Managing Stress as a Student

Recent Study Revealed 75% of Students in the Netherlands are "Emotionally Exhausted"

Everyone gets stressed out from time to time, but the question is, how to manage it? A study done by the Dutch Student Union revealed almost three quarters of students in the Netherlands are "emotionally exhausted", while 1 in 4 has a higher risk of burnout. MBA student Hanna Abdelwahab has some tips for identifying and managing stress.  

"Stress is a feeling of mental tension or pressure caused by various things in life like excessive workload, problems with family or friends, a transitional period, financial troubles or health issues.  Stress has a cumulative effect, which means that one stressor can build on top of another.  A person who is under stress often shows various physical symptoms.  This is something normal, and it is a reaction by the body to try and eliminate it from the system.   

Stress has to be managed, as it can affect your health and wellbeing, and even your life.  Different people afflicted by stress may show different signs and symptoms.  Symptoms can vary from physical, behavioural, emotional to mental. Some basic symptoms are feelings of anxiety or unduly worried, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, being easily angered, low self-esteem, insomnia, use of alcohol, or over or under-eating.   

Sometimes stress results in health issues such as headaches, muscle tension, diarrhoea or constipation, dizziness and high blood pressure.  Different people are affected by stress differently and this list is not exhaustive.  If you feel you are stressed out, always consult your doctor, even if you don’t see any of the symptoms above.

Normal stress is okay.  In fact, mild stress is good, as it keeps us on our toes and pushes us to persevere and do our best in whatever we do.  But if you experience a prolonged symptom or symptoms, consult a doctor or talk to someone.  Identifying your symptoms early is always better than ignoring it, as it can build up and become more serious and critical.

If you do feel stressed out due to whatever reason, there are ways to combat it.  First identify what triggers your stress and anxiety.  Once you have identified it, try to address it as best as you can.  Always maintain a positive attitude by pushing out all negative thoughts that try to invade your mind.  Believe that things, no matter how bad they are, will always work out well in the end.  Time and patience will tell.  Always remember that there is only so much you can control and change.  Be reasonable and always try your best.  Don’t give up or punish yourself if things don’t turn out as you wish.  Sometimes, what you think is an affliction is actually a blessing in disguise.

If you cannot change things as you hope to, take time out and relax.  Get some sleep, be involved in interesting activities or get away for some time.  Don’t be so hard on yourself, and tell yourself that everything will be okay.  Maintain a healthy lifestyle with healthy food and exercise.  Meet up with family and friends and avoid alcohol or undesirable habits like smoking or binge eating.   

Stress is just like any other sickness.  And sickness takes time to heal and recover from.  So, don’t panic if your symptoms linger on.  Always be calm and take one day at a time.  Don’t worry over things too much.  Do remember one thing: that you are not alone.  Every human being is afflicted with stress one way or another in their lives.

WUP 6/12/2019

by Hanna Abdelwahab
©Wittenborg University Press

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