How to Look After Your Mental Health at University
University can be one of the best times in your life, and it can also be one of the hardest, or a combination of both daily. The curse of social media is that we only see people during their best moments, and we do not see their struggles. This can make us all feel that we should be living our best lives all the time.
The truth is time at university can be hard sometimes and it is okay not to be okay all of the time!
Research has shown that 1 in 4 students experience mental health issues at some point during their time at university. This fact, along with the general stresses and strains of balancing studying and life, is why we want to raise awareness of the importance of looking after our mental health.
Mental health is something we all need to look after every day. Everyone has mental health. It determines how we feel about ourselves, the way we interact with others, how we form relationships, and how we overcome life’s challenges. Just as we look after our physical bodies when we take vitamins, exercise and think about what we eat and drink, we should be considering our mental health in the same way!
The best way to look after your mental health at university will be different for everyone. Here are a few tips to try, but it is important to try different strategies and persevere with what is best for you!
Healthy body, healthy mind – this is a good place to start if you are unsure!
There is so much evidence to confirm the links between our physical and mental health. Eating regular healthy meals, doing some form of exercise each day and getting your recommended eight hours of sleep can do wonders for our mental health. Follow @cusportcentre across their social media pages, for daily links to workouts.
Set achievable goals and give yourself a break
Create a schedule that breaks down big assignments into smaller more manageable tasks and include relaxation activities as well as your critical tasks in your schedule. It is important to be kind to yourself and realistic about what you can achieve. Make sure to reward yourself when you complete a task!
Connecting and disconnecting
This one may feel contradictory but bear with me! Feeling a connection with others is a fundamental human need. When you feel up to it, pick up the phone and keep in contact with friends, family, and classmates… Join that quiz night or Your Student Uniongames night. We are also spending considerably more time online than ever before, so it is also worth trying to disconnect when appropriate. Try setting daily time limits on social media apps or commit to one day a week with no Netflix, and read a book.
Seek support early
You are not alone, there is support available. It can be hard to reach out for help, but it is okay and shows strength to ask for help when we need it.
What support is available for me?
There is lots of help available at Coventry University London, the health and wellbeing team’s support areas include disability, welfare, counselling, and mental health.
- Contact us to arrange support, book appointments and arrange counselling. Email the London Health and Wellbeing Team on: email@example.com.
- For more resources and guidance visit the Coventry University London Website and Student portal – Health, Wellbeing and Disability support and resources (The portal can be accessed when you have your username and password set up).
- Togetherall - A vibrant online community where members can support each other 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Join today for free with your university email address. (This service is free to all students, and you can log in with your University email address)
- Support for disabled students - If you have a long-term medical condition, disability or specific learning difference, it is important you make yourself known to health and wellbeing so they can advise of the support available to you as soon as you get here. Many students with disabilities are entitled to university support provisions such as Individual Exam Arrangements and Equipment Loans. Some students may be eligible for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) which fund additional support, such as mentoring and one-to-one study skills support.
- Self help leaflets - Read some of the self help leaflets - you’ll find information on how to cope with low mood, depression, anxiety and a range of other topics.
University can be tough and everyone experiences hard days sometimes. Succeeding at university can bring a lot of pressure to work hard for your future career potential, but nothing is more important that than your health and wellbeing. It is very important to look after yourself and seek help when you need it!