10 ways to stress less

Mallika M. is in her final semester of her Arts degree. She is studying psychology and is passionate about mental health and hopes to be a psychologist in the future.

Week 10 has graced us with its presence and chances are most of you are stressing out about that exam/essay/assignment/test/all of the above (if you are one of those people who start their assignments well in advance, I envy you!).

Well, lucky for you, the lovely folks at UMSU Welfare have organised a bunch of stress relieving activities throughout the week as part of Stress Less Week. Make sure to check out their Facebook page for a full lowdown of all the events going on!

To help you out further, I’ve complied a list of ways to stress less. Here they are, my 10 tips to stress less:

1) Make a study plan.

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More often than not, we tend to stress out about assignments because we have multiple due at the same and we’ve left it till the last minute. Planning out when you have everything due and allocating time to finish them can be really helpful as it gives you an understanding of how much time you have left and what’s the best way to split your time.

Making daily or weekly to-do lists can be really helpful too and if you are not a pen and paper person, there are a tonne of free apps such as Trello and Wunderlist. You should also check out Daphane’s blog post about time management tips here.

2) Talk to a friend/parent/colleague/teacher

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Realising that you are not in this alone and that there are others who are/have been in the same situation can be really relieving. Talking to someone about what is stressing you out can not only be therapeutic but the person might also have some good advice on the situation. Also, it’s a great way to make friends/study buddies with people in your tutorials/classes.

3) Meditate

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Meditating is a great way to relieve stress and it involves breathing exercises throughout the day when you are feeling overwhelmed. You may find that a five minute meditation session at the end of the day helpful. If breathing exercises are not enough, there are many free apps that can help manage your stress/anxiety such as these.

4) Go outside and get some air


Being stuck indoors all day studying can be exhausting. Getting outside to exercise or just to go for a walk and clear your mind is really helpful. Instead of spending your two hour break between classes to cram for a test/finish an assignment, try and spend at least 15 minutes outside whether it be on South Lawn or System Gardens or by taking the scenic route to your next class! Also, exercising has been proven to be a great way to cope with stress effectively!

5) Visualise your goal

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Visualising your goal, whether it be doing well in that cool subject you’re taking this semester, or being able to spend days on end napping during the winter break, can be helpful when reminding yourself why you are doing this work. When you are feeling overwhelmed, realise that this present source of stress is not forever, and in a few weeks it’ll be over!

6) Reward yourself


Staying motivated when you are stressed out can be hard. Giving yourself small rewards can keep you motivated. I like to allow myself one episode of Gilmore Girls after every 500 words I’ve written.

7) Take a nap

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No one deserves a nap more than a sleep deprived Uni student. Stress can be aggravated when you are sleep deprived, and stress and sleep deprivation together are lethal for productivity. So take some time in your day to snuggle up with your blankie!

8) Listen your favourite song and/or dance to it

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As the great Philosopher Taylor Swift once said, ‘Shake it off’.

9) Take a guilt-free break

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Inevitably, you cannot work continuously and you need to take a guilt-free break.

10) Seek help when needed

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Mostly importantly, understand when you need help. Stress can sometimes trigger depression or anxiety, and tackling it in the early stages before it gets unbearable is SO important.

Never feel ashamed that you are struggling with your coursework, because you are not alone. There are a large number of free helplines such as Beyond Blue, Headspace and ARCVic to name a few. There is also the Uni’s free counselling service which offers one-on-one counselling. So if you are feeling anxious or down, you can always turn to these services for help.

Good luck with the rest of semester and I hope this list has been helpful!

– Mallika

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