Managing Your Physical and Mental Health

Health, Counselling and Disability Services

Flinders University offers free, confidential health, counselling and disability services to all students. This includes international students. Appointments are available on campus at Bedford Park with doctors, counsellors or disability advisors Monday to Friday 8.45am to 5pm. To make an appointment call 8201 2118 or book online. Outside of these hours (weekdays 5pm to 9am and 24 hours on weekends and public holidays) an after-hours crisis support line is available. Call 1300 512 409 or text 0488 884 103.

Strategies for Managing Stress

You might feel overwhelmed or stressed at times, and that is normal. Some signs you are stressed can include jaw clenching, irritability, forgetfulness, sweaty hands, tight stomach muscles and rapid breathing. If you are feeling stressed, there are some steps you can take to get on top of it, and to make yourself feel more in control.

10 tips to manage stress

  1. Do regular physical exercise. Exercise restores your body to a calm, relaxed state. When you are really stressed take a quick, brisk walk. Try to exercise 3 to 5 times a week.
  2. Practice relaxation techniques. Relaxation lowers your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation and meditation can help reduce stress levels.
  3. Change your attitude to stress. Everyone experience stress. Think of it as a challenge and write down the possible solutions. Look at the pros and cons and settle on a solution.
  4. Learn to say ‘no’ gently: A common cause of stress is having too little time to finish a task. Do not take on additional task when you don’t have time to do it.
  5. Keep a stress diary: Keep a record of the date, time and place that you feel stressed. Use this diary to figure out what triggered the stress. Then think of ways of how you could have dealt with the situation differently.
  6. Reduce your caffeine, alcohol and sugar consumption: Remember, these are stimulants that increase your stress levels. Instead, replace these with water, natural fruit juices and herbal tea. Green tea is effective as it contains amino acids that calms the nervous system
  7. Talk to others: Stress is worsened when there is no outlet. Expressing your feeling to others helps. Call a trusted friend or family member or make an appointment to see a counsellor at Flinders University, who can help.
  8. Take a break and do something you enjoy: Take a break and do some of your favourite activities. The break will help you deal with the stressful situation with a different perspective and a renewed state of mind.
  9. Smile and laugh: A smile or a laugh can immediately change your state of mind and relieve the tension. It releases endorphins and decreases excess levels of cortisol and adrenaline.
  10. Sleep: Lack of sleep is also a major cause of stress. Getting enough sleep is essential to replenish your mind and body.

Source: Sarika, Facty Staff, Wellness , FACTY STAFF, Victoria, Canada

For more tips or read some handy reference documents created by the counselling team at Flinders University.

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