University is a testing time.
Whilst you are bound to have many an adventure at uni, uni work, independent living, and settling in can certainly take its toll on your mental well-being, and in a world where some students have taken their own lives over such issues, now has never been a better time to speak out about it and make methods of self-care better known.
Here’s our list of the best ways to keep your mental health in check whilst at university.
Perhaps the worst thing you can do at University is to pent up your worries, doubts and fears inside of you.
Speaking out about them is the first step to getting over them and keeping your mental health in check.
Whether its a phone call with a family member, a friend at university, or a member of student support staff – who are always there to listen – getting these things off your chest can be a great relief and prevent them from causing greater stress or panic.
2. Take a trip home
University and independent living is stressful and certainly takes its toll.
Even if you don’t get homesick, a trip home can be the perfect respite to take the pressure off your shoulders and surround yourself with what you’re familiar with to take your mind off the responsibilities of university.
The pressure to cook and clean for yourself will be alleviated and you can take comfort from friends and family members; an environment which will help you relax that’s important for your mental health.
3. Do something productive
If you’re struggling for motivation or feel as though you’re stuck in a rut, doing something productive other than uni work can help get you in the right mentality.
Productivity breeds productivity, so whether it’s tidying your room, cooking a meal, or working out, these small things can help get you in a mentality where you feel like you’re making progress.
You’ll start to feel like you’re on top of things, keeping your mental health in check by swapping out a negative mentality that says you cant with a positive one that says you can.
Being active is another key way to relieve stress at university as keeping physically fit will boost your confidence and take your mind off work, keeping your mental health in check as a result.
Whether its something simple like going for a run, or something that involves more commitment like joining a gym or playing a sport, it will provide a balance with the academic side of university needed for good physical and mental well-being which work in tandem.
5. Detach yourself
Every now and then detach yourself from your work or your daily routine that may be causing a build-up of stress by taking a break and having a breather.
Listen to some music, get some fresh air, or make a drink and attempt to relax.
You’re then more likely to return to your work with a fresh outlook and a more positive mental attitude that is much healthier in the long run.
6. Indulge in a home comfort or guilty pleasure
Every now and then indulge in a home comfort or guilty pleasure that you know makes you happy.
It could be a favourite starchy food or a shameful binging of a box-set, anything that makes you feel more comfortable and relaxed in your new home will help you settle in and greatly benefit your mental health.
7. Eat well
Eating enough and eating healthily is vital for your mental health.
Deprived of nutrition, you could find yourself succumbing to stress far more easily if you don’t eat properly.
It’s therefore important to maintain a balanced diet – although hard when living independently – so that your body, and therefore your mind, has what it needs to function properly.
8. Retain some structure to your day
At University it can be all too easy to fall out of routine which can lead to an unstructured lifestyle where your mental health could suffer from lack of sleep and sense of regularity.
It’s therefore important to retain as much structure to your day as possible so you’re not too disorientated and you can keep on top of things that are needed for a healthier and more positive day-to-day mentality.
9. Room Decoration
Make your room somewhere you can enjoy living in.
Leaving it half-decorated or messy can incidentally lead you to develop a mentality where it becomes more easily acceptable to only be half-invested or messier with your university lifestyle.
A fully decorated and clean room is a homely one that you can be proud of.
Whether its posters, fairy lights, or photos of friends and family, any and all of it will help ensure your room becomes more homely and in the process, helps keep your mental health in check.
10. Remind yourself
If you ever find that a lack of confidence or self-esteem is the issue, it might be helpful to remedy this by reminding yourself of things that you can perhaps draw confidence from.
Regularly remind yourself of how hard you worked to get here and how far you’ve come, who you are and who you want to become, and most importantly that you’re never alone no matter what.