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Beyond the Stacks: Home

Beyond the Stacks

Welcome to McHenry County College Library's virtual monthly display! We'll feature a monthly rotating theme with links to library resources, suggested keywords and terms for searching the catalog and library databases, and more.

This Month

November: Take a Deep Breath

If you're feeling tired, overwhelmed, and stressed, you're not alone. According to a recent survey, 44% of students responded that stress, anxiety, and loneliness has been their biggest challenge or struggle this fall. Read on to learn a little about different types of stress, what signs to look for, how stress affects you in school, and know when to get help.

DisclaimerThis information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


What is Stress?

Medline Plus defines stress as "a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body's reaction to a challenge or demand." The American Psychological Association has identified three kinds of stress:

  • Acute stress: Most common; stems from recent stressors; can be positive or negative; generally passes with time.
  • Episodic acute stress: Occurs frequently, sometimes in a pattern; causes worry.
  • Chronic acute stress: Continual stress that overwhelms and can eventually affect one's mental and physical health.


Signs of Stress

Stress can cause physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms.

  • Physical: includes headaches, trouble sleeping, getting sick more often, stomachaches
  • Emotional: includes restlessness; feelings of sadness, feeling overwhelmed or out of control, irritability
  • Cognitive: includes difficulty concentrating, constantly worrying, impaired judgement, racing thoughts
  • Behavioral: includes avoidance of tasks or responsibilities, fidgeting, sudden change in appetite, difficulty getting along with people


School and Stress

Students who responded to the Strada - College Pulse survey (mentioned earlier) identified the following additional factors causing them stress right now:

  • Keeping up academically (21%)
  • Having a suitable space for studying or taking online classes (14%)
  • Paying for school (14%)
  • Reliable internet and computer access (5%)
  • Taking care of others while attending school (3%)


When to Get Help

According to Melissa Cohen, Licensed Clinical Social Worker:

"For some people, it’s time to seek help when your feelings begin to have a negative impact on everyday life and your ability to carry out daily routines or have normal relationships. For others, it is when these thoughts and feelings begin to prevent them from being able to focus and enjoy the important things in life, when their stress and anxiety are the only thing they can focus on, or when their thoughts and feelings begin to interfere with work or school. It can be any one or combination that sparks the need to get help." (2)




Resources from the Open Internet

Coping with Stress

Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress (From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Coping with Stress During the COVID-19 Outbreak (From the World Health Organization)

Anxiety in College: What We Know and How to Cope (From Harvard Health Publishing/Harvard Medical School)

The College Student's Guide to Stress Management (From Purdue University Global)

Need Stress Relief? Try the 4 A's (From Mayo Clinic)

MCC Library

MCC Library Homepage

Questions? To contact an MCC Librarian, click on

Ask a Librarian!

Beginning Monday, November 16, 2020:

Remote Reference Hours (No Physical Access to Library)

Monday through Thursday, 8:00am to 6:00pm

Friday, 8:00am to 12:00pm

MCC Closed:

Thursday, December 24 through Friday, January 1 -- Holiday Recess



Campus Resources

If you're feeling tired and overwhelmed,
McHenry County College can help.

Contact Crisis Intervention and Prevention Services

to speak with someone on campus.


Crisis Intervention and Prevention Services

Contact Rachel Boldman, Director of Crisis Intervention and Prevention Services

Room A252


Para más información en Español


MCC Campus Police: 815-455-8733 (or dial 8733 from a campus phone)

Local Resources

Local Resources

Northwestern Medicine Crisis Services - McHenry County: 800-892-8900 available 24 hours a day

Download the MCHelp app: MCHELP is a free, anonymous texting service that provides immediate help from trained, licensed counselors 24 hours a day.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline800-273-8255

  • Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio - 888-628-9454
  • Options for Deaf and Hard of Hearing - For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255

Searching Library Databases: Helpful Keywords & Subject Terms

The following is a helpful list of keywords and Subject Terms for searching databases like Academic Search Complete to find scholarly, peer-reviewed articles.

stress stress levels
stress management stress management techniques
stress reduction stressors
stress in college students stress AND college students AND academic performance
stress AND health physiological stress
stress AND coping psychological stress
stress AND anxiety stress management education
stress AND burnout stress AND student health
stress AND health effects stress AND exercise