As we approach the end of our time at university there are only a few weeks left until all of our last assignments are due. As everyone is feeling very stressed at this time of year I thought I would share a few of the ways in which I de-stress throughout the day or in the evening before bed when I am feeling the pressure.
- Go for walks, even if you have no destination in mind. Taking a stroll for a little while and getting some fresh air will clear your mind and help you relax. When I am at home I like to take our dogs for a walk in the park, this makes them happy as well as myself.
- Treat yourself. It is important to take breaks and do fun things in between studying. My favourite things to do are going out for coffee with a friend, going to see a movie at the cinema or watching a play at the theatre in the evening. My sister and I recently went to watch the Plymouth University Musical Theatre Group's production of Sweeney Todd, there are always fun events like this going on at the university throughout the year.
- Spend time with family and loved ones. If you are away at university, take a weekend to go home and see your family, or ask a friend if they can come and visit you.
- Drink green tea. Research shows that green tea helps to reduce stress if you drink it daily.
I like to do my work during the day so that I can spend the evenings not thinking about my work and instead focus on relaxing.
- Have an early night, have a bath or a shower and use your favourite products, light candles.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks in the evening time of course, but having a hot drink before bed will help you to unwind.
- Take your mind off your worries and get lost in a movie or your favourite television show, or read a book that you love.
- Treat yourself to a snack.
- If you are feeling particularly stressed or panicked try some breathing exercises to help calm yourself down. For instance, breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold it for seven seconds and then breathe out through your mouth for eight seconds.
- Blowing on your thumb helps slow down your heart rate and calms you down, it reduces stress on the spot. These breathing exercises can be done at any time and anywhere, at your desk, on the bus, in a lecture, whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Listen to calming music. Listening to your favourite music will put you in a good mood.
Remember that if you are feeling extremely stressed to the point that it is making you unwell or depressed you can seek medical advice. Always remember that the university staff are available to speak to about any problems or issues you have and there is always someone who can help.