Stress is a part of student life. Five students have written about their personal experiences and their methods for calming the anxiety and reducing the intensity of stress when it seems to be at its peak.
When I am stressed, it’s usually due to a pile up of work and deadlines. I find the best way to deal with this is to simply write down everything I need to get done and spread the workload out over the week. Planning the week ahead means I can make sure that everything I need to do has a time allocated to it, which reduces mt stress as I am reassured that I can get all the tasks done.
I find bullet journalling very useful for keeping track of the weeks, as it is flexible and easily works with studies and other jobs. Bullet journalling is also a good way to be creative, as you can set it out however you like, using it as both a planner and a journal. I find this especially useful for detailing with stress as being creative is a great way to relieve tension.
I find Edinburgh’s streets to be a source of solace in times of stress. The best time for a stroll is during the hour before sunset, when the sky is ablaze with brushstrokes of ruby and amber. Escaping the chaos of your own mind, even for just a short while, is the key to dissipating the feelings of anxiety that can often become crippling if not properly addressed.
The city is the perfect distraction, with its bustling throb of activity and its melange of ornate architecture, set against the backdrop of a sloping valley and Scotland’s rich, pastoral landscape. So, next time you’re on North Bridge just before the hour of twilight, why not pause midway – just for a moment – to soak up the glorious view amidst the busied people heading home for the night. Invasive thoughts induced by pesky stress will temporarily be obstructed when your mind is awash with the splendor of Edinburgh at sundown.
Currently, I’m in a period of high stress and I personally experience stages during such periods. Initially, I freak out, as everyone does. I have a bit of a cry, and call my sister. I then think about solutions to make myself feel more in control rather than overthink about how many things I need to do.
I make a list of tasks I need to do in order of importance, and make a timetable to allocate times and deadlines for each task. After this, I find that exercise is a great help to me. It doesn’t have to be heavy cardio – yoga is something that really helps to clear my mind, even if that’s just for an hour.
I also find that it really helps not to talk too much to friends about your stress because then you realise how much you’ve got to do, freaking yourself out even more. I only tell friends who will be useful, and who I know will give me good advice.
Whenever I feel stressed, I usually come home from the library a little early, buy a bottle of wine, and cook a really large meal. Something about cooking – the smells, the colours – is really therapeutic to me. Just sticking on a podcast (at the moment it’s Serial) and mindlessly chopping for an hour or two really de-stresses me.
Usually, I choose something I’ve never cooked before – the challenge of a new recipe or cuisine keeps my mind away from university stress and on the task in front of me. The chance to get creative with seasoning and ingredients is satisfying and soothing – however, the best thing about this de-stressing activity is all of the food you get to eat after.
Image: Nick Youngson via Alpha Stock Images