The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Health & Stress

Image of students at an academic book fair

+ Eating Healthily

Click here to see our tips for eating healthy and to see how it can benefit you.

Food affects both physical and mental performances.  During exam time it's easy to get into the habit of surviving on takeaways and ready meals and drinking coffee after coffee, but making sure you get a balanced, healthy diet is crucial to keep you functioning optimally.
To make sure you're eating lighter, healthier meals and the right kinds of brain foods:

  •     Get your "5 a day" portions of fruit and vegetables
  •     Have oily fish every week
  •     Cut down on the "bad" fats in your diet - go easy on the fast food and takeaways
  •     Have a high carbohydrate breakfast to start the day
  •     Try to eat regular meals and pack a healthy snack to refuel the brain as well as the body
  •     Drink plenty of fluid (go easy on the caffeinated and sugary drinks)

You don't have to go overboard - it's still ok to have the odd treat!
If you enjoy cooking, make it something to look forward to at the end of a day's revision.  If you don't, cook with a friend or set up a rota in your house to take turns so you don't have to do it as often. 

Consider cooking a large batch of something like soup at the weekend (or on your revision day off), which is nourishing and easy to reheat during the week.

+ Exercise

Click here to see how exercising can help you beat stress and stay healthy.

Getting active is a great stress-buster! Even if you're not 'sporty', or don't usually do much exercise, a little can make a huge difference to your mood. Bristol SU have loads of B:Active activities throughout the year. They are open to all students and are free or low-cost at £2 per session. You don't need a sports pass to join in, and they're all loads of fun!

+ Managing Stress

Click here to see our advice for those who struggle with stress and anxiety.

Exam stress affects different people in different ways. Whilst the adrenalin and pressure can have a positive effect on some, others find themselves overwhelmed with anxiety.
It's probably not possible to completely eliminate stress but some of the pressure can definitely be alleviated.  If stress gets the better of you then exam performance, happiness, and your health can suffer.  High levels of stress can cause an excessive production of adrenaline resulting in headaches, racing heart, fatigue, irritability and sleeping problems. Remember - it's perfectly normal to be a bit anxious, but if it's making you ill then there are people you can talk to for support.

    • Relaxation or meditation - try some of the apps and audio here.
    • Talk to friends and family
    • Tension release (e.g. shouting ‘arrrrgghh'!)
    • Get exercise - see above
    • Have a healthy diet - see above
    • Effective time management - see some of the resources here.

Don't Suffer in Silence

If you're finding it all a bit too much - talk to someone! You can find out what services are available via the University's Wellbeing pages. For more information about exam stress generally, MIND have a good leaflet.