The expectations we place on our time at university are often high, and the reality is those three years can be pretty tricky to navigate at times. Leaving home for the first time, academic pressures and day-to-day stresses can be a lot to handle – but combine that with a global pandemic, and it’s a no brainer that checking in on your mental health is more important than ever.
The end of term is a good time to reflect, so we’ve got some tips for how to look after your mental health this break and beyond. And remember – if you think you need some professional help, find out if you can see a uni counsellor or create a plan of action with your GP.
Our tips for looking after your mental health
- Academic anxiety is very real. If you’re struggling, chat to your personal tutor, or your main point of contact in your department. Together you can identify if it’s the quantity or the nature of the work that you’re finding hard to manage, and find specific ways to tackle it.
- We know it can be difficult to find the space, time and money to create a study-friendly environment, but where you can get a proper desk, chair, and a quiet part of your home with some natural light – you’re onto a winner.
- Lockdowns means more time on your phone than ever – but too much time on social media can really impact your self-esteem. Unfollowing influencers who could make you feel bad about yourself (for example by posting images that brag about their bodies or lifestyles) can help you develop a more positive relationship with social media. Top tip: Without deleting your social media apps, try ignoring them for 3 days. If you cave, it may be worth re-evaluating your time spent on social.
- Develop coping mechanisms. Recognising what triggers your feelings of anxiety or low-mood, and mitigating them through techniques like meditative breathing, or playing some calming music can get you into great habits. There are a whole host of apps and online resources that’ll help you get into a better headspace.
- One of the best ways to improve your wellbeing, is to share how you’re feeling. We love MeeTwo, an app that makes it easy to do just that. It’s completely safe as all posts and replies are checked by human moderators before they go live, and in-house counsellors provide extra support if needed.
- Make sure you get enough sleep each night. Whether it’s cramming your uni work or binging on Netflix, late night screen time can have a knock-on effect on how well you deal with challenges day-to-day.
- Make time for fun. Even with exams or coursework coming up, giving yourself time to enjoy downtime will help you stay relaxed and keep a balanced lifestyle (and no, it doesn’t have to be a Zoom quiz)!
However you choose to check-in on yourself, after the unpredictability of this term we hope you have a relaxing break!
As always, if you have any questions or feedback, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0203 773 6024.