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The Learning Institute

The Learning Institute

Don’t panic!

This International Panic Day, don’t stress in silence! Check out our top tips for busting stress while studying. #InternationalPanicDay

Stress is a bit topical for students this time of year. It always seems that exams, deadlines and workloads stack up in May and June. However, stress can strike at any time of the year: you can be doing just fine, and then that one extra demand comes along and topples your carefully organised schedule. It doesn’t even have to be study related – sometimes the hardest thing can be balancing studying and home life, especially if you are working as well! 

Today is International Panic Day today (not to be confused with International Picnic Day, also today, and what glorious weather we had!). We aren’t sure who started coming up with these days, but we feel that International Panic Day highlights a really important point: when you’re stressed it’s really easy to get into the mind-set that everyone else is managing just fine and you are the only person who is struggling to cope. It isn’t true – everyone gets stressed. Some people are better as disguising it, some people are better with managing it, but everyone knows how it feels to be under pressure and worried about getting everything done. 

The other important thing to remember is that there are things you can do to reduce your stress levels – it’s easy to try to just soldier through, but it isn’t always the best thing for your wellbeing or your productivity. Here are 5 things you can right now to lower your stress levels: 

1) Write a list – put everything you have to do on it, starting with writing a list and having a cup of tea (and a biscuit!). We stole this one from stand-up comedians, but we still think it’s genius. You get a breather and to cross something off your list before starting. Your list might be long, but it will stop you worrying about forgetting things and it puts it in perspective – what feels overwhelming in your head can be broken down into a list of smaller tasks. 

2) Don’t let it take over – if you are sleep deprived, badly nourished or ill then your ability to deal with stress, to take things in your stride and even to complete tasks is going to be compromised. You have to make looking after yourself a priority because this time next year it is what will matter. Make sure you eat properly (ideally 3 meals a day!) and aim to sleep a solid 7-8 hours – if nothing else, this should help boost your mood! 

3) Turn off your phone – when you are taking down time, make it real down time. Try to ensure that your time off is relaxing and fun – don’t get into any twitter wars, check your emails or read the news if that’s the sort of thing that ruins your evening. Try to find something that will take your mind off work and makes you laugh – laughter is a great stress buster! 

4) Blow off some steam – find the right person to chat to and offload. Try to find someone who is sympathetic but won’t worry about fixing your problems for you! Talking about what’s worrying you with someone can put your worries in perspective, and they might even have some suggestions to help! 

5) Exercise – whether it’s going for a swim or chasing the kids around the park, any exercise will help. Getting your heart rate up is a huge stress buster. You get to burn off some steam and exercise helps you feel refreshed and energized. As a bonus, it also helps you sleep! If you can manage to get outside whilst you are doing it, so much the better – the vitamin D, fresh air and sunshine will work wonders!