Tips on Improving Communication with Your Roommates

Reduce Stress and Improve Communication – Every Day and During Demanding Exam Time

student roommates communication stress waterlooWe all know that exam time can be stressful. Trying to cram in all that information with little time can really make you feel like you are on an emotional roller-coaster. Do we really know what stress is and how do we deal with it?

The Hong Fook Mental Health Association states that stress is the response that our body and mind has to change, which is going from one thing to the other. According to the Canadian Mental Association, stress is the body’s response to threat. It is a reaction to a situation. The response that your body creates is meant to get people prepared for action that will try to get them out of danger. Stress is not necessarily a bad thing; however, it can sometimes make us feel overwhelmed.

When stress makes us feel overwhelmed, we sometimes avoid dealing with a problem, which can make the problem worse. This can cause us to be indecisive, unfocused, and unsure of ourselves. There are many short term effects of stress such as increased heart rate, loss of sleep, headaches and muscle pain. In the long run, stress can also affect your permanent physical health if nothing is done to help ease your stress level.

When exams approach, stress can affect your studies and your living situation. Check out some of our recent blog posts which can help you get your stress levels under control:

You can reduce your stress levels by simply getting a better understanding of yourself and working on your communication with your roommates.

Knowing Yourself Helps You Understand How to Keep Your Stress Levels In-Check

By looking internally and adjusting your own habits, you can find some simple ways to keep your stress levels low. Here are a few ideas to try:

1) Make an agenda

An agenda is a great way to keep track of the things you have to accomplish and allows you to prioritize which can help you take control of your stress. In your agenda, write down assignments that are due, exams, the time of day you book out to finish your school work and readings that need to be completed. Don’t forget to add in some “me” time. Your brain needs a break once in a while! After a break, you will feel more relaxed and re-energized to complete your tasks.

2) Escape your room

Locking yourself in your room can really make you irritated, bored and add even more stress. You need to change up your environment in order to let your brain breathe! Give yourself some air; try studying in the common area or the library. Take a walk to clear your mind and get some fresh air. Even taking your work to a coffee shop is a great way to escape your room and have a change of scenery to wake you up.

3) Get active

Sitting in a chair in front of a desk with your back hunched over to study can make you feel stiff and uncomfortable. Even brief periods of exercising (e.g. stretching or a short walk) for about 20 minutes facilitates the processing of information and memory functions in your brain. So, get active!

4) Eat well

Eating clean and healthy can really improve the way you are feeling. Make sure to never skip breakfast, eat enough protein and avoid simple sugars. Try to eat more fish because it is high in mood-protecting omega-3 acids and eat your greens! It is amazing how much of a difference eating healthy will make to improving your mood. Even when eating out, try to choose healthier options; there are healthy fast food joints only 2 minutes away from Rez-One.

5) Meditate

One of the greatest ways to be in-tune with yourself is to meditate. There are some great demonstrations on YouTube; here is a Meditation Beginners Video to try. But surf around and find the one that is right for you. Meditation can be an effective form of stress reduction, which allows you to focus on the moment.

Improving Roommate Communication for Stress-Free Living

Now, let’s take a look at some ways that you can improve communications with your roommates:

1) Get to know your roommates

Before moving in, get to know your roommates. Ask your housing manager to give you their contact information so that you can all meet ahead of time to learn about each other and to discuss who is bringing what.

2) Create a house agenda

To improve communication with your roommates, it is a great idea to create a house agenda with all of your roommates’ schedules. This could include everyone’s class times, work times and extracurricular activity times. This can help you see when certain roommates are the busiest so you can help them out in stressful times.

3) Plan roommate outings

It is a great idea to plan roommate activities in order to develop and strengthen your bond as roommates. Something as simple as going to a movie or out to dinner or a bar is a great way build your friendship with your roommates.

4) Plan a roommate dinner together

Having all of your roommates in the kitchen together to create one big meal is a fun way to use the space in your student apartment together and strengthen your relationship with your roommates. Some ideas for a roommate dinner: taco night or pasta night!

5) Roommate meetings

Organize a meeting with all of your roommates regularly where you can express your thoughts and feelings on any issues that may be arising in your life, studies, or living situations so that everyone is aware of situations and you can work together to make things better.

Some tips for roommate meetings and resolving any issues that may arise:

Right from the beginning, you can make good decisions to make sure roommate communications have the best chance to stay strong:

  • Sign a lease with friends/acquaintances that you already know and know you can get along.
  • Sit down with your roommates before you more in together and discuss your living expectations.

During your time living with roommates, actively work on your relationship:

  • If you notice that one of your roommates is really stressed, it is a good idea to talk to them to see if you can help. Also, if you are the one stressed, approach your roommates to discuss it with them; you might be surprised about how much better it makes you feel.
  • If you are finding scheduling conflicts, discuss it and try to find a resolution. For example, you can put together a schedule for using the common area or kitchen table to study.
  • Talk to the CSRs of your building. Most of them are students too and they can relate and help you.

Sometimes, roommate communications break down. Here are some ways to try to get roommate relations back on track:

  • Talk to your property manager to express your concerns with your living situations. They may have suggestions or alternatives.
  • You can call a house meeting with all of your roommates and work to resolve any problems. You may even consider bringing in a third party to help mediate if you anticipate problems.
  • If you are unable to resolve problems, you may want to look into relocating. This may mean working with your other roommates and/or the property manager to find a replacement.

How Rez-One Can Help Reduce Stress and Improve Roommate Communications

Rez-One offers facilities that can help you improve your stress levels by strengthening your inner well-being and communications with your roommates. When it comes to your studies and exams, we offer environments to practice presentations or study in groups. Our on-site gym is a source of break for you when studying. The gym allows you to exercise, regain your energy, and go back to studying, all without leaving the building. In our lobby, we have a pool table and air hockey table that can provide a fun break from studying with your friends. We also have a big common area with couches and a television, if you ever need a break from being in your room or with your roommates

We know that time cannot be wasted when you are a student studying for exams, so our location is key to saving you time by being close to restaurants, plazas and stores.

Stress is normal and is part of being human. You can’t fully eliminate stress. However, you can prevent stress from getting out of control and affecting your physical and mental health. Using some of the tips provided can help you reduce stress by improving your communication skills for a more pleasant living experience with your roommates.

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