UNITAR’s Counselling Unit: How Students Can Manage Stress Healthily

Stress can either be your enemy or ally, depending on how it is managed. Notice how most self care guide blogs or magazines talk about managing stress and not getting rid of it all together. Too much stress in your life can lead to a constant state of anxiety, an absence of stress means you do not prioritise or give importance to certain aspects of your life such as education, work, family and so on. Managing stress can lead to achieving a calm demeanour even during challenging seasons. Stress management is especially important for students with the frequent flow of assignments, tests, examinations and other personal issues that can lead to a downward spiral if not dealt with. Listed below are some effectively proven methods of managing stress on a regular basis as a student.


1. Prioritise self-care

Prioritising your health through an adequate diet plan and workout routine can get you a long way. Stress is a natural defence which aids us against predators and danger as a result of evolution.  The stress mechanism is triggered through a flood of hormones which would either trigger a fight or flight response. However common stress triggers these days do not require a fight or flight response, therefore the release of hormones only wears out the body. Exercising eliminates this factor, the physical exertion helps properly utilise the stress hormones released which eliminates the constant feeling of anxiety and stress.


2. Have an outlet to de-stress

How most people cope with stress solely depends on their outlet. Without an outlet, you are only sweeping things under the rug only to see an outburst in the future. An outlet solely depends on what calms you down or something you see as a reward. This can be gaming, binge watching a show, sports, arts and craft et cetera.


3. Stay organised by managing your time well

Time management is a key tip to cope with your stress, especially for students. Deadlines can be overwhelming if viewed as a whole. But if you broke your deadlines down to fit your schedule which includes your daily routine, you would find it easier to tackle a task while giving it full attention. Have your schedule colour coordinated or maybe you like to save the easier tasks for last, there is no right way of time management, base it on your preference.


4. Give mindfulness exercises a shot

Mindfulness exercises are a highly effective way to overcome your stress. As the mind is what forms the stress in the first place, therefore the mind could be the best place for you to start. By simply tuning out the exterior distractions and focusing on your steps, your position laying down, your breathing and mental imagery. Diverting your mind’s focus can help you de-stress at the moment of a stressful situation, which can result in more clearheaded decisions by the end of your mindfulness exercise. 


5. Be a participator

As much as we like to think of ourselves as dark and mysterious, humans are social creatures. By putting yourself out there and being an active participant you can gain insight and even a sense of belonging in a community. Handling a stressful situation alone is not always the way to go. Consider participating in a club or society within your university and you might even find new friends that can relate to your stressors in the process. Having people to journey with during your years as a student can greatly impact the outcome of how you tackle stressful situations later in life.

Joining a club you are passionate about is a great tip if you want to network and de-stress after a tiring day meeting deadlines or studying. Consider browsing through UNITAR International Universities’ wide range of clubs and communities to get yourself a potential new outlet to manage your stress.


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