Danica, a postgraduate Psychology student shares some of her tips for better mental health as a student.
Today is World Mental Health Awareness Day. On this day awareness is raised about Mental Health; what it is, how to recognise if you suffer from any mental health disorders and how to get help. There are various helpful campaigns around the world, including the UK to help people speak up and get the help they need. In order to celebrate this day, in this blog I will be suggesting some useful tips to help students, like yourself or myself maintain our mental health.
Around 27 – 29% of students have reported some kind of psychological distress, according to UK Statistics. This distress can be due to various factors experienced by students in their day to day life, particularly in relation to studies and work, especially when assignment deadlines and exams are approaching. Sometimes, we get so lost and carried away in our studies that we forget the need to take care of ourselves, both physically and psychologically. The main aim behind this blog is to remind you how to take care of yourself and maintain good mental health during your time at university and beyond.
- Have your alone time.
Have you ever had some me-time? Me-time can range from a hot warm bath to abseiling or whatever your heart fancies. During this time, you should dedicate an hour or two, as long as you really need, just for yourself, away from the rest of the world. This can help you replenish, connect with yourself and help you discover things about yourself that you never knew.
- Move it.
Sports and exercise have been prescribed to alleviate one’s mental health for various psychological disorders. Therefore, why not practice some kind of sport that you enjoy doing? Swimming? Karate? There are various student societies at the University for various sport activities. Sign up! Apart from helping with mental health, it is also good for one’s physical health.
- Eat well, think well/ you are what you eat?
Having balanced meals including whole-foods such as vegetables, fruit and fish can help to protect from depressive symptoms. Therefore, it is suggested to monitor our food intake to help us maintain our health.
Antagonistic to the me-time suggested before, it is also important to socialise. Socialising with friends and family helps us connect and feel closer to the people we love. It can be especially important if you are feeling alone or stressed out to have someone you feel comfortable opening up to.
- Create your own routine.
Having a routine helps you allocate enough time for both work and relaxation time, as everything is of equal importance. Schedule in study days, schedule in sport activities, schedule in me-time, schedule in some times to connect with others, schedule in meal planning and cooking.... Scheduling your tasks and chores helps take them off your mind and having a visual representation of it helps.
These are a few tips suggested to help with maintaining good health. However, this is not a one-size fits all and you need to explore and understand what works for you. In addition, if you or any of your friends are experiencing issues whilst at University, reach out to Student Services at 4W Roper Centre to meet professionals that can help guide you to what you need.