How to de-stress before the end of term

Put down that shot and get a Filofax


It’s coming to the end of term, deadlines are looming, but it’s not quite the last week yet. We’re all stressed, we’ve been putting the work off for too long and now it’s caught up with us. I’m writing this article in an effort to try and put off writing an inevitable essay, for example.

It’s at this point in the term that the minor nervous breakdowns start, and everyone just wishes it would be over. To help you cope with the stress of it all until that final essay has been turned in and you can go to the Winter Blowout, we’ve put together a list of techniques to help you to de-stress before the holidays.

Exercise

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Whether it’s team sport, Zumba, or yoga exercising is a great way to de-stress. Exercising pushes endorphins round your body, which essentially help to make you happy and reduce stress levels. The classes down at RHUL’s gym are especially good as they’re a laugh and help you to forget about pretty much everything else.

Eat healthily

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Your mum probably tells you this all the time, but research has shown it’s meant to work. Eating fatty comfort foods, like chocolate and pizza, can make people feel lethargic and actually increase stress. The answer is low-fat, fibre rich foods (basically everything you don’t want, but that you know is good for you).

Have a social life

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I know, it sounds crazy. But to reduce stress effectively you need to have a balance and switch off. Still seeing your friends or going to societies on a regular basis will help to lower the stress levels, and mean that when you do work it will be more effective. Hold off on going to the SU though – alcohol can have a negative effect on people’s bodies because it’s a depressant, and can lead to feelings of depression in the long term, which makes stress harder to deal with.

Try something new

Working the knees

Working the knees

Research has shown that learning a new skill improves mental wellbeing. It doesn’t necessarily reduce stress, but can help create positive feelings which help to reduce stress in the future. Something as simple as learning how to bake a cake will help you to de-stress, it doesn’t have to be Bake Off quality.

Organise yourself

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This probably seems really simple, but making a schedule takes pressure off you having to remember everything, and so brings down the stress levels. Having it all planned out means that you can focus on what’s really important. The SU helpdesk have wall planners with a calendar for the whole year, and there are tips online too.

Don’t compare yourself to others

Setting the page on fire with some hard work

Setting the page on fire with some hard work

You know that mate who has read the book 15 times and had the essay planned two weeks ago? They’re lying. And even if they’re not, everyone works at their own pace. Avoid asking your friends how they’re getting on, because they’ll either make you more stressed or you’ll make them more stressed if you’ve done more. Just do you for now.

Sleep

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Photo cred: Spotted RHUL

Contrary to popular belief, staying up all night cramming isn’t the best way. Cramming might mean you pass the exam, but you won’t remember any of it the next day. Likewise, if you write an essay all in one night you probably won’t have a clue about what to remember when it comes to the summer exam. The advice online recommends a good night’s sleep is better than anything for not getting stressed.

Following these tips (should) help with the stress that comes with the end of term. You might want to go and drown your sorrows at Toast, but it might be a better idea to leave that until after the essays.