‘Try not to let it consume you’: How I deal with stress at university
Feel like giving up on uni? Want to just be done with it? Well, as Monica says in Friends, “Welcome to the real world. It sucks, but you’re going to love it.”
And that’s what I think about when I’m stressed out. Life isn’t easy. Everybody knows that. Instead, life is beautifully difficult. It takes a lot of effort to believe in these words. I believe in them. And to be honest, it works 60% of the time for me. The other 40% is how I deal with it in real life.
Juggling studies, money worries and homesickness can really take a toll on you. It becomes difficult to handle everything altogether, but I’m here to let you know that it’s okay. It’s okay to get stressed out. But try not to let it consume you. Over this past year I’ve had some realisations, and I think they might help you.
A normal uni day for me would be waking up to Monday morning blues and rushing for the first seminar with just one cup of coffee. Trust me with this, it isn’t enough. Coffee might give you a good kick, but it can cause your sugar levels to fluctuate. So, with your coffee, help yourself to a healthy breakfast that will keep you going all morning.
When lunch comes around it’s easy to spend £5-10 on a meal, leaving us short on money toward the end of the week. Instead, think about other options, like packing a lunch box, which will save money and help you stay healthy. A good home-cooked meal is always satisfying, but what’s the easiest thing to cook? Well, how about one of these tasty 30-minute meals?
My personal favourite is always a veggie patty wrap or lentils with rice. It’s healthy and I never get tired of it. If you don’t have time to prep lunch at home, go for a healthy meal deal at a local shop or cafe.
When I get home from a tiresome day, the first thing I want to do is sleep, because sleep is everybody’s favourite. But instead, I find an alternative way to use my time and give myself a break. Why not try one of these ideas?
- Go for a jog or a brisk walk
- Do a 15 minute exercise session
- Write in a diary or read something you love
- Paint, play or listen to good music
- Lastly, meditate
These five things are the simplest ways to relax after a hectic day at uni. Make sure you have one of your favourite meals before going to bed and end the day on a positive. A hot shower will also help release all your stress!
As well as relaxing in the evenings, it’s also helpful to take a whole day out of your schedule to really detox from the week’s stresses. I kept Wednesdays to myself. I had class only for an hour and would then go to my favourite spot in town and relax. With endorphins released into my body from being outdoors, life would become a little easier.
Lastly, it’s not easy to wake up in the morning and cook for the day ahead, so use your Sundays to batch-cook your favourite meals for the whole week. That will keep you going while taking the stress out of deciding what to eat each day. Here are some ideas to get you started.