As students try to juggle University work and leisure, stress is practically unavoidable. Stress is something that affects all of us in our day-to-day lives in varying degrees. I bet most people aren’t aware that this week is stress awareness week.
What is Stress Awareness Week?
This is a week dedicated to raising awareness about stress and its impact on our mental health. This year, stress awareness week will run in the second week of November (7th – 11th) and will have a particular focus on emotional management due to the heightened issues of stress that live on since the pandemic (according to the International Stress Management Association).
Types of stress students may face
To help us resonate with stress awareness week as students, it is important to understand the different types of stress that may affect us as students. The most common types of stress that affect students include:
- Academic Pressures – This is the most obvious type of stress to affect us as students. This stress can be heightened surrounding deadlines, presentations, or exams. But it is important to note that this stress can be present all year round with general feelings of overwhelmingness surrounding workload.
- Financial Struggles – This type of stress is becoming increasingly more common given the current cost of living crisis and it is affecting students on a widespread level.
- Uncertainty of the Future – This is a common type of stress that upcoming graduates may face throughout the year. This is categorised around worrying about what will happen next. For instance, many students be wondering where they will go after
- University – a job, further education, time out etc.
- Work/Life Balance – Some students may have a lot of responsibilities to balance with their studies (e.g., work, childcare, health struggles etc.) which can create added anxiety and stress in their daily lives.
There is great reason to find comfort from the list because many (and in fact most) students will deal with these issues on a weekly or even daily basis as well, so you are not alone in your stress.
Managing your stress
As a student, I have definitely experienced these different types of stress and I have learnt means of handling these stresses.
The best thing I did to manage my stress was to join in with some of the LifeTools webinars, which the University offer. A particular one that has stuck with me was the ‘managing perfectionism’ webinar I attended in my first year. This is because at the time perfectionism (falling under the heading of academic pressures) was my biggest battle but after attending this webinar I learnt many tips and tricks to manage my perfectionism which enabled me to use perfectionism to my benefit and not to my detriment. The session also was very comforting because everyone else there was struggling with the same thing as me, which was a massive help in reducing my stress levels in itself.
Remember that you are not alone in your stress and that there are always people and tools available to help you.
If you feel like you need support managing stress, check out our blog on useful contacts and resources to help you manage and reduce stress.