Ways to deal with stress at university

Posted in: Student Life, University Life

Written by Molly Lee (DMU Journalism student)

Every April, Stress Awareness Month is held to raise awareness about what causes stress and how it can be managed. Everyone experiences stress at some point in their life. For many, it can feel overwhelming and a difficult thing to control. However, there are many ways to deal with stress, especially as a student at university. Here are a few.


Mindfulness is a type of meditation which involves breathing exercises, guided imagery and more to relax the body and mind which reduces stress. It is a technique that you must develop gradually so do not give it up straight away. It may feel silly or useless, but it is a good skill to have when you are stressed. You do not have to tell people you are practising mindfulness, and you can simply do it sitting in your room. Here is a useful guide on how to meditate for beginners.

Speak to someone

Bottling up everything stressing you out and keeping it to yourself will inevitably do more harm than good. Speaking to someone, whether it’s your housemate, friend, family member or someone else, will benefit you. If you have built up tension about something, talking to someone will help release that tension and the person you are speaking to might be able to help you solve what is stressing you. The key thing is – you are not alone.

Both De Montfort University and the University of Leicester have staff and resources available to you if you need help with your stress levels. DMU’s wellbeing team offers various masterclasses and Single Point of Access Appointments (SPA) to help you. Their email address is wellbeing@dmu.ac.uk or you can find more information here. The University of Leicester offers a wide range of services to all students. Their email address is wellbeing@le.ac.uk or you can call them at +44 (0)116 223 1780.

Time management

Knowing how to manage your time effectively is an important skill to have during your university studies. With deadlines, coursework, exams, placements and more, you can often have a lot to do in what seems like very little time. One way to manage your time is by planning and prioritising what you need to do. You could make a calendar plan/schedule with timeslots of what work you will be doing and when.

Making sure you have time to relax

If you’re anything like me, you forget to relax when a deadline looms. Yes, you are at university to learn and leave with a degree. But it is also important to set aside time to unwind and destress from your studies (you could even allocate rest time in your calendar plan). Hobbies are a great way to relax whether it’s crafting, reading, watching your favourite TV show, listening to music and more.

Healthy eating

As a student, it’s easy to order a takeaway after a long day of lectures or to just throw a ready meal in your microwave. A healthy diet can improve your stress levels as it increases your energy and mood. Also, I enjoy cooking homemade meals as they are healthier than a Pot Noodle and it gives me something to do that is different from staring at a laptop screen for hours. There are plenty of healthy recipes that you can try on TikTok – you don’t have to be a pro chef to have a healthy diet.

Just know that you are not alone at university. There are plenty of people who can help and support you during stressful times.

Photo by energepic.com

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