May is International Mental Health Awareness month. As the rate of people suffering from mental health disorders increases, so does the importance of awareness. University students are one of the most at-risk and vulnerable demographics to fall victim to poor mental health. We thought that we would share our terrific top ten tried-and-tested tips for coping with a mental health disorder while at University.
If you haven’t already, why not read our in-depth feature article on Mental Health here?
Seek some help!
this sounds very obvious but some people truly struggle to know where to begin on their mental health journey. If you would like more information about where to turn for help, then click here
Download some Apps
Admittedly, this seems like a very millennial approach to wellbeing. However, there are plenty of Apps out there specifically geared towards aiding mindfulness. I recommend Calm, Headspace, and Breathe (all available for free on iOS).
Listen to a Podcast
finding other people with the same illness as you can really help you to learn some invaluable coping methods. I recommend ‘Adult Sh*t’ and ‘Hannahlyze This’ for anyone suffering from Depression or Anxiety disorder. They are so funny, and helpful! They are available for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube.
Take care of your body
Feeling better on the outside can do wonders for feeling better on the inside. Yes, count macros, go for a run, blah blah blah. But also have a bubble bath or paint your nails a fun colour!
Set yourself small goals
Setting goals which are unreasonable is just going to make you feel worse when you fail them, especially when getting out of bed feels like an achievement in itself. Setting a goal of ‘I am going to read a chapter of my reading’ or ‘I am going to write 500 words of my essay’ or ‘I am going to have a shower AND cook a lovely dinner for myself’ are perfectly acceptable goals. Congratulate yourself for achieving these goals, and perhaps even reward yourself. (ie. If I study for a whole hour today then I am allowed to watch tonight’s episode of Love Island – starting 3rd June for you fans out there!!)
Put your phone down
Shocking concept, I know, but hear me out. Us millennials are genuinely addicted to our phones. Fake picture-perfect lives on social media, and people knowing your location 24/7 on SnapMaps can really eat away at your mental wellbeing. Taking a walk, even around the block, without your phone and air pods can do you the world of good. Sometimes you need to have time alone with your thoughts. You know, like how they did in the olden days. Proper vintage.
Clean your room
If you have not heard of Marie Kondo or Mrs Hinch then I command you to google them immediately. These two are the kweens of decluttering and deep-cleaning. Whenever I get into a mental health rut I notice that my surroundings physically manifest how my mind is. I find that when I clean up I feel immediately calmer and zen. Feng shui, that is the key to a happy soul.
“Now I’m here in this sticky situation // Got a little trouble, yep now I’m pacing” to quote the wise words of the great Karmin.
But seriously, this is a concept we are all too familiar with. Toxic friend? Cut them out. Controlling partner? Chuck them. If someone is causing you mental distress, then perhaps now is the time to cut them out of your life. It is a scary and hard thing to do, and may even make you feel worse immediately. But, in the long run, it will be better for your mental health. The moral of this is to reassess your priorities, and ensure that you are putting yourself first.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
Having a mental disorder is a form of disability. Someone with broken legs would not be angry at themselves for not being able to walk, so why would someone with Depression be angry at themselves for not being motivated? It is fine to feel frustrated at the situation, but being frustrated at yourself for something that you literally can not control is ludicrous.