Stress, resilience and work-life balance

Throughout your time at University, you are likely to experience a lot of change. Whether it is a change in accommodation, ways of studying, location, modules, friendships or many other factors it can certainly feel like you are having the rug pulled from underneath you!

Our human brains are hardwired to look for stability and the familiar to help us feel safe, but it can be hard to achieve this in the ever changing landscape of your university experience. This can lead to difficult thoughts or feelings arising, and attempts to find ways of coping, which provide short term comfort (alcohol, drugs, withdrawing, Netflix binges etc. ) but, in reality, contribute to longer term problems.

Look after yourself

It's important to remember to think about our most basic needs.

  • Make sure you are staying hydrated and eating regularly to help fuel your brain to work better, feel looked after and able to manage all the other changes going on.
  • We all need a safe place to come back to, to help cope with the struggles of the outside world, so make sure your living environment is nice, clean and comfortable.
  • Try and get out of your house or flat at least once a day, even if only for a walk to the shop; our brains do not respond well to being indoors for days at a time! 
  • Help yourself feel safe and secure by developing a good routine; think about what helps you to feel settled at home and where possible introduce it here.
  • Think about broadening your horizons and escaping the university bubble by getting off campus! A great place to visit if you are in need of some ‘green space’ is Cannon Hill Park, which is about a 15 minute walk from campus, and where you can have a relaxing cup of tea and cake by the lake or join a free weekly 5km Park Run.
  • Take care of your emotional needs and build self-esteem by trying new things, find out what works for you and practice treating yourself with compassion and kindness as you learn to balance all the competing demands and remember; you are not alone!
  • Find your tribe! Whatever stage of university life you are at there are friends to be made in and outside of university, if you can take the opportunities to meet them. Check out the groups and societies provided by the Guild of Students and also remember South Birmingham has a wide range of clubs and groups.

Resources