5 Top Tips for Managing Stress at University
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University may be ‘the best three years of your life’, but it’s also a huge life change that can be pretty overwhelming. So it was no surprise when our survey revealed that mental health is the biggest concern for most RateMyPlacement students at university.
In fact, according to a recent survey by the BBC, the number of students seeking mental health support has increased by over 50% in the last five years.
Are you feeling weighed down by looming deadlines, arguments with your housemates or financial woes? Wednesday 7th November is National Stress Awareness Day so there’s no better time to start focusing on your mental wellbeing.
We’ve come up with five creative stress busters to help you get the most out of being a student.
#1 MASTER YOUR TIME
We all wish we had Hermione’s time-turner to help us juggle our busy lives. Instead, us muggles have to develop superior time management skills to achieve that work-life balance.
The aim of the game is to avoid those all-night cramming sessions in the library. Starting your work as early as possible, making daily to-do-lists, setting yourself achievable goals and taking regular breaks will help you feel more in control.
For more tips, check out our previous post on managing your workload at university.
#2 TAKE TIME OUT TO RELAX
Yes, you want to get that mark you’ve been busting a gut for. Yes, you’re juggling a full-time course, part-time job and all-the-time FOMO.
But when it all gets a bit much, make some time for you. Run yourself a hot bubble bath, play with a pet* or binge a Netflix series. Whatever makes YOU happy.
*A study by the University of British Columbia found that spending time with cute puppies really gets students’ tails wagging; stress levels dropped by around 45% and happiness increased by 27%!
#4 STAY ACTIVE
One of the best ways to combat stress is regular exercise. Physical activity releases magical endorphins in your brain that make you feel happier, healthier and more relaxed. Who knew?
If you still have nightmares about that egg dropping off the spoon at sports day, why not try walking, swimming, cycling or even dancing? Seriously, dancing is a really fun mood-booster that can be done anytime, anywhere. So next time you feel your stress levels rising, crank up the tunes and let it all out.
#4 ‘HEALTHY BODY, HEALTHY MIND'
It is technically possible to survive on three hours sleep and a diet of Pot Noodles, Monster Munch multipacks and dodgy kebabs.
However, starting the day with a balanced breakfast, eating your 5-a-day and getting a few early bedtimes can all work wonders for your frazzled mind.
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#5 BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Techniques such as meditation, yoga and tai-chi are all brilliant for giving you greater clarity on what is happening in your life.
If you’re bending over backwards trying to meet that deadline, just 10-15 minutes of yoga a day will help calm and refocus your mind. Combining slow movements and held poses with concentrated deep breathing, it’s a powerful way of coping with everyday stresses.
Need someone to talk to? A problem shared is a problem halved, so why not get things off your chest by talking to your friends, family, university tutor or student counselling service?
If you’d rather seek advice online, the following websites are bursting with brilliant ideas on how to manage your stress:
Written by Louise
After quitting professional ping pong due to an irreparable hole in her bat, Louise turned her hand to content writing. Since then she’s written about everything from tacky Harry Potter-inspired jewellery to obscure Ghanaian music festivals. Now she uses her skills to help RateMyPlacement users make important decisions about the future.