Taking care of your mental health at university

Mental health at university, kettle mag
Written by Rory Nicklin

Mental Illness, as we have seen from the recent death of Robin Williams, can affect anybody.

Mental Illness, as we have seen from the recent death of Robin Williams, can affect anybody. Suffering from a form of it is hard at the best of times, but when you’re miles away from home trying to juggle a heavy workload, a hectic social life, a part time job, while complying with the notion of being independent and fending for yourself for the first time ever it can become almost overwhelmingly difficult to deal with.

Fortunately, there are a number of resources and methods you can use to help suppress and combat your mental health issues.

Student Wellbeing

The student wellbeing service is a haven for anyone who believes they are suffering from a mental health condition. Here you can release your anxieties and unearth your problems to one of a range of free councillors on offer.

These guys are like stand in parents, not only do they listen, they also help you come to terms and overcome your difficulties, and they truly do care. Not only can you confess your deepest, darkest secrets here, you can also get information on medication, self-help books and alcohol and drug abuse services.

Talk to your friends

This is a very subjective issue, only you can decide whether to seek aid from companions. Mental health remains a grey area for many, and consoling in your friends may not result in the outcome you believed you would receive.

University is arguably a place where life-long friendships blossom however, and letting those friends you’ve made know your feeling blue could help them understand your low, inconsistent moods and at the same time educate them on the illness.

Eating Healthy

They say that eating healthily can be an expensive habit and money worries really aren’t ideal when you’re already struggling mentally; but by cutting down on the takeaways, Tesco meal deals, and microwavable foods you can really save a lot.

Research has shown that nutritious foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables can help you manage your mentality a lot more efficiently. How much you’re eating can also fluctuate excessively when you have a prolonged low mood, watch your food intake on a daily basis, and ensure you have a big breakfast to start your day appropriately.

Manage your Alcohol and Drug Intake

It is widely recognised that alcohol is a depressant, and let’s be honest, at University, drugs are easier to access than a computer during exam season. They may seem like an easy release that gives you a sudden sense of euphoria allowing you to forget your troubles, but truth be told, in the long run, they can deepen your mood.

People who abuse drugs and/or alcohol while mentally unstable are more likely to self-harm and commit suicide. If you feel like you are using a substance to escape, try to cut down or seek advice from a councillor, there are a range of methods to help you combat your addiction.

If you fail at cutting down, cut it out, completely.

Structure your days and employ a routine

Filling your spare time at University can be challenging when you have very few contact hours a week. Try to find something you enjoy: exercising, reading, writing, drawing or fundraising can be ways of staying productive during your spare time. Using a simple day planner can also be used as an aiding tool that gives you a sense of direction throughout your day.

Last of all try to get into a sleeping routine that allows at least 8 hours sleep a night. Feeling fatigued is a common symptom amongst the mentally ill, so do your utmost to feel more energetic.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: Sjoerd Lammers