7 ways to help yourself if you’re feeling stressed

University of Leeds
4 min readJan 16, 2023

The exam period can be a stressful time for all students, regardless of what course you do or what year you’re in. Here are a few top tips to help you manage your mental health during stressful times.

Take some time for yourself

Studying is important, but make sure you schedule time in your day to do things that you enjoy, whether that’s going for a run before you start your day, or meeting friends for a drink in the evening. Remember that whilst being disciplined with your studying is important, you don’t have to revise 24/7!

Talk about how you’re feeling

It’s important to talk about your feelings, especially if you feel overwhelmed or anxious.

Talk to your friends: Talking to friends who are going through exams with you can be helpful and relieving, as they’re in the same boat! But be careful not to compare yourself to them — remember, we all have different ways of studying and working.

Talk to someone at the University: The University offers free counselling and wellbeing services, both in-person and online.

Talk to someone after hours: Leeds Nightline are a student society based at LUU where you can seek support and chat anonymously via instant messaging (IM), email or phone call. Their IM and phone line services are open 8pm — 8am.

Exercise

Exercise can really help to relieve stress and is great for your physical and mental health. It can also help to improve concentration and productivity as well as taking your mind off your work as it provides an alternative focus. If you lack motivation then why not exercise with a friend so that you can motivate each other?

Not sure where to start? Try getting involved with a class at the gym — The Edge has a range of classes to try out!

Be organised

Being organised will help you feel more in control which will help eliminate feelings of worry and anxiety. Writing down deadlines and exam dates will help you manage your time. It’s a good idea to create a revision schedule which will allow you to keep on track and stay focused on your studying.

Sleep well

It’s crucial not to neglect your sleep pattern and to get around 7–9 hours of sleep each night. Without it you’ll struggle to perform well both academically and physically. When you’re stressed you might find it hard to sleep, in which case you may want to try listening to some soothing music to help you relax, or try some meditation before bed. It’s also a good idea to stay off your phone about an hour before you plan on going to sleep, as going on your phone in the evening can have a huge impact on your sleep quality.

Eating well

Having a healthy and balanced diet is generally very important, but even more so during the exam period. If you don’t have much time to cook, try meal prepping so that you have food ready to go in your freezer — find our blog on batch cooking for guidance on this! You can also get affordable hot meals in the Refectory and across GFaL operated cafes on campus.

It’s also important to make sure you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated — your body and brain need water to work properly!

Meditation and yoga

Meditation and yoga can help to manage stress and introduce you to some effective relaxation techniques. If you are unfamiliar with meditating or yoga, apps like ‘Headspace’ are great for meditation and mindfulness and there are lots of videos for yoga and meditation on YouTube.

If you are a member of a gym, have a look at their class timetable as they’ll likely have a yoga class you can try. The Edge has a great yoga class!

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