Now that you have received your ‘A’ Level results, you can look forward to your next step of education: university. But while you may be excited now, it can be difficult to keep a positive spirit when assignments in university start to consume you. University is, after all, an entirely different ball game from Junior College (JC)!
To help you cope with the demands of university life, healthcare professionals share practical advice you ought to pay heed to. Hear what they have to say!
“University life is usually dictated by heaps of assignments, tests and projects. When deadlines converge, we face weeks of sleepless nights, mounting stress and consume outrageous amounts of caffeine. Juggling various modules and responsibilities during these peak periods may very well be an insurmountable task and exercise invariably takes a back seat. However, exercise not only reduces the primary stress hormone cortisol, but also releases endorphins, better known as ‘happy hormones’. A mere 30 minutes of physical activity can improve your cognitive capacity and hone your focus!”
Poon Qi Jing, Zachary
Physiotherapist, Sengkang Health
“Eating a healthy and well balanced diet from all four food groups is essential to fight stress. Carbohydrates boost serotonin levels in the brain which will help you relax and improve mood. While all carbohydrates have this effect, whole-grains are recommended as these take longer to digest and will have longer lasting effects. In addition, they contain minerals such as magnesium, zinc and vitamin B6 which have roles in maintaining our immune system.Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, sardine and tuna may help to balance stress hormones, so aim to include two servings of fish (preferably oily fish) per week. Lastly, fatigue, depression and anxiety may be associated with selenium deficiency so consume a small handful of nuts such as almonds daily.”
Grace Yanni Yanti
Dietitian, Singapore General Hospital
“Tension and headaches are common complaints amongst students and working adults. Are you aware that poor ergonomics while seated for long hours in front of the computer is one of the main culprits that causes knots and referred pain in the head and upper body? Apart from physical discomfort, poor ergonomics can affect work productivity and cause unnecessary distress. It is important to improve posture, adjust furniture heights and adopt appropriate exercises to reduce strain in specific muscles, tendons and joints.”
Lua Shun Wei
Senior Occupational Therapist, Institute of Mental Health
“Stress is a normal part of life. Not all stresses are bad. Stress can challenge us and serve as motivation to move forward. Mental resilience is one of the many ways to cope with stress. Some ways of building mental resilience include increasing your positive self-talk (i.e. I am confident that I can do this; I can overcome this). Enjoy your university days and remember to have fun amidst all the mugging!”
Wong Hui Mei
Medical Social Worker, Tan Tock Seng Hospital