10 Healthy Ways to deal with Stress as a Student

As Uni Students, stress seems to come along with the package, which sucks! Here at nxtstep, we’ve done the research and have put together our top 10 healthy ways to manage stress throughout the semester! 

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As Uni Students, stress seems to come along with the package, which sucks! The best ways to release this tension can come in many forms. Here at nxtstep, we’ve done the research and have put together our top 10 healthy ways to manage stress throughout the semester! 

1. Finding your Fuel

What gets you going and can always make you feel better? Making a list of your feel-good items and activities is an excellent way to think about your habits, interests and alleviate some stress while also putting together a guide to help you when you get stressed in the future. You’ll be able to refer back to this list and have a selection of ways to make yourself feel good and reduce stress. If you are more creatively inclined, turning this list into an art piece can help to relieve some anxiety. Alternatively, you can always make a quick list of ideas, thoughts and activities in a notes app on your phone or device. In just a couple of minutes, this simple idea can boost your mood and keep on hand if you need it in the future.
2. Get your heart pumping! 

Another quick way to release some stress, improve brain function, and more is through exercise. Unleashing your focus through an action-packed box-fit class, lifting something heavy (but safely), or even just power walking can help you release some of your built-up emotions and put you in a better frame of mind. Joining sports clubs on campus or the Universities Sports and Recreation Centres can allow you to create a routine for stress release. Releasing stress will ensure that even at your busiest points in the semester, you will have an outlet to channel and remove some of your Uni work stress, so you can keep on keeping on while staying at your A-game.

3. Get Outside

Stop everything, shut off those devices and get outside. As students, especially during the assignments peaks of the semester, it’s so easy to fall into the digital loop. We study on our devices, and we use them to relax too. So, pick up an activity that pushes you to venture into the outdoors. If you are more adventurous, you could try hiking, tramping, biking or camping. You could also try your hand at gardening or volunteering for a day of tree planting. While your weekdays might be focused on Uni life, reserve your weekends for a little outdoor adventure. Weekend Adventure? And Stress Reliever? Yes Please! 
4. Breathe Deeply

Short Term Instant Fix needed? Say less. Try some deep breathing exercises. When stressed, we tend to take in more shallow breaths, reducing our oxygen levels and inadvertently causing our bodies to stress out more! Yikes! Deep breathing will help you slow your heart rate down and have a relaxing effect on you. Incorporated with meditation, allow yourself time to process your thoughts and uncover the underlying stressors in your life. Time to channel your inner Zen (close your eyes if it helps) and breathe in for 8 seconds, hold for eight and breathe out for 8. Repeat.

5. Get some sleep! 

Yes, crazy workloads, pressure and impending deadlines require you to work more, but sleep is so much more important for your overall well-being. Aim for 8 hours of sleep and have a quick nap after your classes if you need it. It’s time to focus more energy on improving your schedule to avoid skipping out on sleep. The best way to get those assignments done, and done well, is to make sure that you are at your best. Being well-rested is part of that package. Is sleep for the weak? Nah, All A’s get those Zzzz’s.
 
6. Have a drink (or a couple) with a trusted friend.

Laughter is the best therapy, and your friends are the key! While uni-life is all go, don’t abandon your social circles and friends. Talk them through what’s going on. It’ll help release some of that pressure you are carrying around, and you’ll be connecting with your friends. If there is something that you are working on. Still, feeling a bit stuck, your friends might be able to provide that fresh perspective you are looking for, or at the very least will be able to distract you long enough that you forget why you were feeling stressed and anxious in the first place while putting a smile on your dial.

7. Time to Eat Well

If you fall behind in your coursework, it can be easy to reach out for all your comfort food and snacks to get you through the day. But push yourself to ditch the ramen and Redbull for something more substantial. Challenge yourself to eat at least one fresh fruit a day and incorporate a couple of veggies into your meals! Eating healthier will fuel you for longer, boost your mental productivity, and make you feel better about yourself. If you are struggling with finances and food security, please reach out to your Universities student welfare group or student association for support.
 
8. Channel your inner kid

Head to a playground or arcade and let your inner child run wild. Have a swing on a swing-set, whack a mole and enjoy some time doing something out of the ordinary!  Disrupt your regular Uni routine and reclaim your life outside of Uni! Even a couple of hours doing something fun with no consequences will help you destress and make you feel so much happier. Run wildly with your friends and giggle like kids again; you’ll make some life-long memories and will feel more content and confident going back to your Uni work.

9. Escape.

Into another world. Mentally. Sometimes it’s good to take yourself outside of your current situation and distract yourself with something else. You can find a good book, TV show, movie or even video game to transport you to another place and another situation. Working through different problems and challenges can shed light on your situation and help you find closure and ways to work through your stress.
 
10. Talking to a professional

Sometimes it is best to leave it to the professionals. If you feel that your stress impacts your day-to-day routine and getting in the way of performing basic tasks, it’s time to talk to a counsellor or therapist. They’ll be able to work through different strategies with you and make sure you get back on your feet in no time! Your University should have a health and counselling centre with either free or subsided sessions available.

As you can see, managing your stress doesn’t need to be time consuming or expensive! And there are so many healthy ways to reduce Uni and life stress with something to suit everyone. So take control of the pressure in your life and try out one of these stress releases as your next step! 

-  Eleanor Almeida, Nxtstep Content Writer

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