5 Essentials To Have Around You During Stressful Times

Whether you’re at university and bogged down with your dissertation or graduated and searching for a future, we all need strategies to cope with life’s strains. Here are five things to surround yourself with during pressured moments in life.


  1. Tea and coffee can be your saviour

Not only does caffeine give you more energy and brain power to accomplish tasks, studies have shown that it can also have a soothing effect. The act of taking a break over a nice hot cuppa in itself helps you to relax, but a study in California scientifically proved the benefits of caffeine for managing anxiety. They found that mice that had been given caffeinated water had better levels of stress management than those that hadn’t.

Obviously, too much caffeine can become a problem, but a healthy amount will chill you out. So put on that kettle from time to time and de-stress over a brew.


  1. Eat properly (including snacks)

A balanced diet is important in difficult times. You must keep your nutrient and mineral levels sufficient to be able to focus on solutions to your problems with a healthy mindset.  Although having convenient snacks like crisps and chocolate on your desktop may keep you going in the short term, these are not the foods that you should rely on.

There are certain foods that particularly help with stress management, so stick to these and you will be fine. Snacks are allowed, but scrap the Walkers Ready Salted and get yourself a punnet of grapes, satsumas or nuts to munch on while you work and you will feel much better for it (and probably get a lot more work done too!).


  1. Motivational objects

This one applies particularly to those of you who work at a desk. Whether it’s your dissertation or job applications that you’re currently struggling with, surround yourself with objects that will stimulate and inspire you. It could be photographs of great memories, a card from a loved one, or the confirmation email for this year’s summer holiday.

These will keep you on track for your goals and make you realise why what you’re doing is important. You’re doing this to make the people in those photos proud, to get that job so you can enjoy more memories, and to create a better future for yourself.


  1. Have a clean space to work in

We all know the saying ‘tidy house, tidy mind’. In times of stress this couldn’t be more true. A cluttered workspace can often be a cause for messy thoughts, so before you start any task ensure that you have clean surroundings. Mess often causes stress which will add to worries that you already have.

By creating a clean workspace, you will remove this and enter your studies or job searches (or whatever it is you are wanting to achieve) in a much clearer headspace. Also, the very process of cleaning can destress you and create a calmer mindset to begin the tasks ahead – a win-win situation really!


  1. Supportive friends and family

Finally, and possibly the most important, make sure that you keep your friends and family close to you. Their support is can make you think differently about situations, shrinking worries and putting things in perspective. A strong network around you will boost your self-esteem, improving your mental state and productivity.

Don’t feel a burden. In time, you can return the favour but never underestimate the wealth that encouraging loved ones bring to your life and well-being – even chimpanzees rely on this method of stress relief!

So what’s the secret to keeping on top of those stressful moments in your life? Look after yourself  by eating healthy and creating a clean working environment, stay motivated with things you cherish, and ensure you have plenty of breaks to relax over a warm beverage in a room full of supportive people! Good luck.


Harriet Mills is a final-year English Literature and Creative Writing Student in York. Based at her hometown near Cambridge, she is an aspiring writer with her main interests being features and travel writing. For more of her story check out her personal blog

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