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As we are nearing the end of term, most of us have some pretty big deadlines looming which for many of us brings a lot of stress and worries into our lives. There are many things you can do to minimise your deadline stress and make sure that you are mentally prepared to be as productive as possible during the deadline period…
Talk to your Friends
Firstly, your friends are a good way to help share the burden during these times of stress. Talking through your worries with them is a good way to release your tensions and get advice from an outside perspective. Furthermore, it’s likely that your university friends are also needing to meet some deadlines and so setting aside a few hours together in the library or learning zone is a good way to motivate and support each other to do some work whilst in good company.
Make time for Yourself
Though the workload may seem endless coming towards the deadlines, it’s important to remember that nobody expects you to work 24/7 and that you need to make time for yourself. Be sure to give yourself at least 30 minutes a day to do something you enjoy. This is time for you. You can do anything you chose; from watching TV to playing your favourite sport. Clearing your mind for a while through hobby or leisure is nothing to feel guilty about, it allows you to return to your work later with a fresh mind, which is a really important for detecting mistakes and other problems that you couldn’t see before.
Try New Relaxation Techniques
Many students use and recommend alternative relaxation techniques to help reduce stress during the deadline period. The internet is full of beginner’s guides how to try some of these alternative techniques (such as Yoga, Pilates, Meditation, Mindfulness or Thai chi) at home. The campus Chaplaincy Centre runs many sessions appropriate for de-stressing. (Further information on these events are available here: http://www.chaplancs.org.uk/). Alternatively, if you don’t want to invest too much of your time into relaxation there are some fast and easy options (some of which you can do on the go) such as listening to relaxing music or just taking a few simple deep breaths.
Exercise in general is praised as a de-stressing technique. The campus sports centre offers a wide range of resources for sporting and exercise (For further information see: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/sport/sports-centre/) or you could join a sporting society through LUSU. However, there are easier and more affordable ways to keep fit such as running or talking long walks. The Woodland Walk is a great place to do some walking between study sessions and classes.
Academic Support is Available
Feelings of being unable to do the work are understandably a leading cause of stress amongst students. If this is the case, a lot of support is available from the academic staff to make sure you understand what you are expected to do. Arranging a time to talk through topics or plans with a course convenor, academic adviser or other academic staff member should help clear up any difficulties and resultantly reduce stress. Consult your course handbook or moodle for more information on who to contact for your specific course.
Look after Yourself
Stress can cause us to become sloppy when it comes to looking after ourselves. This will only make the problem worse. Be sure to eat three nutritious meals every day and get plenty of sleep so that you are able to work at your optimum level.
If you feel that your stress is too severe to deal with alone do not be afraid to contact the University Welfare Services who are always available to provide quality help and care when you need it most. (For further information see: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/student-based-services/wellbeing-counselling-and-mental-health/)