Life in Lockdown: Stress Management for Students
Charlotte is a freelance writer focused on student living. She shares some helpful tips to manage stress and lighten life in lockdown, from simplifying everyday tasks to creating a balanced routine.
The life of a student can be stressful even in normal times, but lockdown has definitely added to the problems, worries and stresses and has caused a reported 73% of students to suffer with their mental health. Stress is a common problem that many people face in small doses each day; however, when levels get too high, it can have severe mental and physical consequences, including the development of depression, fatigue, digestive problems, eating difficulties and physical pain such as migraines. We all want to steer well clear of stress, so how can students manage the stress of being in lockdown?
Make everyday tasks easier
As a student, you will have a lot on your plate. Exams, assignments, job interviews and financial struggles with many students losing their jobs over lockdown. The last thing that you want to be worrying about is everyday tasks that should be simple, but somehow always manage to cause some stress. A great example of one of these annoying tasks is paying your bills. In student house shares, you may need to spread household bills between anywhere from 2 to 10 people! This requires a lot of working out, discussion, nagging and potentially arguments, until the bills are finally paid. However, this task can be made easier by using one of the many apps out there, such as Glide, which make splitting bills as simple as one click. This is just one example of how to remove stress from everyday tasks, giving you more time to focus on the important things.
Have a social media detox!
Social media plays a huge role in how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. In times of stress, the last thing we want to be doing is comparing ourselves to perfect images online, or bombarding ourselves with negative content that makes the current situation seem a whole lot worse. Social media can be great to stay in touch with friends or for light entertainment, but the influence of constant exposure can be detrimental to our stress levels and our mental health. If you are starting to feel self-conscious, pressured into fitting an ideal or overly worried, it is probably time to take a break from social media. Try logging out of your Instagram account for a week – you might even end up deleting it for good! There are plenty of other ways to keep in touch with friends that will be far more beneficial for your mental health.
Have a routine
When you have a semester’s worth of assignments staring at you plus a load of chores to be done, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and let stress creep up on you. The best way to cope and stay on top of everything, is to create a routine that gives you time to complete all your tasks and also gives you valuable time to relax. In lockdown, it is tempting to lay in until mid-afternoon, but this will only leave you pulling all-nighters to finish that essay you should have started weeks ago! Creating a routine will prompt you to wake up earlier and complete your tasks during the day, so that your evenings can be used for rest – which is vitally important for busy students. A routine will also encourage you to start assignments early and keep you focussed on tasks so that you can get them done quicker. It feels incredibly satisfying to tick things off of your to-do list.
Move your body
Being stuck inside all day, sitting at your desk will not help with stress. The body needs movement to help it function well and to give your brain a rest from uni work. In lockdown, gyms and sports clubs may be closed, however you can still get outside to go for a walk in the fresh air. Moving your body has so many benefits and is great for decluttering the mind when you feel overwhelmed. You should try and move outside for at least 30 minutes every day. This can be a leisurely walk with a friends, or even an early morning run to get your day going! Walking or running outside allows you to look after both your physical and mental health, which will optimise your performance at uni work.
Find out more:
Stress Survival Guide – Stress Busters
Part 3 of our Stress Survival Guide focuses on how to limit the negative effects of stress if we start to feel overwhelmed
50+ Things to Do in Isolation
Life in lockdown doesn’t have to be a bore – here are 50+ things to do to help you stay sane or let out a bit of weirdness…
About the Author
Charlotte Murphy is a freelance writer who advocates for a healthy mind. As a graduate, she severely misses her university life, and looks for any opportunity to revisit her experiences through writing!
When she isn’t at her laptop, Charlotte can be found in the kitchen making Chinese fake-away dishes or walking in the local park with her cocker spaniel.