Coping Mechanisms Students Can Use To Combat Stress


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For many young first-year students, university/college can often be a very stressful period. It is totally normal to feel this way as most students are away from home and are required to become independent.

Feeling a little stressed can be a good thing as it motivates you to overcome any challenges that you are faced with. However, too much stress can have an impact on your overall mental and physical well-being. 

There are various factors that leaves one feeling anxious and overwhelmed, such as:

  • Test / exams
  • Difficulty adapting or transitioning
  • Struggling with a particular module / overall academic stress
  • Family pressures 
  • Negative influences
  • Financial constraints 
  • Being too hard on yourself to achieve top marks 

What coping mechanisms can students use to combat stress?

#Seeing a student counsellor:
This is one option to counter your stressors. You can decide how often you want to see the counsellor and create a plan of action to help you beat stress. 

#Meditation/ time-out:
With the academic pressure and the demands of everyday life, students need to ensure that they are taking care of their mental well-being to avoid reaching burnout. Meditation is not always easy at first. Try and take at least 10-15 minutes of your time to relax, focus on your breathing and calming the mind. Once you have mastered meditation, you can increase the number of minutes you wish to spend meditating. 

#Be resilient:
Students are often faced with daily challenges that are out of their control. One way of being resilient is to practice cognitive restructuring and change the way in which you think about a negative situation and choosing how you would respond to it. Resilience is all about your mindset and being disciplined.

#Exercising and eating healthy:
Exercising helps the body release stress cortisols. Regular exercising releases endorphins which are the feel good hormones and reduces tension which allows the mind to focus on something good other than our stressors. It is important to always have a healthy intake of nutrients and a well-balanced meal to keep the body nourished. 

#Getting enough sleep:
Your body requires at least 8 hours of rest. Sleep is one of the most powerful stress relievers as it calms the body and boosts your energy. You are more likely to concentrate better and cope with stress when you are well-rested. 

With all the above-mentioned coping mechanisms, it can help students adjust to stressful events while maintaining their emotional well-being.








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After completing your matric certificate exams, you are faced with a multitude of post-matric options that can shape your future paths.

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