Are You A Stress Mess?

October 11, 2018 by Shelby Baile

Are You A Stress Mess?

As the end of semester creeps up on us, you may have noticed an increase in frazzled, anxious students rushing around campus or falling asleep in the library. And chances are you’re in the same stress-filled boat – albeit probably hiding it a bit better. Due dates lean heavily towards the end of semester, and we often let things slack off until we’re facing sleepless nights and the mother of all deadlines.

*writes article peacefully*
*thinks about upcoming assignment deadlines*
*writes article stressfully*

But not to panic – at least not any more than you already are – there are ways you can help minimise your stress.

So, in honour of Mental Health Week, here are six tips to help you keep the stress at bay:

  1. Do some exercise
    You’ve probably heard it before, but exercise can be a great way to relieve stress.  Physical exercise is well-known to produce endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that reduce pain and make you happy. Exercising will also help you improve your concentration, reduce fatigue, and make you more alert. And it doesn’t have to be intense exercise – if you’re more of a couch potato, you can always try yoga or a long walk.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep
    If you’re anything like me, your sleep philosophy is usually ‘less is more’. And while this means you have a lot more time for a late night Netflix binge, it can have a big impact on your daily life. A lack of sleep can cause irritability and an inability to think clearly – neither of which are going to help you finish you’re assignments or reduce stress. Proper sleep is also known to reduce the production of stress related hormones, which will reduce you’re stress overall.
  3. Set yourself short-term goals
    Stress often brings with it the feeling of being overwhelmed – almost as if you’re drowning under a mountain of tasks – and when this happens it’s easy to just fold under the pressure. But you can regain control – write a list of all your uncompleted tasks and goals, and work your way through them from most urgent to least. Physically crossing something off will give you a sense of achievement and you can even write a daily task list to help feel more in-control of life.
  4. Make time for some pet therapy
    No matter what the situation, my advice will always be to take some time to hang out with a furry friend – and luckily cute animals are actually proven to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. And hey, even if you don’ have a pet – there’s over two million cat videos alone on YouTube.
  5. Work some sunshine into your day
    Millennials and sunlight aren’t often referred to in the same sentence. But  sunlight is an important part of life and can help reduce stress levels. When you’re exposed to sunlight, your body creates a chemical called serotonin, which enhances your mood. So next time you’re sitting down to study, maybe consider heading outside for a breath of fresh air, and some much needed Vitamin D.
  6. Stop Procrastinating and just do it
    Assignments are building, you’re weeks behind on your readings, and exams are drawing closer. You should be spending your time catching up on work – instead you’re thirty weeks deep into someone’s Instagram feed. Procrastination leads to nowhere good, and often whatever you’re putting off will hang over your head until you finally end up finishing it, adding unnecessary stress to your life. So stop procrastinating and plan out your time wisely – trust me it’ll help you from spiralling out of control.

However, if these tips don’t help and you’re feeling overly stressed about uni or just want someone to talk to, the Student Wellbeing Advisors may be able to help.

Drop into Curtin Connect in Building 102 Monday to Friday between 8:30am – 4:30pm. For those of you not on campus, you can call the Student Wellbeing hotline on 1800 244 043 (it’s free) or email studentwellbeing@curtin.edu.au.

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