Stressed students: How to defeat the stress monster

This post was originally written to coincide with National Stress Awareness Day 2013, which took place on 6th November, but we’re very aware that stress doesn’t only occur on that one single day of the year. Stress isn’t a seasonal thing; it can happen at any time, and so we thought it’d be a good idea to keep this list of tips open to help those of you who might be feeling the weight of things such as coursework deadlines and awful, rainy weather (fortunately, this is seasonal – although we are in Britain, so weather is temperamental!). Even though being a student is a lot of fun, these things can affect you both mentally and physically. The following tips are going to attempt to fight student stress, and (hopefully) turn that frown upside down.

1)   Record your lectures

When it comes to revision or coursework, this is an absolute gem. Of course you can take notes, but sometimes you miss bits out, or the PowerPoint slides are gone through too fast and you end up with a half-constructed sentence that you don’t even remember the point of. This won’t be a problem if you have your lecturers’ voices caught on tape. Listen to it during the journey home or as you read through a textbook chapter, and – like the lyrics from the latest song by The Waned – they’ll inevitably become embedded in your memory.

2)   Do some exercise

Sometimes, the best way to blow off some steam is to take it out on a punching bag. Alternatively, pull on your sweats and take to the streets for a run, or head to the gym and get your heart rate up for an hour. However, if you’re not the gym type, put on some of your favourite tunes and bop (or twerk if you’re Miley Cyrus) around your room – this adds a bit of fun to the mix.

3)   Have fun

Through any means necessary. Do what you have to do to keep your brain engaged and a smile on your face. Go out with your friends; treat yourself to a new clothing item; have a night in with a film and some good food – anything. If you feel like your workload is getting to be too much, or you’re just generally feeling under the weather, do something to help yourself wind down for a little while.

4)   Listen to music

If needs be, whack up the song a few notches (make sure you’re not disturbing anybody!) and – depending on where your talents lie – either bust some shapes or sing a few notes. Personally, I like a bit of YouTube karaoke when nobody’s home. Not joking.

5)   Arts & Crafts

This might seem a bit random, and for some, useless, but activities such as knitting are known to be therapeutic. If you can’t knit, give it a go! But if you don’t fancy that, there are plenty of other activities to try your hand at! (If all else fails, I love a good gaming session.)

6)   Go for a walk

Not for exercise purposes, but for relaxation ones. Put your phone on silent and go for a nice ten-minute wander to clear your mind. If the walk turns into a shopping trip, that won’t be the worst thing in the world. The Coventry War Memorial Park is great place to go for a nice stroll, but if winter is fast approaching, make sure you wrap up warm.

7)   Watch a funny video

Hilarious cat videos are why the internet was invented, after all. Laughter is the best medicine, so take a spoonful of YouTube – the only side effect is a good chuckle.

There we have it: a few fun tips to help you relax and de-stress. On a more serious note, stress is a big deal; it can lower your immune system and sometimes make you ill. But as the famous Sweet Brown says: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”, so don’t take on more than you can handle.

Stay tuned for our post on student support – coming soon!

Karis and Alex :-)