Strategies for Handling Stressful Times in University
You will likely come across hard times during uni, but that's okay. You will get through them.
No matter how prepared or ahead you are, there will always be times that you'll find particularly hard or stressful. Sometimes it's obvious when these will be (e.g. exam time, deadlines, etc) but a lot of the time they will creep up on us from out of nowhere. This doesn't mean it's your fault if you find yourself stressed when no one else seems to be. Everyone is going through different things and you're no different, so focus on yourself and the support you need for these times.
In the video above, Gareth Hughes (a psychotherapist and the Research Lead for Student Well-being at the University of Derby) talks through all the potentially stressful times but how do you actually deal with them?
Stress busters for those stressful times
Here are the best ways you can push through those difficult times:
- Acceptance - First thing to do is accept that you're in this situation. There's no point in pretending it's not happening or playing the blame game. Try to focus on the solution instead.
- Tackle the issue head on - Don't run from your problems, that will just cause more stress. Be active, take control and do it one step at a time.
- Take advantage of the support group around you - Lean on your friends, family, coursemates, and even your lecturers. There is no reason to be embarrassed, they will want to help you.
- Help other people - When you've got time, returning the favour will always make you feel better and can build up your network of people who will be willing to help you in the future.
- Don't be afraid to take a moment for yourself - Sometimes all you need to do is breathe. Give yourself time to reset and let your mind refocus. Tackling a problem when you're feeling overly stressed can lead to poor decision-making, so try to calm yourself down before rushing in.
- Avoid unhealthy coping habits - Sometimes instead of trying to solve the actual issue that is causing us stress, we rely on things like caffeine or alcohol to take the stress away or keep us going. This is a slippery slope that can lead to addiction, while the actual problem isn't fixed.
LSE have points of contact for all areas that may be affecting your well-being. Don't hesitate to contact us if you feel we could offer you the support you need. Even if we can't directly help, we will be able to point you in the right direction.
For more information head to Student Minds, or read up on the differences between stretched and stressed and the links between stress and your body.
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