5 Tips For Dealing With Student Stress

It’s no secret that university will be a stressful period in your life. However, new studies that show five times as many first-year students are reporting mental health issues than ten years ago show that for, some reason, it’s getting a whole lot more difficult.

There could be many reasons for this. But one of them surely is the lack of education around effective ways students can manage stress and address its causes directly.

Take your health and university success into your own hands with our five tips for dealing with student stress that you can put into practice today.

1. Mindfulness

You don’t have to be a Buddhist monk or new-age hippy to practice mindfulness. Today, everyone from CEOs to elite athletes practice it as a regular part of their daily routine.

What’s best is that you don’t have to find a spare forty minutes and a place you can sit in complete silence to do it. Practicing mindfulness is as easy as downloading an app and playing a guided meditation as you walk through the park, or laying in the bath after a hard day of studying. All you need to do, is do it — or, more accurately, just be it.

2. Talking Therapy

When we face challenging and stressful situations, our first instinct is to ignore them and hope that they’ll go away. But accepting they are normal and that you need to talk about them is the first step you need to take to deal with them and become able to move on.

Talking through your problems with a therapist is still a bit of a taboo in the UK, even though in many other countries it is as normal as going to the gym and working with a personal trainer. Thankfully, though, every university has student counsellors, and we all have at least one person, whether it be a mum, dad, sister, or friend, that we can turn to talk to.

3. Exercise

It’s the first piece of advice everyone gives for dealing with student stress. But a lot of people get the wrong idea thinking this means they need to get a gym membership or start training for a marathon.

Exercise is not something that should be confined to one activity or a set period of the day, it should be an integral part of it. In this way, we can take advantage of its complete and lasting benefits such as those from endorphins and other feel good hormones. Simply by keeping moving and getting our heart racing, whether it’s by biking to the library, running up the stairs, rolling down embankments, or swimming in the river, everyone person and thus every student needs to exercise.

4. Change Your Perspective

It’s easy to think that university is just overwhelming and that’s the way it is. But as studies that compare CEOs who work eighty hour weeks to those who work as little as twenty, stress is completely subjective.

Dealing with student stress, then, is not just about managing it, it’s about changing how you think about it. Stress can either be motivating or defeating, enhancing or degrading, and you have the power to choose which of those it will be.

5. Time Management

Of course, no matter how much you believe stress can be a good thing, if you manage your time poorly, then forgotten assignments and looming deadlines are more than likely to overwhelm you. For this reason, time management is an essential component of dealing with student stress.

It doesn’t matter how you do it; the key is to find a system and stick with it. A good way to start is by breaking down all your tasks into those that are urgent and non-urgent, important and non-important tasks, and then scheduling your work using a Pomodoro timer.

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