Going to university isn’t always rainbows and butterflies like you may have been lead to believe. From a study in 2018, 1 in 5 students revealed they have a mental health diagnosis, with depression and anxiety being the most common. University can be a tough time as you go through a lot of change and emotions but we’re here to help and guide you in the right direction if you’re struggling. We also have a some articles on The Edit which may help you, such as how to beat the lockdown blues and ways to make your room a sanctuary.
1. Be proactive
When you’re at university make sure you find out where your local GP is and ensure that you register. You never know when you’ll need your GP for all kinds of things, so making sure you’re already registered will make going that one bit easier, and just remember it’s ok not to be ok. Recognising that you may need help is the first step to getting better.
2. Establish your self care routine
Self care is about finding what works for you in order to look after yourself. It doesn’t always have to be about candle lit bubble baths, essential oils or espaing to a quiet place to read a book. It can be other things like surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, unfollowing any social media accounts which give you bad vibes, or switching off the news. For more tips read 6 ways you should practice self care.
3. Recognise your triggers
Although it’s not always easy to identify what can be triggering, and even so, waves of depression or anxiety can come out of nowhere, bad behaviours like lack of sleep and exercise and a bad diet can lead to blips in your mental wellbeing. Unfortunately some of these bad habits are common in university life and are something to be aware of.
4. Go to therapy
If you feel like you’re not getting anywhere talking to your friends, family, GP or tutor... another option is to go for therapy. This seems to have a stigma around it but it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, seeking therapy is something to be proud of for getting help and acknowledging you may need professional help. By working with a therapist it allows you to talk about what’s going on in a safe space whilst learning skills and techniques to deal with everything life throws at you.
5. Create structure
The transition from living at home with your partners to a completely different and independent lifestyle that comes with student accommodation can be a tricky one, and it’s easy to fall into bad habits. Staying up all night, lying in bed all day or eating yet another beige meal might all seem like fun and games at the time but it will definitely start to take its toll and quickly catch up on you. If you start to struggle, set a routine for yourself by getting up at the same time everyday and allow time for exercise, studying and relaxation. Having your day mapped out for you will help create a routine which humans thrive off.
It’s ok not to be ok
Here are some helplines in case you’re in need:
116 123 www.samaritans.org
03444 775 774 www.anxietyuk.org.uk
0300 123 3393 [www.mind.org.uk(https://www.mind.org.uk/)
0800 58 58 58 www.thecalmzone.net
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