Stress, sadly, comes with the territory of being a student. And knowing this to be true doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.
The Educators Room recently reported levels of stress among students are rapidly rising. From unrealistic expectations on social media, to increasing numbers of assessments, financial situations to seemingly impossibly essays; the list of stressors is endless.
But there are ways that can help deal with stress better, so the next time you feel your cortisol levels on the rise, try one of these methods:
1. Reach out to someone
Whether that be a friend, family member, counsellor or tutor, reaching out to someone is the most important thing you can do when you are feeling stressed.
It is clichéd, but a problem shared is a problem halved. Your friends are probably feeling very similar to you and will sympathise. Go spend some time with them and you’ll soon be laughing and having fun.
That way, you will all feel better off.
Your family have almost certainly felt the same way at some point in their lives, whether it was when they were students or even in their jobs. Let them talk to you about how they deal with stress.
If you feel your stress is impacting your work or general ability to function, it is vital you reach out to the university. Whether this is through their mental health services by speaking to a counsellor, or just by letting your tutor know you are struggling.
Most universities tend to be very understanding.
Letting the people around you know what is going on with you is important to your wellbeing. Communication works wonders.
2. Listen to music
Never underestimate the power of a good song.
Pop on some music you know makes you happy. Sing along, smile, feel the endorphins rush through your body.
If you struggle with listening to music while studying, take a couple of minutes out to listen to one of your favourite songs. You can even dance around a little for an extra happiness boost!
3. Step away from the screen
Shut the laptop, put down your phone, and switch off the television. Breathe. Doesn’t that feel a tiny bit better?
Now, take half an hour for yourself. You cannot work 24 hours a day and a short break will refresh your mind.
Use this time wisely, doing something away from your study space. Find a comfy corner and read for pleasure, or brave the outside world and get some fresh air. Do something which refreshes you. If you feel taking time away from studying will make you more stressed, then switch to a different topic, or hand write a revision plan or to-do list.
Breaking down the information into manageable chunks will help you visualise where you need to go next.
4. Get some sleep
If all else fails getting some sleep probably isn’t a bad idea.
Set your alarm for a short nap or get an early night. Sleep will refresh you, help you store all the information you just learned, and restore your brain so you are able to learn new facts tomorrow.
Just don’t go too far the other way and spend the whole time sleeping! All in good measure.
5. Remind yourself it is okay
It is normal to feel stressed from time to time – in fact, it would be a little weird if you didn’t.
However, if the stress is unbearable or you are finding it is affecting your wellbeing significantly, it might be a bigger problem.
If you are worried about your mental health do not be afraid to speak up. Your university will have people who can help.
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