native x Mental Health UK
02 Nov 2022
5 TIPS FOR MANAGING STRESS AT UNIVERSITY
Let's be real, being a university student can be tough, like seriously tough & learning to recognise and manage your stress levels can help you make sure you’re living your best uni life…
You may be juggling a busy social life, keeping fit, earning some money, keeping friends and family from home in the loop and exploring new relationships, all whilst trying to keep up with your uni work and attending 9AMs which in its own right is a struggle! Whilst at uni it can sometimes feel like you’re managing a few different versions of yourself which can become outright exhausting and stress levels can quickly be on the up ⬆…
As a part of our #savvyandsound campaign in partnership with Mental Health UK we have produced some top tips on how to manage stress whilst studying at university. Here goes…
GET SOME KIP…SERIOUSLY
You’ll probably find this tip at the top of most stress busting blog posts but it’s there for a very good reason, especially considering that 74% of UK students are sleep deprived!
You may not even notice the impact a lack of zzz’s is having on both your mental and physical wellbeing but we can’t stress enough how having a decent sleep routine will help you in managing your stress levels and making you more resilient to both mental and physical illness.
Top Tip: If you struggle with sleep, start by creating a really simple bedtime routine and stick to it. Setting boundaries to protect your health is key to living your best life and yes you’ll break your own rules for the odd night out but if you stick to them the majority of the time, you’ll be golden.
MAKE A PLAN!
A plan? Yawnnn!
We know, planning your week to the nth degree is boring and gets in the way of all that spontaneous fun that uni is all about but really we’re not suggesting this at all (unless that's a bit of you, which is totally fine), we’re thinking more of a loose routine so you know where you need to be at what time and what’s expected of you throughout the coming week.
Every Sunday evening put your favourite chill playlist on, maybe even light a candle and spend 30 minutes planning your week to make sure you know what's coming your way.
Doing this can help you start the week with some momentum and a sense of certainty which can help to reduce stress in your personal, professional and financial life, plus if you do spot any potential issues or stress triggers, you’ve now got time to reach out and ask for help.
Top Tip: Make sure you visualise your plan somewhere easily accessible. Write notes down in a scheduler or use your notes app on your phone but have them somewhere you can quickly check them to keep you on track/remind yourself throughout the week.
GET YOUR SWEAT ON…
Exercise is kind of a big deal! Not only does it have numerous long term health benefits but it can also help to relieve stress in the short term if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed.
Increasing your heart rate for just 150 minutes per week or 25 minutes a day gets those feel good endorphins pumping and can help you feel a bit better and more capable of tackling that aggy little to do list with a bit more enthusiasm and a whole lot less stress.
Prevention is always better than finding a cure but exercise literally can be both so do your best to plan it into your routine but ALWAYS have it in your back pocket when things get a little bit too much, whether its a quick walk/run or hitting the gym, sometimes just pausing and taking the time to get your sweat on can make all the difference.
Top Tip: Why not join a society or local club to make exercise a little less painful and this will also hold you accountable which can help cement it as a part of your routine.
TALK TALK TALK!
As the old saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved and in our experience this couldn’t be more true but don’t just take our word for it.
Experts say that talking can provide instant stress relief and help to lighten the load for people sharing their concerns as sharing your thoughts and feelings starts the process of breaking the problem down into smaller chunks, which makes it feel much more manageable and easier to process.
Whilst at university you will have a lot of people you talk with but find people you can really talk to when looking to discuss personal stuff, you’ll soon find who you can trust and regularly opening up to them will have you feeling fine in no time at all.
Top Tip: Try talking to someone outside of the situation causing you stress as they may bring a completely different perspective to yours and help you see things in a different light.
GET TO KNOW YOURSELF!
Spotting the signs of stress is key to managing it and getting to know yourself a little better is a great way to spot stress triggers and give yourself a chance to stop these from developing into unnecessary stress.
When you start to feel angry, worried or irritable make a note of what’s making you feel this way and when you have some down time, take a look to see if there are any trends that repeatedly cause you issues.
It’s not only feelings you need to look out for, if you have unexplained headaches or stomach pains you could well be experiencing symptoms of stress and reflecting on when these occur could help you get to the bottom of what's causing them.
Generally stress is a build up of multiple factors so alleviating unnecessary issues can help to manage your overall stress levels, plus you’ll find out a little bit more about yourself along the way.
Top Tip: Create a little routine for when you start to notice signs of stress to give yourself a break and reflect on what has triggered you.
So there you have it, 5 expert tips for managing stress whilst at university!