When you head off to uni for the first time, you’ll expect it to be the best few years of your life. It’s a time when you’ll make new friends and get involved with loads of great clubs and societies. But between all the socialising and the exam prep, it has potential to become a little bit stressful. There’s no need to worry, because when it all gets a bit too much, there are a few things that you can do to ease the pressure…
When the work piles on around the busy exam period, it can be easy to start feeling overwhelmed. When you become stressed it has an impact on various areas of your life – and not just as a student. One of the best ways to tackle stress is to get yourself in the right frame of mind to tackle the work ahead.
When you’re feeling stressed, relaxation techniques are a great way to improve your outlook and help you feel more focused and energised. It can be easy to get into a rut when it comes to managing your workload and this can have a huge impact on your state of mind. You don’t need to be an expert meditator to master the art of Zen, either, because there are plenty of smartphone apps available to help you get in the right frame of mind.
One of the biggest causes of stress for students is the amount of work that builds up around the busy exam period. The best way to avoid this is by coming up with a strict revision plan well in advance. Try to learn a little bit at a time rather than leaving it until the last minute and trying to cram it all in – not only will this help reduce the stresses that come with studying, but you’re more likely to end up with a better grade as well.
If you want to create an easy-to-follow revision plan, there are plenty of free online services that help you to put one together. If you don’t fancy staring at a screen when you’re planning for your studies, you can find a free template online, print it out, and fill it in by hand – this way you can stick it somewhere in your room, at eye level, and use it to keep yourself motivated while you revise.
Hit the Gym
You’re probably thinking, What has being stressed got to do with going to the gym? But Glyn Williams – the chief science nut over at Bristol Uni – has done some tests and come to the conclusion that exercise is great for your mind as well as your body.
This is because exercise is responsible for the release of endorphins: hormones that reduce tension and help your mind to focus on positive things. You’ll find that light exercise before and after studying can give you a brain-power boost of around 20% – and this increase in focus leads to better ability to learn and retain new information, which makes the busy exam period that bit less stressful further down the line.
If you’re feeling stressed and therefore living on a diet of instant noodles to make things easier for yourself, you might actually be making things worse.
Certain foods have been linked to their stress-relieving properties, which means changing your diet could have a huge impact on the way that you feel.
Foods that have been linked to stress-reduction:
- Asparagus – Low levels of folic acid have been linked to depression, and asparagus is packed with the stuff, making it an easy way to inject some positive vibes into your life.
- Avocado – This superfood is a great source of vitamin B, and experts think that anxiety is closely linked to a vitamin B deficiency.
- Milk – If your stress is keeping you up at night, try drinking a glass of warm milk before bed. It’s filled with vitamins B2 and B12 as well as protein and calcium, which are all good for bringing down high blood pressure.
Put Yourself in the Right State of Mind
Getting in the right mindset while you study can keep you focused and productive; make sure you’ve got a comfortable study space where you can get stuck into your work. Take a look at how our accommodation provides a comfortable and functional study-space for you.