Dealing with Stress in a New Environment

by Oscar Francis

Uni has its ups and downs for everyone. Whether you’re leaving home for a hall, or you’re moving into a new flat here are some top tips to help you keep a stable keel. Remember the MEDECC acronym for a stress free transfer: Make space, Exercise (and go outside), Don’t drive, Eat healthy, Cut carcinogens and Catch (up with friends).  

Make space 

The first thing you’ll want to do in a new nook is to get yourself feeling at home. Whether you’ve got a roommate or not, carve out a bit of time to carve out a bit of space to make yourself feel at home. Putting up posters is a great way to get settled. Likewise, sorting the lighting situation can have big gains for little outlay. Bonus points if you can set up a study space, so you have somewhere to work, as well as relax from a long day at the library.  

Exercise (and go outside) 

This is a big one. One of the most humongous interventions you can make for your mental (and physical!) health is to get outside each day. Even spending 15 minutes walking around the block can have massive positive effects for your wellbeing — it’s one hell of a return on investment! Don’t forget the sunscreen.  

Don’t drive 

This brings us to the D in the MEDECC acronym. Don’t drive. Driving is terrible, not only for your mental wellbeing, but your physical health too. A recent New Zealand study found that driving for more than 15 minutes can be demonstrably detrimental to your happiness. Instead, park the people mover and get about by foot or bike — transport options that are statistically shown to make you feel less alone.  

Eating healthy  

Eating healthy is a great way to sever stressers. As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and it’s true. But if you eat diamonds, you won’t shine like a star. Rather, you’ll feel the pressure which made it. Likewise, processed food is going to make you feel like you’ve just passed through a factory food processor. And that won’t be particularly conducive to making you feel like you fit in. Try swapping out the chicken nuggets for fresh fruit, a glass of water, and a variety of vegetables instead.  

Cut carcinogens  

Speaking of nugs, smoking (or vaping) anything isn’t helpful to making you feel settled. You might feel you fit in for a bit, but think about what you’re trying to fit into your body. Think of the long term. Alcohol is another one you want to keep an eye on. Moderate your intake and look after your friends! 

Catch up with friends  

Speaking of friends, catching up with some buddies is a great way to relieve stress and feel at home at the same time. Likewise, having a laugh is the best way to bust the blues. Try watching a comedy, or getting together for a meal.  

Related Posts