can help you regulate your breathing and become more mindful and aware of your views, thoughts and feelings.
  • Do Things You Enjoy


Try them out! Then evaluate. Did they help? What might work better?

If you need a little extra assistance reducing your stress, feel free to access the following services on- and off-campus resources.


On-Campus Resources

Talking to a mental health provider can be helpful when you need support. Professionals, like doctors, counselors, or psychiatrists, can make recommendations for managing and treating stress, depression, anxiety, and other self-care practices.

Counseling and Psychological Services

  • They offer individual and group counseling and support
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-2208 or stop by Student Services Building Room 208

Student Health Services

  • They can connect you to someone for support.
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-1719, login to myHealth, or stop by Student Health Services (located between the Ethnic Studies & Psychology and the Student Services buildings).

Peggy H. Smith Counseling Clinic

  • They provide free individual, couple, or group counseling to registered SF State students during the academic year.
  • The clinic is staffed by second year trainees from the masters program in the Department on Counseling, and supervised by licensed clinical counselors form Counseling & Psychological Services.
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-1024

SF State Psychology Training Clinic

  • They offer low-fee individual, couple, family, and group therapy.
  • The clinic is staffed by clinical psychology graduate students who are supervised by licensed clinicians.
    • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 338-2856


Off-Campus Resources

There are many resources in San Francisco and the Bay Area to assist you with immediate and long term support.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) San Francisco

  • Help Line: (415) 905-NAMI (6264)
  • Support Groups
  • Peer-to-Peer Classes
  • Support for family and friends

Well Clinic

  • Offers sliding scale therapy in San Francisco
  • Call (415) 952-0290 for a free consultation

Integral Counseling Center at Pierce Street

  • Offers low cost mental health counselling
  • To schedule an appointment, call (415) 776-3109

Mental Health Association of Alameda County

  • Find services in Oakland, Berkeley, and Albany.


For a longer list of resources, visit the Counseling & Psychological Services Resources page.