University can be a challenging time. As you adapt to a new lifestyle and routine away from home, it can be all too easy to become overwhelmed by the change. Feeling like you’re alone and you have no one to talk to about your problems can be an isolating experience.
Opening up about how you’re feeling – whether with friends, family, university staff or medical professionals – can be nerve-wracking, but it can provide enormous relief. You may be surprised to find that someone close to you is also suffering.
There are many other small day-to-day ways that can help you look after your wellbeing whilst you’re at university.
If you’re aware of certain things that put pressure on your mental health, it’s important to try to adapt your routine to help minimise potential triggers. Your university should have a strong support system to help you do this.
If you’re struggling with a mental illness and feel it’s affecting your studies, speak to a support team member at your uni, they’ll help you find ways to better shape your studies to suit your health.
Once your university is aware of the issues, your department might also be able to offer extended deadlines, the chance to resit or take longer on exams, and even special dispensation when it comes to marking your work. This can really help to handle the
and approaching deadlines. pressure and stress of exam periods
Balance Work & Social Time
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Juggling your studies around having fun with your friends can be tricky. It’s important to find the right balance – overworking yourself can have a very negative effect, whilst on the flipside partying excessively every night can also be damaging to your mental health.
Setting up a regular routine can add structure to your days. If you spend the whole day in lectures, allow yourself time in the evenings to unwind, whether this is going out with your friends, heading to
, or just sitting and watching Netflix with your flatmates. sports practice or a society meeting
Take Time Out
Socialising can be exhausting, especially if you haven’t spoken to any of your friends about how you’re feeling, or if you’re hesitant to do so. It’s important to put your wellbeing first and take time out, enjoying your own company to do something you like – that might be as simple as going for a walk to clear your thoughts, immersing yourself in a book or listening to your favourite music.
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Exercising might be the last thing on your mind but many studies have found that getting active is a great way to manage your mental health. Not only can exercise calm your nerves and act as a distraction from any negative thoughts, it’ll also keep your body physically healthy and give you more energy through the endorphins it releases.
Switch Off from Social Media
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with your friends and find out about events taking place at your university, but spending too much time on social media can encourage feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Sometimes you may not feel like seeing friends or partying, which is perfectly normal – social situations can be counterproductive if you are already feeling lonely or sad. Make sure you spend this alone time doing something you enjoy, rather than looking at what your friends and coursemates are up to on their social channels.
Looking After Your Mental Health
Staying well at university is really important. Although it can be difficult to know where to turn, confiding in someone you trust will take off a lot of the pressure. Also, adding some kind of structure to your days and allowing yourself time out can help you to better cope with a mental illness.
For more information on coping with pressures of uni life and looking after your wellbeing, check out our dedicated advice section.