What is stress?
Mental/emotional strain or tension we all experience. Left unchecked it can harm our physical and mental well-being. You can't get rid of stress, but can manage it better.
Causes of stress
- Life events eg relationship breakdown
- Environment eg noisy neighbours
- Work eg examinations
Include: lack of energy, headaches, changes in sleeping or eating, feeling tense and irritable, increased use of alcohol and drugs.
Ways to manage stress
- Balance work and play
- Relax and pamper yourself on a regular basis
- Avoid sugary foods and caffeine (fizzy drinks, coffee, tea, 'energy' drinks) these can impair concentration, leave you jittery and keep you awake.
- Eat healthily eg fresh fruit, vegetables and pasta
- Cut down on alcohol, which can interfere with sleep pattern, and cigarettes which speed up the heart and increases blood pressure.
- Take regular exercise two or three times a week; this promotes feelings of wellbeing.
- Talk with someone you can trust. Together generate solutions to tackle problems. The University of Northampton Counselling Service offer space to address current or past difficulties and emotions.
- Get a good nights sleep. Ensure that you stop work half-an-hour before bed time.
- Talk with your personal tutor if you are concerned about academic work.