Should we be worried about radioactivity in our kaimoana? Sarah Guy is the person to ask. She’s a PhD student researching emerging environmental contaminants that may affect human health. Specifically, she looks at exposure to radioactivity through ingestion of shellfish.
“Shellfish pick up a lot of chemicals in the water. They’re filter-feeders, so anything that is in the water, they will accumulate them in quite high levels.”
You can hear about what she’s learned, how she came to study environmental science at the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, and why it’s a perfect fit for her in the latest episode of the UC Science Radio Podcast>
Stress and anxiety affects all of us, especially during exam time. It might be a bit of surprise to hear that a small amount of stress can sometimes be beneficial and make you more productive. However, a high amount of stress and anxiety can lead to the loss of productivity and long-term health effects. So, how do you manage these feelings and turn them around?
Tips to cope with stress during exams
- Talk to a friend about how you’re feeling. You’ll find out you’re not along, and it might help you work through things from a different perspective
- Eat healthily and drink plenty of water. People often overlook how proper nutrition affects stress levels. For example, rushing to eat food can cause mild indigestion. While you might not notice initially, it can make your body hyperaware and lead to you feeling stressed.
- Practice mindfulness. This doesn’t necessarily mean meditation or yoga, but is about being aware of your mind and body. Ask yourself: why am I stressed or anxious and it is really justified to feel this way?
- Plan ahead. Use a schedule or a planner This can help you to stay organised by knowing what to do and when to do it.
- This is only for now. It may seem like the world is falling apart. It may feel like you’ve failed in some way if you don’t get the marks you want. But just remember if something doesn’t work out the way you expect, you can learn from the experience and change the way you approach it next time.
If you’re stressed or anxious about exams and want to talk, you can book an appointment with one of our Atawhai Ākonga | Student Care advisors. They can help you to find ways to manage your feelings and turn things around.
If you’re concerned about yourself, please talk to your GP. Te Whare Hauora | UC Health Centre also offers emergency counselling support in person or you can call 03 369 4444 to be transferred to a registered nurse answering service. You will be triaged by a registered nurse who will give advice or refer you to an appropriate service (s).
Other support networks
Winter is here and as it’s getting darker and colder outside, it’s easier to let your motivation slide. However, keeping on top of your energy levels during winter is super important for your health and keeping the winter wellness woes at bay. Here are some tips from a UC student who’s been there.
Get the influenza vaccination
One big positive that comes out of the colder seasons is that during Autumn and Winter, flu vaccines are free for registered UC Health Centre patients and UC staff. Getting the flu jab is a great way to protect your immune system and health. Trying to get through a bad case of the flu during exam season is not a fun experience. You can ring the Health Centre team on 03 369 4444 to book your flu vaccine.
The Health Centre won’t be able to offer flu vaccines to students that are enrolled with another GP practice this year.
It’s super tempting when the Christchurch cold hits to move as little as possible and become a human sloth. But it’s important for your brain function and health to get your body moving a bit every day. A brisk walk when you’ve got study block can be the perfect thing to get your brain juices flowing and the UC RecCentre has some great exercise classes on as well.
It’s very easy to become dehydrated in winter without realising it until it’s too late. Make sure you’ve got a water bottle on you and make the most of a heat-resistant cup that you can keep topped up with your favourite hot beverages throughout the day.
Find more Winter Wellbeing tips here>