For many starting or going back to university can be really tough. Being away from loved ones and the change of routine can lead to feelings of loneliness.
September also happens to be Suicide Prevention Month. Samaritans reported that many young people said loneliness was a key factor in declining mental health. It’s so important to reach out for help if you are struggling mentally, as well as supporting each other during challenging times like starting university.
Here are some things you can do to improve your mental and emotional health this September.
People to follow
Although there are negatives to excessive social media use for your mental health, there are also many useful resources out there. Instagram accounts like the ones below offer friendly advice and remind people that what they are going through is valid and, with time, things will get easier.
Headspace and Calm are two respected mental health apps which give you the opportunity to reflect on your university day and process your thoughts and emotions. Plus they provide meditation and sleep exercises – two things that can be very beneficial for your mental health.
Proven results, simple graphics, and science-backed techniques form the backbone of this mindfulness app. If you agree to pay the affordable annual rate, you'll be given access to a two-week free trial.
Calm has a wide variety of self-improvement topics, ranging from walking meditation to non-judgement to mindfulness. The app includes sleep stories to help you drift off and is free to use, with the possibility to pay for extra features.
Starting university can be busy and overwhelming, so it’s essential to take care of your mind and body. Going out during Freshers doesn’t need to be every night – take time to unwind! This could be by taking a relaxing bath, watching a comfort movie with your favourite takeaway, or playing some peaceful music. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be at 100% all the time!
Allow yourself some time each day to exercise. This doesn’t need to be a full-blown run or sports fixture, a short walk or a few yoga exercises gives you a chance to release some endorphins and clear your head from the hectic side of uni life.
Get away from your course
Book a weekend away to a nearby city, go shopping or visit a local art gallery! A change of scenery can have a positive impact on your mental health by reducing anxiety and stress.
Talking to someone
Talking to someone about how you are struggling can be scary but it is the first step to recovery and the chance to heal. Either a therapist, university tutor, friend, or family member would be a great person to have this conversation with.
This can be difficult when your university is far away from family and friends but you could FaceTime them and let them know how you are feeling. You deserve the support and the chance to get help.
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