Stress Awareness Month 2022
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May marks Stress Awareness Month to raise awareness of the causes and cures of stress. The Editorial Team have come together to share their thoughts and experiences on dealing with stress as a student.
– Student Minds Blog Editorial Team
Stress Awareness Month is held every April and this year’s theme is ‘Community’. The past two years have been challenging for most and left people feeling lonely and isolated. University students have felt the impact of this hugely and the normal university stresses of exams and starting as a fresher have only been added to through the pandemic.
Our Editorial Team has come together to share some thoughts and tips about stress at University based on their own experiences:
It’s so easy to let stress get on top of you as a student and when this happens, sometimes it’s good just to take a step back. What I like to do is try and break things up into smaller tasks, making each thing slightly easier to handle instead of having a massive workload ahead of me. When I’ve been in situations where stress has got the better of me, I have found it best to reach out for help. It’s good to remember that we don’t have to be alone in stressful times.
– Natalie (Student)
Stress is a completely normal emotion to experience it’s how you manage it which is important. Develop healthy coping mechanisms such as consistent meditation practice and remember that stress is never as bad as your brain manifests it to be.
– Luke (Student)
Stress can increase when tasks feel insurmountable, although when you break them down into more manageable sections, you will realise that you are capable of achieving them efficiently, in the right mindset. It is also important to carve some time out for yourself. It may be difficult at times, especially if you find it hard to switch off: I found that being surrounded by nature and taking long walks, especially at the beach, helps to put things into perspective and reduces stress levels immediately!
– Martina (Graduate)
Stress is the feeling of being under emotional and mental pressure. This emotion occurs when one is experiencing something which can become too much, such as money worries, exams and deadlines, not getting enough sleep etc. You may feel that you cannot cope. This is not true, you can cope with the right healthy habits. Celebrate your small wins always! Take self-care time, and if something becomes too much for you, please speak to someone.
– Caoimhe (Graduate)
I guess most of the stressful moments come from the fear of something that we think is difficult and unimaginative. Setting small goals every day can motivate me and help me to stress less. Let’s say: I have an essay due next week that I have not started to write. I will be very anxious when I imagine myself completing the whole essay. ‘Let’s just finish the introduction part today’ is better to push myself to commit to the deadline with the completed work.
– Riley (Student)
Making time for self-care is really important, even if it’s just something small, like making your bed or remembering to take your medication. Not only are you getting the benefits from adopting healthy habits, but you are reminding yourself that you are worth the energy spent on improving your health. Some habits I’m trying to follow this month are spending more quality time outside and drinking more water – join me if you like!
– Sarah (Student)
In my opinion, the best solution to stress is simply lowering expectations of yourself and of people and situations around you. Accept that beyond a certain effort on your behalf, some things are simply not in your control. It’s always alright to be concerned or worried about outcomes, but stress will only impact your mind and body negatively. Try making better and more efficient use of your time, for example, by following a healthy routine – remember to just stop, breathe and let go sometimes!
– Preksha (Student)
For me, the most difficult stress to cope with is self-imposed and can come from perfectionism and having extremely high expectations of myself. One of the things that have helped me is to separate the effort I put into something from the outcome I achieve. So I aim to put effort into a piece of work and complete it rather than trying to do it perfectly and consequently feeling paralysed by stress.
– Fionnuala (Graduate)
Being stressed or burnt out is often glamorised in society and seen as something necessary in order to be successful, but you’re not helping yourself or anyone else by getting overly stressed. A certain amount of stress is inevitable in life and it can be helpful, but only to an extent. You deserve to take breaks, to look after yourself and to say no to things when you need to. Your own mental well-being should always be the number one priority.
– Rosanna (Graduate)
I’ve come to accept that there will always be something in life to stress you out, and if you’re a worrier/ overthinker you know what I mean. Sorting my stressors into things I can and cannot control has been the key to working alongside them. It’s important for you to acknowledge that whatever version of a high-stress situation is going to keep on happening, it’s preparing and actively working on it (instead of avoiding it) that you should make sure of.
– Shamira (Graduate)
Whether you are looking for support for your own mental health at university or supporting a friend, help is available.
Written by the Student Minds Editorial Team. Find out more about them here.