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Anxiety is a sensitive topic. While it’s now widely discussed, talking about it on a personal level can be really hard.  Before I went to uni, I don’t think I really understood what anxiety was. Sure I had heard of it but not knowing anyone directly suffering from it, it was something that just was.
 
I first started to experience anxiety during the exam period of my first year. Pressure started building up, pressure to do well and do my best. I started to worry about every little thing and it was effecting more days than it wasn’t.
Everyone deals with anxiety differently and there isn’t really a right or wrong as you have to do what feels best and what makes you feel more comfortable. Some people I know made the decision to leave uni and some dealt with it by being quiet- please don’t do either of these! If you think you might need to leave talk to someone first. Equally try not to suffer alone, as there as so many support networks out there to really help!
 
I dealt with my anxiety in many different ways and if you’re reading this perhaps it will offer you some ideas of what you can do too. 
 
(1) You need a good friend who is a good listener that can just be there for you and listen to how you feel. They may not necessarily be able to relate, but we all need a shoulder to cry on. This friend could be your neighbor, flat mate etc, most importantly someone you trust. 
(2) I’m religious and church plays a very integral part to my life. I went to church to listen to some encouraging words and this made a huge difference because began to feel peace from within. On campus, BU have a faith and reflection centre.  There are groups and activities for all including mindfulness, and football!
(3) Relaxation- anxiety can stem from overworking yourself (mentally and physically) without having nourishing food or sleep. I sometimes go home to London and visit my friends and family. I find a different environment for a day or two can help. It means you can almost reset and get back into things feeling refreshed, renewed and revitalized. 
(4) Be Active! This is probably the last thing you want to do when you feel like you have the world’s problem on your shoulders, but take it from me, it feels great when you go for a walk, swim or a light jog. 
(5) Pray! You don’t have to be religious to pray, praying really helped when I was anxious as I just felt better and as though things would get better from then on. 
(6) Student wellbeing service – if you don’t have anyone to speak to or you feel you would get judged by your peers, seek help and advice from the Wellbeing team at university. I haven’t done this at uni, but I know people who have and found it be really really helpful.
(7) Speak to your tutor. Tutors at uni are there to help and guide you at uni, make use of resources that are in place. They are human too! And like you have person lives and stresses. 
 
You might have heard some of these before and but know you are never alone.
 
-Love Lola x

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