From the outside looking in, university is a bubble full of excitement and fun. But what you don’t get to see, is the overwhelming amounts of stress that students are placed under, as a result of the student lifestyle.
Studying. Working your way through a ‘to-do’ list as long as your arm. Juggling multiple assignments. Budgeting your finances. Thinking about your future career prospects. Trying to maintain a social life. Dealing with tension amongst your housemates. These are just a few of the student responsibilities that can all build up and make you feel stressed out.
Student stress is more common than you think
If you’re feeling stressed – remember that you’re not alone. In a study by UniHealth, 80% of students reported feeling symptoms of stress at some point during their time at university.
Stress in small doses can motivate you to do your best when it comes to studying and push you to success. But if your stress becomes difficult to manage, it can lead to more severe mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
The signs to look for
Believe it or not, you might not know you’re experiencing stress. Stress affects each person differently – but here are some of the most common signs to watch out for:
· Feeling irritable
· Increased feelings of anxiety
· Finding it hard to maintain concentration
· Difficulty sleeping
· Feeling like you can’t go out and enjoy yourself
Feeling stressed out can not only affect your studies but also your relationships with your partner, friends and housemates – all of whom are vital for getting you through those bumps in the road.
Take the pressure off yourself
The best way to help ease the overwhelming feeling of stress is to figure out the reason why you’re feeling that way. Is it your financial situation? Relationship problems? Or simply just a busy schedule? Determining the main contributing factor to your stress is the first step in making the changes to help ease the feeling.
Once you’ve done that, you can try to implement the following changes into your everyday life:
Despite the drinking culture at university, if you’re feeling stressed, it’s best to avoid alcohol to prevent your mental well-being deteriorating further. Alcohol may seem like the easiest way to relax you, however long-term drinking to relieve stress can affect the chemicals in the brain which can then have a negative impact on thoughts, feelings and actions.
Focus on yourself:
It’s easy to compare yourself to others. “They’ve finished their assignment earlier than I have”. “I’m so behind in comparison to everyone else”. “My friends are studying harder than I am”. By focusing on yourself and your capabilities, you can help ease some of the pressure that you’re placing on yourself.
Create a routine and STICK TO IT:
Devising a study routine will help to ensure you’re not overworking yourself. Working long
hours and having minimal down-time will drastically increase the risk of burn out. Sticking to designated study hours and still allowing time to do the activities that make you feel relaxed, will encourage a healthy work-life balance.
Though it can feel like an impossible task to fit in some downtime when your workload is piling up, you must sit back and take a breather regularly. If you’ve tried all of these coping strategies but haven’t seen an improvement in your stress-levels, Syndi can help you figure out what the next steps are to get you back to feeling your best.