Study Stress and Anxiety
You are not alone
Are you currently studying? Ready to face exams? Have assignment deadlines? Are you finding yourself not able to cope.
The HSC is a tough time. And so is university. High school and university are some of the biggest stages you will go through in life. But it’s worth it. High school students and university students sometimes need some extra support. Every year in the final exam stages of HSC we get a higher number of referrals. Clients coming with stress related to study and performance anxiety. You are not alone, in fact most of the population will find they have these experiences from time to time.
If this is common, then when is it time to seek professional help?
People seek help when they feel like they are not coping, or when their performance starts to suffer. It’s important to seek help before things get too hard, before you are at the point of wanting to give up. Or, before other stress reactions such as fatigue or depression. Students can learn relaxation for exams and coping skills to gett assignments and essays in on time for the due date deadline.
What are some common warning signs of study stress?
Anxiety, panic and stress symptoms such as:
- racing heart beats
- overly sweaty
- nauseous feelings
- breathing difficulty
- racing thoughts
- sleep issues
- over tiredness
Depressive feelings such as:
- emotional bluntness or flatness
- lack of appetite or weight loss
- or weight gain
- difficulty concentrating or focus to get started on tasks
- social withdrawal
The stress that you feel at this time can come out in other areas too:
- it can affect your everyday mood
- you may feel more frustrated or angry
- you may be quicker to get upset or cry than usual
- you may take offence quickly, hold grudges, or get into arguments more easily
This is sometimes most noticeable at home.
You may find yourself arguing with your parents or fighting with your brother or sister. It’s important to be able to draw the link between stress and arguments with your family. Understanding stress helps to understand why things suddenly feel harder. This will help you keep perspective and make decisions to do things differently. This will protect your relationships with friends and family.
What can a counsellor do to help?
- help you to discover what is stressing you
- help you use strategies to improve your mood and ability to focus.
- give you strategies that will improve your health and self-care
- helping with sleep issues
- discussing worries about failing
- explore anxiety about the question of “what’s next?”
- help with staying relaxed and calm
- reduce feelings of burnout
- discuss study strategies, organisational skill and planning
- strategies to pace yourself
- maintaining a balance in your life
- deal with the issue of procrastination and motivation
Counsellors can also talk with other people like:
- teacher’s aids
- head teachers
- student welfare officers
- school counsellors
- university student support staff
It helps for you to know the people around you understand what you’re going throuhg and you can get the help you need for this stresful time. Remember that these people have been where you are, they know what study pressure feels like. They will understand.
In the end, these study stresses will only last a little while.
Relationships with friends and family last a lifetime. It is not worth letting the stress make an impact on the quality of your relationships.
This is similar for your relationship with your health. In stressful times, you might adopt unhelpful coping skills like:
- stop exercising
- eating more fast food or snacks
- start drinking
- taking recreational drugs
- become dependent on pain killers
It’s important to notice the signs of these unhelpful coping skills early. This will make sure you can break the habits before they take a hold in your life. Your long-term health is more important.
It’s time to seek help
If any of these issues are relatable, then you may want to get some advice and support. Or you may be reading this blog and thinking of someone you know, who may need some extra help. Call us to discuss this further and we will try and help you out to get the help you or your friend or relative needs.