If you suffer with your mental health, university can sometimes seem quite challenging. Going to university should be one of the most exciting times in your life, so being able to enjoy it is so important.
There are so many little things that you can do day-to-day to relieve some of the stresses and pressures of everyday university life so that you can start making the most out of your own personal experience.
Here are a few tips and measures you can take to manage your mental health at university:
The difference between going to school and going to university is mainly the independence side of it. Although there are tutors to help you, you may not be getting as much contact time as you did at school or college. Make sure you write down everything you have scheduled, whether it is a meeting with your tutor or a deadline for your coursework, a planner will let you take some of the stress out of your mind and make it less clouded. Daily/weekly planners are a great thing to keep in your bag, as you can refer back to them however many times you need to throughout the day.
Exercise releases endorphins to your brain, which will allow you to cope with stress and maybe even make your general mood better. It can be hard to find time to exercise at university, but it is so important, especially if you suffer from mental health issues. There are so many sports societies at university that you can join, and this may make you more motivated to exercise because you will be socialising and meeting new people at the same time. If you get into a routine with your exercise, not only will your body benefit from it, but your mind will too.
Meeting new people is such a big aspect of going to university. Everybody is in the same boat, wanting to find and meet nice people, and perhaps even finding people to live with for the next academic year. So, don’t isolate yourself at university; keep reminding yourself that everyone is in the same kind of situation as you are. Making sure you surround yourself with good people will allow you to have a strong supportive network. If you are having a bad day, there will be people around you to pick you back up again. Any kind of society is a great place to meet new people. You can also meet people in your class, at events, or even on nights out.
Look into getting help at your university
Universities nowadays are recognising the fact that students can be struggling and dealing with their own mental health issues. There will be people in your university that are willing to help you, whether that be with onsite counselling or different support groups that you can be a part of. If you need help with your mental health, it is a sign of strength to be able to say that you need it. If you are struggling with your coursework, then speak to your tutor about strategies that you can take to ease situations you are dealing with regarding your course too.
If you feel as though you would benefit from a more flexible course, then have a look at The Open University. The courses here are mainly online and can work to fit in with your schedule, wherever you are in the country. Check out this university profile via Uni Compare, which allows you to read reviews of current and past students and compares course costs and other important factors that you will need to take into account before signing up.
Sleeping is one of the most vital factors in keeping our bodies and minds healthy. Poor sleep can make us feel fatigued, and it can lower your mood and productivity for the next day. While at university, you may be finding sleeping quite difficult whether it’s because you’re homesick, going out at night, or pulling an all-nighter in the library. It is so important to take whatever measures you can to improve your night’s sleep; whether it’s being more organised with work and getting it done before your deadline, or doing some yoga before bed. There are so many ways to improve your quality of sleep, which will, in turn, improve your mental health and your ability to cope better with stress.
There are many more measures you can take that will benefit you mentally while at university. Don’t just think that because you are at university you have to be independent and deal with everything by yourself. Ask for help if you need it, talk to people around you and make sure that you are properly looking after yourself.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.
The articles we publish on Psychreg are here to educate and inform. They’re not meant to take the place of expert advice. So if you’re looking for professional help, don’t delay or ignore it because of what you’ve read here. Check our full disclaimer.