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Welcome to UKCP’s student stress tips page, have a scroll to find out lots of new ideas on how to manage the tougher moments.

University can be tough sometimes. We want to reassure you that you are not alone. You will find blogs written by our therapists, employees and our research lead, discussing student mental health. We also have tips you can try out to create a work/living space which works for you.

But first, meet Beau

Hi, my name is Beau and I am a therapy dog. I love to brighten up everybody’s day with my endless energy. When I met UKCP staff, I took over the interview and put my paws in their laps. Just to make sure they knew I was very much the star of the show. I work with young people who have anxiety and ADHD. I love to play and am also patient so help those who are slightly more shy than me. To read more about our day, explore Eloise’s blogpost on Animal Assisted Therapy.

Find out more about Beau and animal assisted therapy on our Instagram channel @psychotherapiesuk.

Read our blogs on coping

Coping with being a new student; freedom or chaos? – UKCP psychotherapist – Elif Ebeoglu
An honest conversation about the freedom of university and questions you can ask yourself when you are feeling a bit uncertain.

When the jug spills over – some thoughts on stress at university – Mary Keeling, PhD
Mary talks us through her first days at university, and shares the useful ‘stress jug’ analogy.

Beau the dog and Animal Assisted Therapy – Eloise Cadman
Eloise examines her first experience with animal assisted therapy and how she copes with stress.

Did you know…

According to a mental health poll in 2015 by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Students, 87% of students in higher and further education said they had experienced anxiety.

77% of students surveyed said they had felt stressed in the last 12 months. Many students experience these hard feelings, but the key to overcoming them is utilising your resources and seeking support.

If you want to read more about millennial mental health, why not check out our Millennial Mindsets.

University is a big change. However, there are small changes you can take to make this process easier – check out our tips.

Our top 7 tips for stress…

Breathe

Intentional deep breaths improves mental health by relaxing the body and mind. Increasing the oxygen in our bloodstream increases oxygen in our brain. Our heart rate slows and our blood pressure decreases. This has a positive impact on our wellbeing.

Have a walk

Count your steps ‘1,2,1,2’. This is a mindfulness technique which is used to take your attention away from worrying thoughts. Exercise is known to improve mental health, however, walking can be treated as mindfulness or as a work out.

Call a friend

Speaking to your friends can have a beneficial impact on your mood. Maintaining supportive relationships is important in stressful environments.

Buy a plant

The health benefits of indoor plants include cleaning the air, lowering risk of illness, improving your mood, and strengthening concentration and memory skills.

The microclimate plants create, by increasing humidity, can improve your health, and they can help to reduce fatigue, runny noses and dry throats.

De-clutter

Our environment undoubtedly impacts our mood. If our surroundings make our day to day life harder, we feel the impact. Decluttering is removing, reducing and rationalising things in our immediate environment.

Decluttering digitally and physically can be beneficial to our mental health. Clutter can take away our energy and distract us which causes stress.

Decluttering is a rewarding task which can even leave you with a few extra pounds in your wallet if you decide to sell things.

Eat a banana

Snack breaks are important. In the library feeling stressed? Give yourself a minute to eat something healthy. Bananas help to feed your appetite and boost your mood between meals. Its high vitamin B6 content can help relieve anxiety and stress. Also, bananas contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid that our brain transforms into serotonin – our happiness hormone.

Book time off

Be realistic. If it getting all too much, give yourself a day or two. Rather than forcing yourself to understand the theory there and then, allow your brain to rest for a while. Enjoy some time away from university to unwind. Then return and try again.

Take our tips with you

Check out our other blogs on millennial mental health:


For help at university please contact:

  • Student Support Services
  • University GP and Counselling Service
  • Family and Friends
  • Samaritans is free to talk about anything on 116123 or email them on jo@samaritans.org
  • Go to b-eat.co.uk about food and information about eating disorders.
  • The Mix, contact 0808 808 4994 regarding a number of issues related to drugs, alcohol and sex.
  • Talk to Frank on 0300 123660about drugs and alcohol.
  • Visit brook.org.uk regarding sexual health matters.