University can be the best time of your life, the freedom, the partying, the romance. But it can also be the most stressful and mentally challenging time of your life. Living with so much freedom so quickly can cause the beginnings of stress and anxiety which can be relaxed by taking simple steps out to avoid any unneeded stress or anxiety. Here are 5 basic tips on looking after your mental health at University:
1. Take Time Out For Yourself…Without Work
Taking time out is so important for any work, internship or studying. Sometimes we all just need a break to relax our mindset and refresh our bodies. Some of the most simple activities can relieve this, a walk around the park, a chat on the phone to your friends or girlfriend/boyfriend, or just ringing your parents up to talk about your problems. Separating your time into work and play is so important, if it helps then set a timer for your studies, doing essays or reading without any distractions. This helps keep your work time separate to your time with your friends and family, and takes away the guilt and fretting from not keeping up with work.
2. Remember To Breath, And Enjoy Your Work
University is the one time in your life where you are being given the time to research and enjoy something you are (hopefully) passionate about! It may just be that you are not seeing the spark in your work that you used to enjoy, in this case it might be better to take a step back and look for the hidden fun in your work, a topic you enjoy or a genre you enjoy writing about. Remember why you picked that degree, maybe look over some of your old work and see the things you used to enjoy about it!
3. Look After Your Body AND Mind
Sometimes working out your body can work out your mind. Putting a routine into your life can hugely help your mental position, going for a run or a walk can help you breathe some fresh air and take some time away from your desk. Find something you enjoy doing, try Zumba at your nearest gym, or taking your dog out in the evenings. If you find something to do that exercises your body, it might open up your mind and relieve some of the anxiety that sits around waiting to cause stress!
4.If You Need Time Out, Take It
There is nothing wrong with admitting you need some time out. Your mental and physical health are always going to be the most important thing to you, so if you decide that you need some time out there is no shame with admitting it! In life you need some breaks, sometimes taking a day/a week/ a month away from a stressful situation can help massively in the future! Take care of your mental health and it will return the favour!
5. Talk To People
Lastly, never be too ashamed to admit that you’re struggling with mental health at university. Mental health in our country is a taboo that is only just being expressed, with little being done to help the people that need it most. Whether it’s just taking to a friend/partner/parent, please make the time to talk to someone about how you’re feeling! It might even help relieve the problem if you are feeling overwhelmed or overworked!
Any other tips for mental health at University? Then get in touch or comment below!
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Currently a University student at Oxford Brookes. Also a Writer, Photographer and Intern!