Start with a PEER - Promoting resilience

Welcome to the "Start with a PEER" project on building resilience. On this page we would like to take you on a journey, starting with the emergence of stress and ending with the development of resilience.

In October and November we conducted a survey on time management and professional perspectives and would like to make the results accessible to you.

If you would like to get in touch with us and exchange ideas on the subject of stress and resilience, then write to us at startwithapeer@

Back to top

Quick Informations on Stress, Stressmanagement and resilience

[Translate to Englisch:] Bild eines Gehirns mit eingefärbter Amygdala

What is stress?

Stress used to be a vital bodily process, for example to have enough strength to escape from dangerous situations. Today, however, stress reactions are increasingly becoming our doom.

 Mehr Informationen findest Du hier

[Translate to Englisch:] Viergeteiltes Bild mit stressigen Situationen

Do you know your stressors?

Sometimes we react irritated towards fellow students, realize that we have a hard time remembering learning content or have a lot or no appetite at all. This is often caused by stress, but do you know what stresses you out?


[Translate to Englisch:] mensch umrandet von Icons, die stressmindernde Aktionen verdeutlichen

What can help against stress?

Actively preventing or tackling stress often means paying more attention to yourself and setting limits. You can find some options that you can plan in acute stressful situations and also in non-stressful situations on this page.

[Translate to Englisch:] Gehirn, mit eingefärbtem Stirnlappen

What is resilience?

Resilience is the magic word when it comes to the question of why some people are more stressed than others. But what exactly is resilience?

[Translate to Englisch:] Bild mit sieben Waben, in der mittleren springt ein Zeichenmensch nach oben, in den restlichen sind Icons von positiven Aspekten

What personality traits do resilient people bring with them?

There are a number of qualities that enable people not to let situations be judged as stressful in the first place or to rely on their resources with a clear conscience. Which of these is your superpower? Here you can find information about the resilience factors.

[Translate to Englisch:] Mensch, der eine große Kugel den Berg hinaufrollt

Can I increase my own resilience?

Of course! Developing resilience is a lifelong, dynamic process. We will tell you how this process works.

[Translate to Englisch:] geteiltes Bild mit einem Menschen, der gekrümmt sitzt und einem Menschen, der in die Höhe springt

Successful coping but how?

Coping describes coping strategies that we train and learn throughout our lives. What successful coping looks like and how you can strengthen your coping skills: Find out about coping strategies here.

What is stress?

Stress originates in the amygdala, a part of our limbic system. This system plays a central role in the development of our emotions, our drive, learning and memory (Menche; 2020). Stressful situations arise from external stressors. When the stressor affects us, two evaluation processes take place in our brain (Lazarus & Folkman; 1984). The diagram at the beginning of the text shows the evaluation processes.

Stress thus depends on our personal evaluation of stressors and our assessment of resources. In the past, this process was vital because it protected people, for example, from the attack of dangerous animals and secured their lives through escape reactions. Today, stress reactions occur daily in many people, often triggered by emotions. However, a permanent stress reaction is harmful to the body and the cause of many illnesses. In order to influence one's own stress reaction, it often helps to find out what one's own stressors are. Dealing with them can lead to a reduction in the stress experience.

Back to top

Stress management - Do you know your stressors?

(Kopie 4)

 Situations that trigger stress in us are encountered in everyday life as well as in critical and traumatic phases of life (Lazarus & Folkman; 1984). Everyday stressors can be divided into the following categories (BzgA; 2022):


  •   Physical-sensory stressors (e.g. noise, cold).
  •   Physical stressors (e.g. hunger, injuries)
  •   Performance stressors (e.g. time pressure, excessive demands)
  •   Social stressors (e.g. interpersonal conflicts, separation)
  •   Chronic stressors (e.g. illnesses)

Do you know what your stressors are?

Not really, then take a look at the stress level test. Maybe it will give you an important clue.

Is the pressure to perform in your studies a relevant stressor for you, as it is for many other students?

Then take a look at our chapter "What helps against stress". Here we have put together some supportive tips for you. 

Back to top

What can help against stress?

Which three tasks do you absolutely have to do today?  First complete these three tasks.


The BZgA recommends a break of at least 5 minutes after 60-90 minutes (BzGA; 2018).

But if you are distracted  after 30 minutes and prefer to keep yourself busy with Netflix and co. Then try the Pomodoro technique. You can find more information here (duration 2:21 min).

Switch your mobile phone to flight mode. If you are working on a laptop, close your email programme. The noise of incoming messages can disturb your concentration and it can take up to 20 minutes to regain your concentration.  


Do you automatically extend your writing and studying phase when you think you haven't done enough? But then you often find yourself procrastinating or dreaming of a semester break? Set a working end for the day already at the beginning of the day. Even if you don't finish what you set out to do, keep your end of the day and celebrate yourself. Use the time for family, fun, sports or hobbies that you enjoy. The balance motivates you and the next day your work usually goes much better.


Study groups, writing dates or just talk about something else during the lunch break. Make appointments with fellow students to prepare for exams or to write your term paper. Often, a thematic exchange at the lunch table helps to break through mental blocks and motivate you to continue writing.


Don't feel like doing this paper? Think of it as a step on the way to completing your degree. Find out what intersections you have with the topic.

In your seminar, are there predefined topics, but none of them are for you? Talk to teachers and suggest topics from your own field of interest.

It's the semester break and you want to do something against stress in the long term:


Back to top