#1 Get headspace.
This is always a good first step; go for a walk and get away from the desk! Try and put your mind on something else. Taking that quick breather rather than staying stuck in a rut with the stress is going to be an important step in regaining control of the situation. Getting in regular exercise like going for a walk or doing some sport with friends, as well as sleeping well and eating healthily all help clearer thinking too. Pulling all nighters and eating pot noodles all the time will be massively unsustainable and it will only make you feel worse (however tempting it may be!)
Getting organised and making a realistic plan is a great practical step to keep you from feeling overwhelmed, and although it's best to start this early it can be done at any point. Try not to leave planning to the last minute because it can be harder to find time, but it's never too late to get back on track. Try and work out how and at what times you work best when it comes to organisation. You might be a simple to-do list person or you might want to use a timetabled structured day. Try out a few ways and see what suits you best. There are also lots of things that can help you from procrastinating on social media; apps like Forest lock you out of your phone for an amount of time of your choosing if that's a distraction for you, and it "grows a tree" in the process. Being able to work effectively and efficiently is better than setting aside an afternoon to work on an essay and spending 2 hours of the day stuck in a never-ending loop of cute cat videos (again, super tempting but not the most productive...)
#3 Get perspective.
Not all stress will be long term, often there will be specific stress points; new situations can be tricky for some people, but eventually they will become commonplace and you'll adjust. Academic demands are normally over in a matter of months or a few weeks for specific deadlines. With after uni plans it may be helpful to remember that it will work out, even if it requires a bit of patience and flexibility to begin with. Viewing your life in the big picture, with all its seasons and fluctuations, and seeing these stress points in light of this can be a great way to reduce the overwhelmed feeling. Instead of looking at the worst-case scenario, which tends to be our first response, try and envisage the best case and work through the problems one by one as they arise. Don't forget to chat to people if you need help, especially if finances are an issue.
#4 Do something you love.
This one’s a bit of a no brainer, but keep doing the things that you enjoy! We realise that sometimes it’s hard to sit back and relax because you're so stressed about everything, but that's why it's good to be doing something that will give you something else to concentrate on, for example a craft activity or some exercise. Passions are still passions and things that you enjoy will be needed to keep you together and feeling like yourself in these hectic times.
#5 Talk to someone.
Stress does not have to be the defining feature of uni. University can be a great, life defining and positive experience! The best way to enable this is by setting yourself up to deal with things before they get to be too much. We hope that at least one of these five tips might be helpful to you. Feel free to share more with us on Facebook or Twitter. We shall leave you with Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
We know that for many stress and anxiety are much more complicated issues that may require more attention. If you are struggling and feel your mental and physical health is suffering, please seek help from your GP. You can also contact The Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling 116 123 for free.