It is that time of the year again – assignment deadlines are stacking up and exams are just around the corner…There is a lot to do, you have got essays to write, exams to revise for and it feels like you’re always busy. However, this blog post is here to tell you that your work and revision can wait, but your health, especially your mental health, should be your top priority.

It is normal to feel stressed, that just means you care about what you do and that is a great thing. Just remember you need breaks and a clear mindset in order to work well, so you need to allow yourself to take breaks. Here are some of my personal tips on what to do when you are starting to feel overwhelmed by everything in life.

  1. It is okay not to be okay

Acknowledging your feelings is the first step to overcoming the problem. We can’t be happy all the time and it is understandable if you want to take some time off your work, your friends, doing chores and just sit in your bed in pyjamas. Don’t feel guilty when you take a nap or rest when you deserve it, it is okay, you are human. It is okay if you feel upset even though you don’t think you should feel this way, your feelings are valid and real.

  1. Have a work schedule

I try to only work in the morning and afternoon because I know this is when I am the most productive, I take nights off so I can fully recharge for the next day. Make sure you have an adequate amount of rest time every day so you don’t feel drained all the time, I cannot stress how essential rest is.

You can also try to plan out what you have to do for the day or for the week so you know what you need to complete and where to start. I know how overwhelming it can be when you know you have a lot to do but you just don’t know what to do and where to start.

  1. Seek help if you need it

Don’t be ashamed for seeking help when you need it, you are not alone. The University has a Wellbeing Service just for students and they have a variety of resources online and in the Wellbeing Centre on campus.

You can contact Depression and Anxiety Service (DAS) in Exeter if you think you are going through a tough time and you are experiencing some difficulties coping with it. There are other ways of seeking help like talking to a close friend or a family member for support or calling Samaritans on 116 123.

Exeter Student Nightline is a confidential listening and information service run by students for students at the University of Exeter. You can call them or speak to them online if you need to speak to someone late at night.

Your tutors will also be here to assist you with your learning experience at University. If you think lectures or seminars are too intimidating for you, you can explain your situation to your tutors and ask to meet them during their office hours to go over the topic for that week instead. Your module tutors are much more understanding than you think, just try to send them an email.

  1. When you are feeling stressed/ anxious/ depressed, you can…
  • Listen to soothing music to calm you down.
  • Do something else to distract yourself (i.e.: cooking, exercising, watching a film, reading, etc.)
  • Talk to someone you trust.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Take everything one day at a time.
  • Just BREATHE. You got this.

These are just a few of my top tips for taking care of my mental wellbeing – I hope you found them useful. Good luck with your exams, revision or looming deadlines!