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Take care of yourself!
During you studies you will always encounter periods of stress and tension. It is therefore important that you take good care of yourself and find a good study-life balance. Particularly during stress phases, students tend to neglect the things that are good for them – fewer meetings with friends, less sports – which in turn reinforces feelings of stress and a bad mood.
Watch out for signs that tell you are under too much pressure, such as difficulties concentrating, exhaustion, apathy, mood swings or insomnia. Don’t let it get to this – check out these tips on taking good care of yourself during your studies!
1. Organise your studies
Organise your studies like you would organise a regular job. Draw up a schedule for when to start and when to stop studying, make schedules for projects such as term papers, and prioritise individual tasks. Don’t forget to include regular breaks. All this will help you develop a routine and work with focus over longer stretches of time.
2. Plan leisure activities
Aside from lectures and seminars, plan some positive leisure activities, such as meeting friends, joining a sports club, or doing voluntary work. This will help you switch off and find new energy for upcoming challenges.
3. Take good care of yourself
Find out what your needs are and what kind of activity makes you feel better. Why not draw up a list of things that help fight the study blues, e.g. listening to music, taking a walk and so on. Then, when tough times hit, you can access these resources and your own strengths.
4. Check your thoughts and attitudes
Observe yourself to find out how your own negative thoughts put pressure on you, such as endless self-criticism or wanting to be perfect in everything. Thoughts like these hinder rather than help. Challenge them, and practise answering them in a positive and sympathetic manner. You can do this by thinking about what advice you would give a good friend who has these concerns.
5. Learn to relax
Take some time to learn some relaxation techniques, e.g. mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation or breathing exercises (these are offered as part of university sports or in the stress management course offered by the university’s psychological/social counselling services). Find out which approach suits you. Tension and relaxation are incompatible, so these exercises will help you switch off in stressful times.
6. Do sports
Find a sport you enjoy and make sure you get up and move regularly! Physical exercise helps reduce stress hormones and increase well-being. Pay attention to your body, drink sufficiently and eat well.
7. Ask for help – and accept it.
The university has a range of offers to support you and help you thrive in your studies. Aside from subject and study related offers, there are counselling services that will help you if you feel like it’s all getting too much and you are just not well any more. Do not hesitate to make use of these offers! Counselling is confidential and free of charge.
Studentenwerk Frankfurt am Main
Hörsaalzentrum EG, Campus Westend
Open consultation hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 15:00 -17:00 (no appointment needed)
Psychotherapeutic counselling for students
Sozialzentrum/Neue Mensa, Campus Bockenheim
5th floor, room 512
Bockenheimer Landstraße 133
Office opening hours: Monday to Friday 9:00-11:00 and Monday to Thursday 13:00-15:00
Anonymous telephone service run by students for students
Mondays to Fridays 20:00-0:00
September 2016 - Nina Müller, Psychologist – psychological/social counselling
Campus Westend, Hörsaalzentrum
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 5, 60323 Frankfurt