Being a university student is ultimately a very exciting and life-changing time in our lives. However, this exciting change comes with endless academic, financial and personal challenges. It’s a move away from home, you’re meeting new people, studying tougher courses and changing your lifestyle. What most people don’t realise is that these changes can create negative impacts on a student’s mental health and wellbeing.
It’s really important to take care of yourself and enjoy life as much as possible. So, we’ve put together some tips on how you can look after your mental health so you can experience the most of your life.
Talking about your feelings can really help improve your mental health and help you cope better with tough times. It is not a sign of weakness!
- Drink Responsibly
We sometimes drink to escape from reality. It can lift our moods and help us cope better with our situations, however, its effects are only temporary. Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t drink at all, in fact, social drinking with your friends is great, just don’t get into a habit of drinking when you feel low. Drinking will not help you manage difficult feelings in the long run.
- ‘Me Time’
Change your scenery every once in a while, and clear your head. Five minutes can be enough to de-stress, so give yourself some ‘Me Time’. Try yoga, meditation, or take a weekend away to the countryside and give your mind and body time to relax.
- Eat Well
The food you put into your body can affect your mental health. Your brain needs a healthy mixture of nutrients in order to function in the best way possible. Having junk food is fine to have every once in a while, but you need to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet overall.
- Find a Hobby
Find something you love doing. Maybe you enjoy playing a particular sport, maybe you enjoy painting, or maybe you enjoying reading. Whatever it is, just enjoy it. Concentrating on a hobby can help you forget your worries for a while and can even change your mood. Why not join one of the unions many clubs and societies? If they don’t take your fancy, you can always start a new one!
- Seek help
None of us are invincible. We all get overwhelmed and fed up, especially when something doesn’t go according to plan. If things are getting too much for you and you feel like you can’t cope, please ask for help. Speak to your family, your friends, speak to your GP or speak to someone at the university. Our doors are always open!
- Make time for family and friends
It’s important that you make time to see your family and friends. They show love and support and they can help show you different views on situations you’re dealing with. These strong relationships can really help you deal with the stresses of life.
- Stay active
Exercise keeps the brain healthy and regular exercise can help boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate and sleep. This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym every day, a walk or general housework can also help you stay active. Why not try the Harper gym out?
- Accept who you are
We are all different. We have different ways of thinking, different likes and dislikes and different body shapes. It’s important to accept who you are and understand that you are unique. Stop comparing yourself to others and love yourself. This will boost your confidence and will help you cope when life takes a difficult turn.
- Care for other people
Whether the effects of mental health have had a direct impact on you or not, it’s more than likely that during your four years at Harper, you will cross paths with at least one person who may be suffering. Check-in with people you know. Listen to your friends and make sure you are there for people if they need someone. Educate yourself. Understand what a mental health illness is and how you can help someone.
Don’t forget your Student Union and the Student Services office is always open if you need any support, advice, or even if you just fancy a chat