Top 5 tips to manage stress at university
As the new academic year commences and students are set to embark on, or indeed, return to their university course. It is important to remember to look after our mental health, especially after the interruptions and difficulties we have all faced over the last 18 months with the pandemic.
The mental health charity Mind conducted a coronavirus survey which revealed the following results:
- Nearly one in three adults (30%) and over one in three young people (34%) said that their mental health has got much worse during the pandemic.
- Over half of young people (59%) said they will enjoy school, college or university more once restrictions ease. But around one in five (21%) do not think they will enjoy school, college or university without restrictions.
It isn’t hard to tell that people are still worried and this will impact on students’ studies.
So, what are the signs of stress so we can identify this in ourselves or help a friend who might be struggling? Well there are a number of common reactions to stressful situations these can include:
- Behavioural – Avoiding or escaping from certain situations, turning to alcohol or drugs to cope, changes in appetite or struggling to concentrate and irritability.
- Physical – Nausea, increased heart rate, headaches, sweating or shaking are just some of the ways stress can physically manifest.
- Psychological – Fear, Panic, Depression and Anxiety.
With the return to our ‘new normal’ how can you deal with stress in a healthy way? Our handy tips may help alleviate some of your stress...
Stress and anxiety alter the body’s respiratory rate: a way to combat this is through exercise – we aren’t all going to be running marathons, but, going out for a walk and increasing your heart rate a little will help to oxygenate your blood. It will also release endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormone.
Chronic stress can impair the body's immune system and make many other health problems worse. By lowering the stress response, mindfulness may have downstream effects throughout the body. Take a look at some free apps to get you started here.
3. Keep connected
Talk to someone: a friend or family member, staying connected through Facetime or Skype can really help to feel like you are not alone. But what can you do if you don’t have anywhere to turn? Student Support Services at your university is a great place to start or contacting organisations such as Student Space or Papyrus could really help.
4. Time Management
Taking control of your time management can really help reduce stress, not just in terms of study. Managing study time and breaking down tasks into small manageable chunks can really help you to feel more relaxed. Maintaining a schedule to allocate time to study or work, planning accordingly and allocating yourself some downtime to relax or socialise. Dividing work into urgent and non-urgent tasks may help to release some of the pressure. Especially if you can see this visually. Set achievable goals and don’t overload yourself.
5. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential in combating stress. Guidance on this says 7-8 hours of quality sleep is recommended. Try relaxing before bed, avoiding laptop or phone screens as much as possible, sitting quietly to read or watch your favourite tv show. If you sleep in the same area you study, try covering your books and desk with a sheet or hide with a screen.
Other ways to manage stress:
- Eat healthily
- Take a break from social media
- Keep your living space tidy
- Join a club
- Find an outlet that works for you – This could be running, baking, arts and crafts, writing – something to take your mind off the daily stressors that you are facing
- But most of all seek support – don’t suffer in silence!
The above tips may help you manage your stress but they are by no means a cure. If you are struggling with any mental health matters please contact your GP.
Written by Laura Cunningham, Social Media Editor
1st September, 2021
Q & A with Brandon Kaszics
1st February 2022
This month we are talking to a valued member of our training team, Brandon. Not only does he work tirelessly to help you guys with your assistive technology, but he also spends his spare time helping other men with their mental health. He joined us to tell us more about Bro Pro UK…Read More
Healthy Eating on a Budget
10th January 2022
Christmas has been and gone and now a lot of us are looking at our waistlines an and making healthy changes for the better this new year. How can you do this on a student budget? Well it is possible, have a look at these cheap and tasty recipes that wont break the bank or your trouser buttons!Read More
Help! My exams are coming up and I am not ready
4th January 2022
It’s exam season and you know what that means: stress! Don’t worry, though; we’re here to help you make it through this challenging time in your life and still come out on top by offering our top tips on how to cope with exams at university.Read More
How to spot a scam!
8th December 2021
It’s the time of year when Christmas spirit is high and so is our spending… getting those perfect presents for the perfect person can be hard on the bank balance, so its only right that we search for a good deal; but what looks like a good deal could actually be a scam. With so many of us shopping online now how do we know who to trust?Read More
Going home for Christmas? Here’s our essential top 10 Christmas prep tips...
1st December 2021
We made it to December! The first term is almost over, trees and decorations are going up, the jingle bells are out and the mulled wine is warming – well, ‘tis the season! Many will be busy finishing assignments and meeting deadlines, but don’t leave it too long to start preparing for your Christmas break. Here’s our Christmas prep guide to take some of the stress away.Read More
5th November 2021
With the Summer now a distant memory, Autumn is in the air and the long, cold nights are drawing in. Many students are navigating around a new, unfamiliar city. It is important to take extra care when out and about and avoid situations where you may be vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out! Being prepared will make sure your night out is safe as well as fun!Read More
Loneliness at university? Beat the solitude...
1st November 2021
We approach the end of our first month of a new term. Many of us might be feeling pangs of homesickness and loneliness. For many of us it may be our first time away from home, our family, support networks and friendships that we have built over the years. A report by Sodexo in 2017 found that ‘nearly half of UK students admit to loneliness during their studies – with anxious UK students most likely to consider dropping out of university’. This is even more prevalent now, thanks to the disruptions over the last 2 years caused by the pandemic.Read More
Tips and tricks on how to budget and keep track of your spending
1st October 2021
Commencement of the new academic year has seen many students return from a much needed summer break, along with all the freshers who, for the majority, will be away from the family home for the first time. This can be hard for many reasons; home sickness, new responsibilities, living with new people for the first time. It can be especially daunting if this is the first time you are taking control of your own financial responsibilities. Being able to budget and track your spending can really help…Read More
Long Covid: What it can mean for you
23rd September 2021
We have all been dealing with a lot for the past 2 years. Covid seemed to control our lives, and with many of us getting so sick is it any wonder? Now though, as we start to see a light at the end of the tunnel and our lives return to somewhat ‘normal’, many of us are still suffering with the after-effects of this horrific disease.Read More
Superior assessments, no matter where you live!
6th September 2021
You have qualified for Disabled Students’ Allowance due to a long-term disability, but where do you go from here? The next step is to book in for your DSA Needs Assessment, but with so many centres to choose from how can you be sure you’re going to get the support that you need?Read More
Ellie's DSA experience
23rd August 2021
University of Lincoln student, Ellie Evelyn, found the help she needed through the Disabled Students Allowance's. Here, she answers some of the questions many students who are thinking of applying for DSA might be wondering. Chatting with one of Yorlinc's assistive technology trainers, Nick Metcalfe, in her own words Ellie talks us through how she found the whole process and more...Read More
More than 50% of eligible students are missing out on the DSA
18th June 2020
As this university year draws to a close for some, the next few months will begin the journey into higher education for many others. UCAS applications submitted, Student Finance England application pending, accommodation already sorted, but have you applied for DSA?Read More