How to look after your mental health while you’re at university
By: Kayleigh, redwigwam
Many people can find that they are struggling with their mental health whilst they are a student at university.
There are a lot of challenges you can face, which can include the packed schedule of attending lectures and getting your assignments completed on time.
You might be studying a subject that you’ve never studied before. You might feel lonely due to being far away from your family and friends. You might feel like you’re struggling to make friends which will increase feelings of loneliness.
Here’s a few tips you can follow to help keep your mental health in check.
- Go for walks, the fresh air and getting some vitamin D from the sun will help to keep your mood positive.
- Write in a journal, write a daily to do list, daily gratitude, and affirmations.
- Drink green tea which is known to contain an ingredient which makes people feel calmer, improves memory, mood, and cognition.
- Meditate or do some yoga. Practicing breathing exercises can help you to feel calm and doing some exercise releases endorphins which can improve your mood.
- Spend time practicing self-care, read, paint, listen to music, do a skin care routine.
- Chat with a friend or family member. Keep in regular contact with people who care about you the most. Social connections are important!
- Join a club or society, socialise so you don’t feel isolated. Try to make sure you have at least one friend you can rely on.
- Plan out your studies using a calendar or diary to keep on top of things. Being organised will help you to avoid stress.
- Get plenty of sleep, eat proper meals and eat healthily. It is important to keep yourself properly fuelled to be able to put your best effort into your uni work.
- Keep your living space tidy, it's hard to focus when you're living in a jumble. So de-clutter, tidy away mess and open windows to let the fresh air in.
- Download some apps - there are lots of apps that can help with your mental health such as Headspace, Calm, Calm Harm, Student Health App, Stress and Anxiety Companion and WorryTree.
- If you feel like you’re struggling, ask for help. Your university will have resources. If you don’t feel up to speaking to someone from the university, there are plenty of outside resources you can access.
We've listed some of these below.
Mind Infoline gives confidential support and information on lots of mental health related issues including where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies, and advocacy. Mind also has a network of nearly 200 local Mind associations providing local services.
Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line
Provides expert mental health information & advice on practical issues. They also give help to carers, health professionals, employers, and staff.
Provides emotional support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They allow people to talk about feelings of distress and despair and are confidential and offer non-judgemental support.
SANE Mental Health Helpline
SANE runs an out-of-hours helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends, and carers. Open every day of the year from 4:30pm-10:30pm.
Telephone: 0300 304 7000 (4:30pm-10:30pm)