Dealing with study stress and mental health

Studying can be challenging and stress is often a constant companion. But there are effective ways to manage stress and protect your mental health.

  • April 23, 2024
  • 3 Min. reading time

Studying can be challenging and stress is often a constant companion. But there are effective ways to manage this stress and protect your mental health. Here are in-depth and practical tips that can help you to make your study life more relaxed.

Organise your daily life

Good planning can work wonders when it comes to reducing stress. Create a realistic weekly schedule that includes study times as well as breaks and times for leisure activities. Use apps or traditional calendars to manage your tasks and keep an overview.

Learn techniques for coping with stress

There are various techniques that can help you stay calm in stressful times. Regular practice makes perfect - and a calmer mind.

  • Mindfulness meditation
    Find a quiet place, sit down comfortably and close your eyes. Fully concentrate on the present moment. Notice what you feel, hear and sense. When thoughts arise, recognise them without judging them and gently bring your attention back to your breathing. Start with five minutes a day and increase the duration as you feel more comfortable.

  • Progressive muscle relaxation
    Sit or lie down comfortably and close your eyes. Tense a muscle group (e.g. your hands) for about five seconds and then consciously relax it for 30 seconds. Work systematically through different muscle groups in your body - start with your feet and work your way up to your head. Concentrate on how the relaxation occurs in the respective muscles.

  • Breathing exercises
    Sit up straight or lie flat on your back. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. Count to four. Hold your breath for a short moment (approx. two seconds). Then breathe out slowly through your mouth, also counting to four. Repeat this for several minutes and try to consciously recognise and control your breathing.

Diet and exercise

What you eat and how you move your body has a big impact on your stress levels. Try to eat a balanced and nutritious diet and avoid too much caffeine and sugar. Regular exercise, be it running, yoga or a team sport, can reduce stress hormones and release endorphins.

Pay attention to your sleep rhythm

Healthy sleep is essential for well-being and stress management. Make sure you get enough sleep. Try to develop a routine where you go to bed and wake up at similar times, even at the weekend.

Digital detox

In a world where we are constantly online, the constant barrage of information and social media can only add to our stress. Take conscious breaks from digital devices, especially before bedtime, to give your brain a break. LED displays contain more blue light than daylight and therefore suppress the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. This causes our bodies to release fewer sleep-inducing hormones and keeps us awake for longer, disrupting our sleep patterns. It is recommended to avoid blue light up to three hours before going to bed and to use blue light filters on your devices.

Build a network

Having a supportive network is extremely valuable. Exchange ideas with fellow students who are experiencing similar challenges. Joint study groups or leisure activities can strengthen cohesion and show you that you are not alone.

Seek professional help 

Sometimes your own resources are not enough to deal with stress.Don't hesitate to seek professional help. Many universities offer psychological counselling that is specifically tailored to the needs of students.

By applying these strategies, you can find a balance that will allow you to successfully complete your studies with less stress. Your mental health is important - take good care of it.