I remember vividly when I first moved here how excited I was to meet new people who were like me, to explore my new home and to sink my teeth into the next chapter of my education. Studying at university is really exciting and insightful, but if you’re not careful, keeping up with coursework and revising for exams can be a strain on your mental health and general wellbeing. Sometimes, we can be swamped in our university work, and need to take time to relax and to look after ourselves. I know when I was studying, there would be a few weeks where I would be very busy and I had to make sure I put in time to chill out and get a good rest. This is why it’s really important that, in addition to learning skills to study your course, we as students learn the skills of looking after ourselves and adopting healthy learning patterns. Additionally, it’s important that we learn from each other.
Exercise not only boosts those feel good endorphins, but has been proven to improve concentration, quality of sleep and self-esteem. If you can’t make it to the gym, even simple things like going for a walk or a bike ride counts. Alternatively, MMU Sport offer free sports and activities with Active Campus – which are on campus every day so there’s no cost issue!
Sharing is important
A good vent and talking about your feelings with people you can trust is a great way to let off steam - whether its friends, family or your tutor. It’s good to know you’re not alone in feeling worried or anxious. Plus, there’s always support on hand from The Union in the Advice Centre, and counselling available from the university.
Give to others
Helping others is one of the best things you can do to feel good about yourself, whilst making a positive impact on people’s lives. If you see someone who might be struggling with a project or coursework, offer to help out. Another option is to check out the many volunteering opportunities at The Union, it’s a good deed and will make you feel good too!
It’s not easy with everything going on, but eating sensibly and getting the best balanced diet you can is one of the most important things that you can do to positively impact your concentration and general mood. Check out healthier options for lunch, or have an apple as a snack instead of binging on chocolate – remember everything in moderation is key.
Getting too caught up in social media can lead to an impact on your mental health, so try to challenge yourself to tear yourself away from your phone - get outside at least once per day and go for a walk, read a book, watch the world go by and have some thinking space without any digital distraction.
Juggling multiple responsibilities with studying is difficult, so it’s important to make time to chill out and relax in your schedule. Simple mindfulness exercises can help you to de-stress when things are getting overwhelming or pencil in a movie night with your friends (or with yourself!)
Get some sleep
Sleep is so important to your wellbeing as it’s the time when your brain and body get to recharge and repair. According to The Sleep Council (yes, that’s a thing), you need at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night, so if you start to feel run down, how much sleep you’re getting may be the place to start.
- Andy Harmon, Wellbeing Officer