5 ways to be kind to your mind

Mental Health Awareness Week: 5 ways to be kind to your mind

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, an important week that educates, supports and empowers people to take care of their mental health. For students, this week serves as a reminder that you’re not alone.

At UNiDAYS, we’re here to help. Here are 5 ways that you can be kind to your mind, this Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond.

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1. Break the stigma

Did you know that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem each year? We all need to actively break the stigma about mental health! You may be wondering how you do this:

  • Encourage open conversation with your friends and housemates about mental health and well-being

  • Share your personal mental health experiences (if you feel comfortable to)

  • Support those around you who may be facing mental health challenges.

    2. Get talking

    Talking is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. We should all be normalising conversations about mental health, and if you create a “safe space” with those around you, they’re more likely to feel comfortable chatting about what’s going on.

    Talking to a counsellor or therapist can make a big difference if you’re struggling with your mental health. With online counselling platforms like BetterHelp, you can have therapy in the comfort of your own home.

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    3. Self-care isn’t selfish

    The stresses of student life can be A LOT, making it easy to neglect what your mind and body wants and needs. Make sure you take the time to prioritise your well-being through self-care, which might look like:

  • Getting enough sleep

  • Exercising regularly

  • Setting boundaries

  • Eating nourishing foods

  • Taking breaks

  • Practising mindfulness.

    4. Make connections

    Socialising and making connections with people can improve your well-being. Join a society, get a job, say “yes” to that night out and create a support system of like-minded pals.

    Social media is great, but making connections with people IRL can make a real difference to your mental health.

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    5. Get moving

    The theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘Movement: moving more for our mental health’. Did you know that physical activity can help you manage sleep, improve your mood and manage symptoms of depression and anxiety?

    Remember, moving doesn’t have to be intense! Yes, you can go to the gym, but you can also go for a walk, dance around your room, find an online workout, or feel zen with some yoga. Taking a break from your studies to do some exercise can even help you to focus—win!

    Support and resources

    You are not alone. If you’re struggling with your mental health, you can seek support through your GP or your university counselling service. Alternatively, other mental health services are available to you 24/7 if you or someone you know needs support.

    • Papyrus: if you or a young person you know isn’t coping with life, please call the 24/7 HOPELINE on 0800 068 4141

    • Samaritans: for immediate assistance, call 116 123 for free from any phone, at any time

    • Student Space from Student Minds: web chat, text or email support from trained volunteers

    • CALM: call the suicide prevention helpline on 0800 58 58 58

    • Shout: a free, confidential messaging service. Text “SHOUT” to 85258 at any time

    • Nightline: student volunteers offer a listening service for students every night of term via the phone, instant messaging, text and in-person

    • Side by Side: Mind’s online peer support community, where you can connect with people who understand.

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