Stress, anxiety and a small encouragement.

There are days I dream about not having to face work or the stresses of life. You may well ask how a Chaplain can feel stress and anxiety but I can assure you that we can! Our work is a huge privilege but there are still things that need doing that we don’t particularly enjoy and things that happen that we wished didn’t.

Many of you are in a season of anxiety and stress as you face assessments and exams. There is a lot of great wellbeing advice out there. Look after yourself, plan well, get some fresh air and exercise, seek help, study in groups, find the many services that are available onsite at UC designed to help you pass. People are genuinely here to help you.

I wanted to encourage you all as you study and face this stress and anxiety that you can get through this period.

As Chaplains, John and I can meet with you to help you see a different perspective – that although life feels so pressured at the moment – this time will pass. Every single day, being an adult is simply putting one foot in front of the other and learning to cope with the challenges and wonderful moments that cross our paths. Each day does bring something new and although there are times of facing hard stuff there will always be times of good too. We can chat with you, pray with you, supply you with coffee if it helps.

Part of living with stress is learning to build our resilience. Resilience isn’t something we naturally have and master – it’s a skill that we learn, adapt and practice. One small part of resilience is to keep a sense of humour – watch something funny, laugh and see how humour can put things in perspective and relieve your tension. Another hint is to have a hopeful outlook. Finding a sense of purpose and meaning. As someone of faith my hope may be different to yours but hope is always there. Finally reward yourself – do something you enjoy once this season is done. You quite literally deserve it!

jane.halliday@canterbury.ac.nz

john.fox@canterbury.ac.nz

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