In 2017 the World Health Organisation shared that as many as 1 in 4 of us will experience mental health problems at some point in our life. As someone who has faced mental health issues since my early teens, I think it’s important that we realise our psychological health is just as important as our physical health, and that we take care of it accordingly.

 

University and Mental Health

University students are generally at high risk of facing mental health issues due to the big changes university life entails and the shock of having to keep pace with a different environment. Amidst the essays, revision, and exams it’s easy to feel overwhelmed but it’s in those moments we should take a little time to give our mental health the attention and care it deserves.

So, here are my 5 tips to support yourself when everything starts to feel a little too much:

1. Talk to someone.

This can feel impossible and often isolating yourself is the only thing you want to do. But, ringing home or chatting with a friend can help give you a bit of perspective and relieve some of your worries (a nice hot drink always helps too).

2. Take a quick break.

Get up from your desk and move away from your current task. Maybe go for a calming walk or have a chat with a housemate. Just take a few minutes to focus on something other than your immediate mental state.

3. Give yourself some sense of routine.

Easier said than done, I know. Nevertheless, eating proper meals and getting a good night’s sleep should help you feel a bit more put together. I recommend prioritising your time and getting the most important thing done first. Also, try to set a time when you’ll stop working, tidy everything away and give yourself a chance to wind down.

4. Treat yourself.

Do something nice for yourself. I’m very much an animal lover, so I like to go for a walk in the park and feed the birds or squirrels. However, you could buy some flowers for your room, go for a run or even cook yourself your favourite food for tea. Just do something that makes you happy.

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5. Never underestimate the power of a cup of tea. 

I am a firm believer that a good cup of tea makes any situation a little brighter (add biscuits and you’re onto a winner). Even if it is just to put the kettle on, a few minutes distraction can give your head the breather it needs.

 

Bonus tip: Listen to some great podcasts!

Plug in and plug out! You can listen to it whilst you walk, workout or if you prefer when you are cooking!

Happy Place Hosted by Fearne Cotton who ‘talks to incredible people about their life, love, loss, and everything in-between as she reveals what happiness means to them.’
The Hilarious World of Depression A show on clinical depression with laughs! Hosted by John Moe of American Public Media, they understand that depression is common, suffered by millions, and yet stigmatized in society. Very informative and engaging!

“It isn’t easy, but things will work out”

Look after yourself and those around you at university: be a friend to others and to yourself. It isn’t easy, but things will work out. If you are struggling with a mental health condition, please get in touch with your GP or the support systems available at your University.

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