Tips for managing your anxiety at University

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Mental health is important to us, as it is to you.

We understand the significance of raising awareness about mental health, and it’s why we’re proud to support this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, the annual event aimed at encouraging nationwide conversations about mental health across the UK.

Each year, there’s a key theme to drive focus on a particular mental health topic. This year’s theme is ‘anxiety’.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is what we feel when we’re worried, nervous, or feel a general sense of unease – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future. You can learn more about anxiety by visiting either the NHS website or on the Mind website.

Even some of the most confident people may have experienced anxiety, and it’s something that we all experience to some level. According to the Mental Health Foundation, a quarter of adults said they felt so anxious that it stopped them from doing the things they want to do some or all of the time. Six in ten adults feel this way, at least some of the time.

How you can manage your anxiety while at University

This time of year can bring a lot of anxiety for students, especially with exams and assessments. Whether you’re looking for support for yourself or for a friend, help is at hand. For some people, anxiety is manageable, and there are plenty of ways you can manage or reduce it whilst studying at University.

  • Practice breathing exercises: Breathe in and out for the count of three. Repeat. There are videosapps and websites to help you with guided breathing exercises to calm your body and feelings of anxiety. Visit the UBHeard portal for a wide range of further support, from podcasts, modules, and videos to help you.
  • Taking care of your sleep: Sleep is important and can help you reduce any feelings of anxiety you may be experiencing. Check out our online self-help guides on improving your sleep habits or read some further guidance from The Sleep Council.
  • Staying active: Exercise is a brilliant way to better your mental health and help control feelings of anxiety. We've put together some walking routes near campus and the local area to help you get out and about. Even if you’re not a member of UoB’s Sport & Fitness you can also do Pay & Go classes, book a tennis court, or try out a new sport with the Social Sport and Try A Sport programmes to help distract you from anxious thoughts.
  • Find a creative activity: Pop down to Pause@UoB every Wednesday and Thursday from 11AM – 5PM at The Lodge by the North Gate to take part in some relaxing activities, including arts and crafts projects, social clubs, and free guided walks to Winterbourne.
  • Talk about it: Talking to other people about your anxiety is really important. Sharing your feelings can help them understand what you’re going through and how to support you. Try opening up to a friend, dropping in to one of Pause@UoB’s face-to-face mental health support services at the Lodge, or speaking to a mental health professional and counsellor through our free and confidential listening service UBHeard which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Alternatively, you can always contact your School’s own Wellbeing Officer(s), who can provide practical and emotional support for you if you are experiencing personal problems.

Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. Head on over to our Time to Talk? page on the Student Intranet to find out more.

Help us, help you

Whether you have accessed support services or not, take our 2022-23 Wellbeing Survey and let us know how we can help you during your time at UoB.

So we can better support your wellbeing during your time here at UoB, we’d like to get your honest and open feedback on what you think we’re doing well and what we can do to improve your student experience and the services and support available.

The Student Wellbeing Survey is open to all students at all study levels, whether you have accessed support services or not. It only takes around 10 minutes to fill out and closes Friday 16 June.

Take the Student Wellbeing Survey


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