In the strain of today’s hustle-and-bustle society — and the fact that UK is in its highest debt to date, owing just over 1.5 trillion — it’s no wonder we can’t cope. Whether you work from 9-5, you’re in full time education or, like many people in the UK, you are still struggling to find a job, the overwhelming reality of it all just gets to be too much.
A rising number of students in the UK are seeking help not only for stress, but also for mental-health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Some of the causes behind these conditions can be living away from home, loneliness, relationship issues, not making friends and the fear of failing. Clearly, these issues can have an adverse effect on a person’s well-being as sufferers tend to shy away from social interaction, shirk their responsibilities and forget self-care when they feel overwhelmed.
When you feel like University work is piling up or you feel alone just know there is a way out: the easiest solution is to speak to people, whether it’s your tutor or a professional. However, there are things you can do on your own to make yourself feel better, too. Stress management should be a key part in everyone’s life: read below for 5 tips to manage your stress right now.
1. TAKE A BREAK
I know this sounds obvious, right? But with everything going on, we need a break from what is happening in our lives. You don’t have time to rest? Yes, you do: take a 5-10 minute walk outside or even around the campus, go get a drink and some food, because you can’t work if your glass is empty (that’s a metaphor for you)!
Again, being busy, this is so hard to fit in — I know the struggle — but you need to do something each day. At the moment my exercise is commuting, so I take the stairs and I walk a brisk pace to feel I’ve achieved the same elevated heart-rate as I would while exercising.
Exercise can help your mentality so much. It releases serotonin and can help regulate your blood sugar levels, which can be all over the place. Along with this it can tame hormones and help you concentrate, so… what’s not to like?
I think it says it all, right? Go find a funny YouTube video or a meme. Look at it and smile, or go have a laugh with your friends. Go. Now.
Some people may think this is a ridiculous notion, but meditation isn’t always sitting cross-legged while chanting “Ommm.” It can actually just be you taking 2 minutes in between important tasks to breathe. Try now to concentrate on your breathing: breathe in for 5 seconds and breath out for the same count. It helps, doesn’t it? If you really want to research this method, go grab a book from Amazon or a discount store and have a read.
5. TALK TO THE PROFESSIONALS
And last, but certainly not least, it’s important to remember that these tips are only temporary solutions. In solving issues like stress and anxiety, there’s no overnight fix. Please, if you feel bogged down, tired all the time, unmotivated, less hungry, more hungry… ALL of these could be signs of depression. Everyone reacts to stress and depression in a different way, and if you feel hopeless, please contact someone — anyone.
And even if it’s not you suffering, please reach out to anyone you think is having a hard time. You can be that shoulder for them to lean on or a smiling face for them to smile back at. Something that simple can make such a difference — it all starts with you.
Kingston University has daily drop-in sessions for well-being at Penrhyn Road:
If you feel you would like some help or support, please attend one of our regular drop-ins and talk it through confidentially with one of our qualified and experienced Well-being Practitioners or our Health Advisor. You will be advised on the support options available to you and how they are accessed.
There is also the Student Life Centre, which is situated on the ground floor of the JG building, and the Medical Centre, which is at the back of the University — both can give you help and guidance.
020 8417 2172
— Sophie Ogden