You can find it here: GradJobs UK Blog: Looking after your health after graduation))
[UPDATE: The Gradjobs blog has since been removed and some posts moved to GradsCorner on Gradjobs UK website. So I have posted my guest post here for everyone to read.]
Looking after your health after graduation.
Stress. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about stress is a person tearing their hair out and screaming in despair. After the graduation ceremony graduates start to face the “real world”, independence and the dreaded question: “what are you going to do next?” Since this is the biggest transition in your life it’s definitely going to be the most stressful one.
It’s really easy to get caught up in the moment and give in to stress, particularly in today’s tumultuous economy with hardly any job opportunities. Anxiety can overwhelm you and the fear of the future can make you forget to look after your health; which should always be your number one priority.
What does post-graduation-stress do to you?
Stress affects the body in negative ways, both physically and mentally. To begin with studies have shown that the more stressed you are the more frequent you will have headaches and migraines . Stress can even increase allergy flare ups, especially in the spring season when flowers are blooming and pollen is everywhere. In a recent study conducted, the group which had higher stress levels experienced more allergy flares compared to the group with little to no stress levels . And finally, stress can weaken the body’s immunity . Our immune system is consistently working with the immense task of protecting us from bacteria and viruses that we are exposed to everyday; however when stress levels rise higher than the body’s threshold, the long term effect of stress can negatively affect the immune system. Which is why if you’re really stressed you may find yourself catching a cold frequently.
Dealing with stress…
- Make time for fun. Plan out days out with friends or family, or if you can, book a holiday to your favourite destination and take time out from your usual routine. It will help you relax and avert your mind from stress.
- Let it all out and complain to anyone that’s close to you. Bottling up your feelings can also increase your stress levels and be detrimental to your health so it’s better to get all the negative feelings out of your system.
- Don’t submit yourself to negative thoughts. Be sure that even if finding a suitable job is taking a long time, it will come no matter how long it takes but stressing about it won’t do anything but harm your health. Negative thoughts won’t yield positive results.
- Meditating and breathing deeply: breathing exercises help you to control yourself and give a feeling of inner peace.
- Exercising: You can walk, run, do yoga, anything to keep active and find a way to avert your concentration from thinking about the matters that stress you out.
- Another notable health tip is to always start your day with breakfast. Starting your day with breakfast will set your body up for the day by giving you the right amount of energy and also make you feel productive and less lethargic. Most dieticians agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and can even enhance your mood and cognitive function and lower your stress levels.
Don’t compare your life with anyone…
After graduating you've got pretty much nothing to do apart from looking for work and filling out job applications. Now you have the rest of the day free to procrastinate, which then pulls you into Facebook and other social media websites where all your friends post updates of their lives, and you end up comparing yourself to them, but it’s a toxic and dangerous thing to do to yourself! You might be convinced that their life is perfect and everyone is living the dream life whilst you’re struggling to get your foot in the door. You will end up feeling like the worst person on the entire planet and stress yourself even more. Comparing yourself to anyone is the worst thing you could do to yourself at any point of your life and you’ll always be unsatisfied.
Overall stress is never a good thing and its negative for your health but there’s always a way to not submit to stress and its pressures. In between drafting covering letters, sending numerous job applications and then waiting for a potential employer to get back to you (and the disappointment when they don’t), you also have to think about your health and isolate yourself away from anything that makes you anxious and stressful.