How to manage stress whilst studying
This week is Stress Awareness Week 2021, and our Screen and Film School Manchester Student Support Team are here to share their top tips for managing stress whilst studying.
Many of the stresses of the opening weeks of the academic year are hopefully over: the anticipation, the nerves, the wondering about what is to come. With any luck, everyone has now settled into a productive and rewarding routine at Screen and Film School Manchester. Class timetables will be familiar, friendship groups will be forming, and creativity will be blooming. With all that said, there will always be bumps in the road and difficulties to navigate. Student life, in that sense, is no different to everyday life.
The first week of November, coinciding with the clocks changing, marks International Stress Awareness Week, we’re slap bang in the middle of it now. International Stress Awareness Week was created in 2018 to start widespread and meaningful dialogue about stress prevention.
The subjects, some of which are delicate and complex, are debated and discussed throughout the week. Some of these topics include mental health challenges, employment and anxiety, stress management techniques, and knowing where to look for advice and support.
With that last point in mind, our Student Support team in Manchester have put together some top tips, which we hope will resonate with our brilliant first year students as they continue on their paths to filmmaking success.
Stress is a natural emotion that we all face but it can hit harder when you’re a student trying to make a success of your studies whilst at the same time tackling all of life’s quirks. Common causes for stress as an undergraduate include the following:
- Assignments & exams
- Transitional challenges (such as moving home, finance, living independently)
- Peer pressure
- Time management
- Health Concerns
Having small amounts of stress is good as it enables you to do your best, especially if you have an upcoming exam, assignment, or project. However, not managing your stress can cause serious long term health issues which can adversely affect your physical and mental performance.
In conjunction with Stress Awareness Week, we have devised a list of top tips that we hope can help you cope with any stress you may be experiencing, ensuring you’re performing to the best of your ability as a student. Here are our 5 top tips:
Try to ensure you’re keeping yourself active on daily basis, as it is one key way to reduce stress. When we exercise, we release endorphins that can make us feel good and increase our mental wellbeing.
You can keep it simple, perhaps go for regular walks or play team sports with your friends. Find a way of making time to ensure you’re on the move as often as your schedule allows for. Our students are also eligible for gym discounts – which is an affordable way to keep your heart pumping!
Mindfulness & Meditation
Meditation is another excellent method for coping with stress and anxiety. There are many free videos and apps that offer guided support and breathing techniques. Our recommendations are Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer, all of which can be downloaded on your phone and kickstart your road to mindfulness. Popular YouTube channels such Goodful, The Honest Guys and Tara Brach will help you to switch off and relax too.
Talk to someone
Keeping it all in when you’re stressed can have a negative impact and in turn can make the situation worse. It’s always best to speak to someone you trust when feeling under pressure. This can be a friend or family member but anyone who you trust to listen and support you. That includes our Student Support team at The Film School too, of course. We will always be on hand to offer advice and to guide you towards the various services and resources we have to help you.
Balance your time
Managing your time well is a key skill when being a student, especially if you’re juggling assignment deadlines, work and an active social life. You can manage your time effectively by buying a diary or planner to schedule what you need to do each day and break your tasks into manageable segments. By prioritising work that is more urgent first and less urgent last, you will free up time to relax and reset.
Get into a good sleep routine
The recommended amount of sleep we should all be getting is between 7 to 8 hours. It’s essential to get into a regular sleep routine to ensure that you’re giving your body a rest and to allow yourself to start the next refreshed and ready. Try relaxation techniques before you go to bed or read and avoid looking at a screen. Drinking herbal tea and using lavender drops on your pillow are both effective ways to help you relax and have an unbroken rest.
This is not an exact science, and we’re all different. But hopefully by following the above tips you will give yourself a good shot at coping with any stress you may face before it becomes serious. Try to find what works best for you and always make sure you seek advice and help from those you trust. At Screen and Film School Manchester, there is always somebody to talk to.