Individual experiences of stress and anxiety can vary widely among people, but some common physical experiences include:
- A tight or lumpy feeling in your stomach and/or chest
- Difficulty concentrating, sleeping and breathing
- Feeling tense and irritable
Examples of anxious thoughts that can contribute to the above are:
- Worrying that something bad is going to happen
- Being afraid of not being able to control the outcomes of things
- Self-critical thoughts such as “I’m not good enough”
Managing stress and anxiety
There are many healthy ways to help ourselves cope with stress and anxiety, and you should choose the ones that work best for you. You might need to try a few out to see. Approaches that may help include:
- Breathing exercises: do some deep and slow breathing exercises when anxious - slowly inhale in and count to 3, slowly exhale out and count to 3.
- Stay active. Do a physical activity that you enjoy outside.
- Share what's going on: talk to someone you trust about what is going on for you. This could be a friend, whānau member, a UC support service, or an external support service such as 1737.
- Give yoga a try – checkout the RecCentre to see what yoga offerings are taking place there.
- Reset your thoughts: try drawing, reading or doing something else you enjoy
- Get comfy: Use a heavy blanket such as a duvet and snuggle under it. Have a warm drink (ideally caffeine-free) and take a break
- Cut down on stimulants: Avoid substances like caffeine, alcohol and cannabis, as these can aggravate anxiety
- The power of sleep: Practice good sleep hygiene – aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night
- Dedicated relaxing: Relax regularly i.e. take a bath, read a book or listen to music
If you or someone you know is in distress on campus, please contact UC Security on 0800 823 637
- Te Whare Hauora | UC Health Centre - for GP and student counselling services
- Atawhai Ākonga | Student Care to talk to a Student Advisor for support and practical strategies and tips. Equally, you can talk to a Māori, Pacific or Rainbow Student Advisor for support and practical strategies and tips
- Student Accessibility Service - for academic accommodations and assistive technology supporting students with disabilities or medical conditions
If you or someone you know is in distress off-campus, please contact emergency services on 111 or Crisis Resolution on 0800 920 092