In our day to day lives there are several reasons why we may stress; this can be due to exams, revision, work, or home life. Below is a list of a few tips that can help you destress and look after your mental health. When going through a period of stress, the body and mind goes through a lot more than you may think, sometimes it may be obvious, other times not so much. Therefore, to ensure that your mental health and physical wellbeing is not strained even further, its vital to understand what you can do to maintain your wellbeing.
- Watch something funny – During periods of stress it can lead to low mood which can affect your mental health as you constantly may be having feelings of sadness or ‘moodiness.’ I have learnt that one way of embracing a positive mood change is by laughter as it can relieve stress and physical tension – I mean they do say ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ for a reason, right?
- Listen to music – Music is quite a common suggestion, yet it can help in many ways in terms of focusing or relaxing. For example, playing uplifting music can stimulate the brain to release feel-good chemicals such as dopamine which can help uplift moods. I use music as a source of escaping from reality and it can occupy the mind with something soothing and familiar.
- Have a bath – Relax your muscles and mind by taking a good soak – you can even play music to enhance your comfort. This will also prepare you ahead for a decent night’s sleep!
- Grab a munch 😊 – We all love food, let’s be honest! However, using food as a stress reliever all the time is not the best solution as it could lead to negative eating habits as the body can become too reliant on this – but that doesn’t mean treating yourself to a delicious meal every now and then is prohibited. From my personal experience, I have learnt stressing can be very distracting to the point where you can even forget to eat properly or lose your appetite and so, creating a form routine may help in terms of managing workload or revision. That one tasty meal may be the thing to lift your mood unknowingly.
- Invest some time in your hobby – Some of you may instantly think of having no hobbies or likes since you might just resolve to watching Netflix during any free time AND THAT’S FINE. Not everyone needs to have active or physical hobbies to do, for me, a hobby can be anything that can make you feel happy or relaxed. So, whether it is boring or not, if it makes you happy – do it. (Plus, who does not like Netflix)
- Speak to someone – Personally, talking to someone close to me such as friends or family is much easier as they can understand me easier and creates an atmosphere of comfort knowing I have people around me who I can always go to when feeling anxious or stressed. This is because most of the time your family or friends may also have had the same experience or are going through what you are as well so being able to relate to them can relieve some tension as you would know you are not alone. If you prefer to talk to someone outside of your family or friend circle, you can talk to a counsellor or helpline as some people prefer an anonymous aspect. Essentially, talking through it has been proven to allow weight to be lifted off one’s shoulders – you could also write these thoughts down too.
- Talk a walk – Getting some fresh air can be more helpful than you think. Walking triggers the release of endorphins which reduce stress hormones. And you get your steps in!!
- Self-care – This can be anything that makes you feel relaxed whether its skincare, the gym, sleep, or even video games. Taking time to appreciate your self and giving yourself love and compassion by doing these things can bring about positive emotions whilst simultaneously relaxing your mind which has been on overdrive. Even sitting in silence for 10-15 mins and focusing on your breathing can reset your mind, body, and soul.
- Get a decent amount of sleep – Our bodies need rest to function properly for the day ahead and depriving it of adequate sleep can put a strain onto our mental and physical health and how well we perform for the day. It can also result in poor attention span, and you may struggle to concentrate hence people turn to coffee to help them focus. Try to avoid this by setting a good sleep routine to ensure you are well rested.
- Yoga/Mindfulness – Studies show that yoga can ease stress as it can steer the mind away from those stressful thoughts – by attempting those muscle stretching poses, you will feel the tension burning away (Literally…).
If you need support with your mental health and wellbeing support is available. Contact the University Counselling and Wellbeing service email@example.com Tel: +44 (0)1274 235750.
The Counselling and Mental Health Service are located in Student Central, level 01.
Free and confidential service for students operated by Health Assured.24 hour helpline: 0800 028 3766
Students at the University of Bradford can now access a range of mental health and other support online. The UoBwell app is free to students and hosts an array of support and is aimed at increasing mental health support amongst students. You can access the wellbeing web app on any device @ www.uobwell.co.uk The app is a great resource for students to help you maintain good mental health and wellbeing throughout your studies via useful tools and tips.
More information about the app and wellbeing events taking place at university can be found at @UoBWell and uobwell.info.
To find out how you can get involved get in touch by email- firstname.lastname@example.org.