Updated: Feb 2, 2020
Hello. My name is Alain Roy. I am the founder and President of Veeva. We specialize in natural solutions for mental wellness.
My last kid recently graduated from University. That’s it. I’m officially old. Over the years, I’ve come to be aware of many mental health stories at University. Some from the media, and some about people I know.
Let's talk about it.
My son was part of the Mental Health Awareness Week committee. I couldn’t be more proud. He even invited Veeva to take part in that. Being at that event made it clear to me that stress - and especially anxiety - are very much alive and well at university.
Mental health at universities
Attending university can be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life. It can also be one the most stressful. Moving away from home and being presented with exciting new social and academic situations can lead to high levels of both stress and anxiety.
A survey of more than 30,000 Canadian students revealed that nearly 90% of students felt overwhelmed by everything they had on their plates in the past year, and 56% experienced overwhelming anxiety.
10 Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety at University
1. Eat well.
2. Get exercise.
3. Surround yourself with love.
4. Make connections with your professors.
5. Get sufficient sleep.
6. Take some time to yourself.
7. Go outside.
8. Recognize and avoid stress triggers.
9. Explore holistic approaches.
10. Keep things in perspective.
Balance in your diet is particularly important. What you eat affects your energy level, attention span, memory and happiness. Likewise, exercise can be extremely helpful when you need to clear your mind or deal with that gnawing anxiety of an upcoming exam. Even though the all-nighter is tempting, being rested does wonders for memory retention and focus levels. While procrastinating will only add to stress levels, an hour break to make yourself dinner or watch your favourite TV show can also bring a world of peace to your mind.
Try to find a place to study outdoors or go for a walk and allow yourself some fresh air and sunlight. Days can begin to feel long and overwhelming when you spend too much time inside. Figure out what is triggering stress; maybe it’s the eerie quietness of the library or that friend that is constantly bragging about her grades. Or too much partying (a major mental health killer).
Address the triggers and learn to either avoid them or work around them. Always remember that a failed test or a bad mark does not define you as a student or person. Dwelling on disappointment will send stress and anxiety levels soaring. For this reason, the single best thing you can do to manage stress and anxiety is to stay positive.