Taking care of your wellbeing and mental health is essential whilst studying at university. Deadlines, pressure and a busy routine can all contribute to feeling low, anxious or overwhelmed. During the pandemic, students have faced more challenges than ever before, which has resulted in a rapid increase in the need for mental health support.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Students must know there are places they can turn to for free and fair support, free of judgement or shame. Asking for help is the first step to feeling better. In this blog, we have written up some of our top tips for looking after your mental health and wellbeing, and some of the places you can find extra support.
Please speak to your GP if you are struggling.
Five tips for looking after your wellbeing
Exercise and moving your body is a great way to shake off the day and clear your head. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of exercise. It doesn’t have to be a long run or a session at the gym, start by going for a walk, or just getting outside.
Stay connected to others.
When feeling low, it can be tempting to isolate yourself from friends and family. Some students worry about being a burden on others or don’t want to upset their family, but connecting to others is essential for our wellbeing. Plan phone calls with loved ones, or ask somebody you live with if they want to do something nice in the evening.
Routine and structure
Having a routine will stop you slipping into feeling lethargic and low in your mood. It’s important to have something to get up for in the morning, this will help you feel purposeful and productive. Try to plan some things to do throughout the week to ensure this; you might go on a long walk on Monday afternoon, watch a film on Tuesday evening etc.
Be kind to yourself.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to feel your best all the time. It’s okay to go through low periods, it will pass, and you will feel better again. Try to be kind to yourself and know that anyone can suffer from mental health problems, and there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Open up a conversation about mental health.
One great and easy way to ensure good mental wellbeing, now and in the future, is beginning a dialogue about mental health with those around you. If you know that you can turn to your friend when you are feeling anxious or upset, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed by the feeling. Check-in with people, ask them how they are and tell them about how you feel.
Five places to turn to for support
University counselling service
Your university will have a trained and dedicated team of experts to help with mental health and wellbeing. From complex to mild mental health issues, they may provide talking therapy, online resources or group sessions.
Student Minds is the UK’s leading student mental health charity. They empower university communities to look after their mental health and promote change.
Mind provider advice and support to anybody that is struggling with their mental health. They also campaign for better mental health support across the UK.
Papyrus is a suicide prevention charity, dedicated to preventing suicide in young people. They believe in speaking openly about suicide and provide resources and help to those struggling.
CALM stands for Campaign Against Living Miserably. They have a webchat and phone number you can call whenever you feel like you need somebody to talk to.
For more help and advice for students and university life, visit our resource hub here.