Why it’s time to chill out

By Rachel Munford

You’ve just came off a fresher’s high and you are faced with the mountains of assignments falling out of handbooks onto your lap. And on top of that, your tutors are demanding presentations on stupid topics. And your parents, or your flat mates, have decided to tell you you’re not pulling your weight at home. And you’ve got to start getting work experience. And you’ve got to do full book readings for each week. And you’ve signed up for, what feels like, 100 societies. And you’ve got to get a job. Or if you have a job, you’ve got to work nearly full-time because the rest of the staff have dropped off the face of the earth.

Do you hear it? There is so much noise in your head. It’s scary.

Stress is not a good thing for you or studies and there are so many ways to deal with stress. Strathclyde University even has its own mindfulness meditation programme to combat stress and anxiety, yet not everyone can get a place on this programme so I thought it would be a good plan to give you guys a quick 5 tips on how to stay calm.

  1. Stop. Seriously sit down for 5 minutes. Don’t think about anything but your breathing. Count your breaths. Breathe easy. Sit straighter. Try some meditation.
  2. Change your perception. You give what you get. If you’re constantly spending energy on things which neither matter nor bring you joy, try to cut them loose.
  3. If you’re struggling, tell someone! If you feel overwhelmed, let someone close to you know or even speak to some of the staff in the Union Advice hub. There’s help, you just have to reach out and take it.
  4. Unplug. It’s hard I know. Everything is happening online, all the time. You turn off your phone and laptop then just have a cup of tea.
  5. Go into nature. Go for a walk, even when it’s beginning to rain horrendously. Kick about in the autumn leaves and just enjoy the moment. Enjoy being there in that moment (I know sounds silly but it’s good fun).

So there’s a few tips, I wish all of you well as you go forth into this semester. Try not to panic too much. Just chill out – however you do that.