As a person who suffers with anxiety, I have spent many years trying to find ways of self-caring for myself in times of stress and bad days. Now I hope I’m not pushing to too much of a stretch of the imagination by saying that a lot of students both current and new suffer with anxiety. Being a student seems to be a boiling pot of situations that enhance or trigger anxiety and stress as we have so much to think about, so much to do and the impending future looming over us all at once. Sometimes it’s best to get yourself off to a doctor and seek help from people who know what they’re talking about. When I was 15 I did just that and was referred to a school counsellor to solve my problems at that time but these days I tend to prefer taking care of it myself.

So for any of you that are long-term suffers or are just experiencing a few bouts of anxiety with the bringing of a new university year, I thought it might be a good idea to put together a few self-care tips so you can get yourself back on track.

  • There are quite a few natural remedies such as chamomile and green tea that help settle the nerves. So if you are of the disposition of enjoying a good cup of tea try, drinking a tea with those ingredients in to calm the nerves.
  • Along the same lines, using bath bombs and bath soaks with certain ingredients in are a great help to calm the nerves. I tend to lean towards buying a couple of different products from Lush. I have a few favourites for relaxing and releasing tension. The first is the Ickle Baby Bot (that you can find here), which is advertised to be used to relax children before bed but doing the same for yourself. It’s gorgeous lavender aromatherapy effect is a perfect pre-sleep relaxant. My second favourite is the Blackberry Bath Bomb (grab it here), which contains bergamot, used in aromatherapy for anxiety, depression and nervous tension and frankincense oils that slow down breathing and induce a feeling of well-being.
  • Yes I’m bringing it up, this is not something I partake in myself (although I am going to attempt to successfully join a gym this year) but exercize is a powerful antidote for depression and anxiety. It releases tension and with regular exercise comes a healthy feeling which reduces everyday anxiety. Also in a study by Dr Ramsey (check the study here) just 21 minutes of exercise is all it takes!
  • Good news! Chocolate is great for anxiety. Yes I know I’m writing this point straight after telling you all to exercise but chocolate, especially dark chocolate, reduces cortisol which is the stress hormone that causes anxiety symptoms.
  • I’m not about to go all hippy dippy on you, don’t worry, but I’m going to recommend a free app, that I personally use every day before I sleep to help switch off my brain. ‘Breathe’ provides you with audio snippets of meditation instruction that are perfect for reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Another app that helps you gain control of anxiety is a free app called ‘SAM’. Created by the University of West England this app “offers a range of self-help methods for people are serious about learning to manage their anxiety” according to its summary on the App Store.

However if none of these methods are helping you to maintain your anxiety and you’re finding that it’s getting all a bit too much, then there are more direct methods of dealing with it. I would first like to point out that there is no shame in admitting you need to help, sometimes people feel ashamed to ask for help with mental health problems and therefore allow it to get worse and worse and take over their lives. Seeking help from a doctor can be majorly beneficial. They can either help you right then and there or give you the right advice or refer you to someone who can help you in a more effect matter. At our very own De Montfort Surgery, which is right on campus, there is a Mental Health Specialist, so if you are worried about your mental health get in touch an arrange an appointment.

De Montfort Surgery
Tel: 0116 2227272

However if you’d prefer something within campus buildings, there is a counselling service within the university itself. This can be reached and arranged through the student gateway and they deal with a wide range of issues. You don’t necessarily need to be suffering with anxiety to get in touch with the counselling service; they are there to help with a whole range of issues.
To get in touch see the details below.

Counselling, Mental Health and Wellbeing
T: +44 (0)116 257 7595


Rachael Atkinson Millmoor


Image: tumblr