At ULaw, we understand the importance of good mental health and wellbeing when it comes to achieving your goals. Whether it’s exam deadlines, job interviews, or just one of those hectic days can all contribute to our stress levels. As Stress Awareness Day approaches, ULaw has compiled some tip tips for reducing this not-so-welcome feeling.
By Elsa Tatam. Published 01 November 2021. Last updated 11 January 2023.
Take a break
When something is causing us stress, it’s natural to dwell on it and try to find a solution. Sometimes the best solutions come when we get some headspace and return to the problem with fresh eyes.
When focusing on something for too long, concentration and productivity are reduced. Take a break, go outside, chat to a friend and watch your good mood bounce back. Be sure to have multiple breaks a day and prioritise this as much as your studies.
Make time for you
It’s easy to hyper-fixate on the problem when feeling stressed and then neglect doing small things that we enjoy.
We all know the importance of taking a break but be sure to also make time for your hobbies. Doing small things that we enjoy allows us to practise gratitude and generally improve our mood.
Taking time out to indulge in our hobbies can be challenging when managing a busy schedule but making time for these activities gives us something motivating or relaxing to enjoy at the end of a long day. So, if you love reading, knitting, or even just watching cat videos on the internet - make some extra time for it and put yourself first.
Focus on your breathing
Now, this one might sound obvious, but taking a few moments to focus on our breathing reduces blood pressure and allows a greater flow of oxygen to the brain, leaving us feeling much more relaxed.
While stress is a mental feeling, it has physical roots. When we are stressed, the body releases the stress hormone cortisol keeping us on high alert and our body tenses up as a result.
When we focus on our breathing, we lose some of this tension and our mind feels revitalised.
There are many breathing techniques to alleviate stress such as the 5-4-3-2-1 method. Focus on something you can see, something you can touch, something you can hear and something you can taste. In between each observation, you inhale and count to five, and then take a deep exhale. This is known as a grounding technique and helps to bring you back to the present moment when your mind becomes overwhelmed by stress.
Embrace a health kick
Having a balanced diet and exercise routine is one of the most powerful ways to keep us on track and maintain a healthy body and mind.
This doesn’t mean you need to have an intensive workout routine or complicated diet plan, it means just stripping it back to the basics. Make sure you reserve some time each day to exercise, whether you prefer running, yoga, going to the gym or just a leisurely walk.
Exercising stimulates the release of dopamine and endorphins, improving mood and reducing feelings of stress instantly.
As a ULaw student you will have access to a range of support for your mental health and wellbeing. Find out more now.