Lucy Constable: Five Ways To Deal With Stress

As I'm sure you're all aware, life can get busy for students. With a constant stream of essays and exams its hard to even find time to breathe. For myself and the rest of the delegation heading to the OECD Forum, deadlines are looming. That's why it's so important to develop self-care strategies that work. In an attempt to cope with the larger workload, I did some research on the best techniques for managing stress. Here are the top five techniques I came up with:

One: Get Moving

Trust me, I know, when you have deadlines looming strapping on your running shoes is the last thing you want to do. But taking some time to get your blood flowing can do a world of wonder, and when you get back to work your brain will be all the better for it. Exercise releases endorphins, which in turn improves your mood. It also distracts you (at least for a little while) from whatever your latest worry may be.

It doesn't have to be running either. Choose something that resonates with you, whether that be a good dance to your favorite song or boxing with a friend. Even a brisk walk around the block will do wonders for your body and mind. This one will be perfect for the Paris delegation as there will be no end of sites to see walking around the city of lights.

Two: Get Enough Sleep

It may seem tempting to do an all-nighter to get that essay done but honestly, it's not a good call. Everything seems harder when you're tired, and this can make your stress levels spiral. Not only this but any work you do while sleep deprived will be worse than it could be, so your grades will be lower anyway. This will be especially hard when the rest of the delegation and I throw jet lag into the mix.

Three: Catch Up With Friends

Taking some time off to hang out with friends, even if you don't talk about how your feeling, can make a world of difference. Humans are social animals, we need to be around people to thrive. Not only this but focusing on the same issue for a long time without any brake can do more harm than good.

Even just an hour or so every now and again can make you feel a lot better. Lucky for me even after only spending a few days with them, our delegation is already pretty close.

Four: Make Sure You're Eating

Whenever you aren't feeling at the top of your game, ask yourself if you have slept enough, drank enough water, and eaten enough. If you haven't, fix it pronto. Food is what fuels you, without your brain and body will suffer.

Personally, I'm so excited to try all the delicious pastries and cheese in Paris, I'm sure this one won't be an issue.

Five: Schedule Some Me Time

Whether you take a long bath, meditate, or watch your favorite show on Netflix we all need some me time. Often when something is stressing us we either cant stop focusing it or distract ourselves by being surrounded by people. Sometimes though, we need to take a minute to think. Sometimes we need time to process the world around us.

Sometimes we all feel stressed. We all need to learn how to be gentle with ourselves and each other because school (and life in general) can get hard.

All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences.

Posted on May 19, 2018 and filed under OECD Forum 2018.