As a university student, stress is something which you might be feeling often. Stress, from a biological point of view, is the body’s reaction to threat or being under pressure.
Although it may seem like stress is a bad thing but this is not always the case; stress motivates us to perform everyday tasks and meet the demands of life. However, too much stress is negative and can affect one’s mood, body, relationships, and it can make us feel out of control or even anxious.
If you experience too much stress over a long time, this can lead to burnout, meaning that you feel physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. So, while a little stress can be good, too much of it can lead to significant problems. It is important to understand that stress is often experienced in situations where pression is put on us, such as before exams.
Ways to deal with stress
Here are some top tips for how to deal with stress from the NHS:
- Engaging in Physical activity – This may help to reduce some of the intensity of the feelings. It can also help to clear your thoughts so you can see a solution more clearly. Sometimes your stress might come from playing a sport at a high level, should this be the case you can engage in MyLifestyle and just have some fun with friends while being active. For more information on what’s available at Loughborough, check out the Loughborough Sport Pages.
- Take control of the problem – Take a step back and look at what solutions are available to you. Sometimes it is good to take a look at a problem as if you were someone else, to get a different outlook on it. Another technique is to take a step back from what is causing your stress. This can feel difficult if the cause of the stress is time sensitive, however taking a step back might provide you with more clarity which can result in you being more productive after the break. If you’re struggling you could talk to your personal tutor, your hall warden, or a member of the Student Mental Wellbeing team for advice.
- Take some time for self-care - Taking time for ourselves helps to prevent burnout. This should be time spent doing things just for yourself. This could be anything from reading to knitting to going for a run. Additionally, sleeping and eating well are two very important aspects when dealing with stress. Especially during exam time, it might seem like it is best to pull “all nighters” and work away, but this is normally not the case. In most cases you will benefit more from getting a good night’s sleep and then working the next day than if you were to work through the night.
- Avoid relying on alcohol, smoking and caffeine to cope – all these things can affect our wellbeing. Additionally, relying on alcohol, smoking and caffeine can affect your sleep and cause anxiety rather than relaxing you.
- Working Smarter, not harder – Prioritise you work and focus on the most pressing tasks first. Sometimes stress can be all consuming and cause you to “freeze” in a sense, therefore it sometimes helps to set a timer for 30 minutes and just get started, this way you have a goal you are working towards. Another way is to get started on something to ease you into the rest of the work. Start by doing something which is not so mentally “heavy” but something which will still move you towards getting the task done. For example, if you are stressed about an exam, you could start off by reading notes and then move into more serious and mentally demanding revision strategies.
For more guidance on ways to manage your stress visit the NHS website.
How can the University Support you?
You can take part in various events which are organised by the Mental Wellbeing team. In order to see what events are on, have a look at the group schedule.
Should stress be affecting your everyday life and impacting your ability to study, you can contact the University through the online Mental Wellbeing Referral Form.
If your stress is caused by exams, you can learn more about how to cope with exam stress on the Exam Anxiety webpages.
What to do next?
What should I do if I am worried about somebody else?
Talk to the person – If someone seems particularly busy, anxious, or unwell gently ask them how they are doing and if there is anything you can do to help.
Listen – Sometimes a person just needs a listening ear to allow them to sound out ideas and voice how they are feeling.
Encourage the person to complete the online Mental Wellbeing Referral Form or to attend one of our group sessions.
Make sure to access support if you need it – Sometimes being around someone who is stressed can impact our wellbeing. Take a step back if you need to and make sure that you are taking care of yourself. If you feel like your mental wellbeing has been impacted by it, you should complete the online Mental Wellbeing Referral Form.
Last Updated: 17th May 2023