It’s no secret that uni can be pretty demanding. Tutorial work, assignments, missed classes – they can all catch up with you! And on top of this you have to balance working, a social life, family demands, relationships.
Some days it can all feel too much, and that’s normal – especially if you’ve been dealing with some tough times before uni even started. But remember, mental health isn’t just about people who have mental illnesses. It encompasses all the stuff that goes on inside your head, like self image, homesickness, stress, and a million other things.
It’s important to keep an eye on how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking while at uni, because like you can’t function when you aren’t feeling well in your body, you can’t perform at your best when you aren’t feeling well in your mind. And here are some helpful tips to keep your mental health in check.
Yes, it’s a fad. Yes, everyone’s doing it. Yes, it seems like an activity for kids. But there’s a reason that everyone has been swept up by adult colouring books. They give your brain a nice break while keeping your hands busy, and allow you to express your creativity without a fear of making mistakes (who cares if you colour outside the lines?). This activity is praised for promoting mindfulness and relaxation, which really is just what every uni student needs.
Although it may seem kinda lame, this is a great way to work out some stress in a productive way. You throw some flour around the kitchen, smash a few eggs, scrub away at the dishes while your delicious treats are in the oven, and then you have some home-cooked comfort food to snuggle up with while you watch TV. Definitely worth the effort.
If you aren’t feeling your most mentally well, exercising is probably one of the last things you want to do, up there with taking on extra subjects or playing with an untamed lion. That being said, pounding the pavement can be really helpful in working out frustrations. Similarly, activities like yoga or swimming that focus on breathing in time with the movements of your body can help with relaxation. Exercise is also great at maintaining positive mental health and helping you work through stress, plus it’s a great excuse to go shopping for some active wear.
Ask for Help
The most important thing to keep in mind if you’re struggling with your mental health is to ask for help. Whether it’s something as small as letting your roommates know you need some extra quiet time or asking for an extension on an assignment you just can’t finish, or as big as taking the leap and talking to a friendly CSU counsellor or your regular doctor. Services like Lifeline are also a really valuable resource. Although it seems like it’s all in your head, mental health is something that everyone, yes everyone, deals with and taking about your thoughts, feelings, and struggles to someone other than your own reflection will do you the world of good.