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How to look after your mental health at university

On behalf of Mental Health Awareness Week, and seeming as we are amid a nationwide lockdown – we wanted to reiterate the importance of looking after your mental health, not just during these troubling times, but all of the time. University can be a very lonely place for some, and it is important to remember that you are not alone – and that you always have somebody to talk to.

Here are some important things to remember when looking after your mental health at university:

1) Always remember – A healthy body equals a healthy mind!
This may seem like an obvious one, but to keep on top of your mental health – you must also eat well. Keeping on top of your nutrition can be hard for some students, as they have never had to ‘fend for themselves’ before. Keeping up a regular balanced diet incorporating fruit and veg will have you feeling a tonne better! Alongside this, don’t forget to get an adequate amount of sleep each night (students need approx. 7/8 hours per night) and try to exercise whenever possible.

2) Recognise the signs
To ensure that you look after your mental health, you need to be able to recognise the signs that it is deteriorating. Just like any condition, mental health requires medical attention from a counsellor or a GP. Ensure that you take every concern raised by your friends seriously – as problems can take many shapes or forms.

3) Do not be afraid to ask for help
As humans, some of us can feel embarrassed by how we feel – meaning that some of us are notorious for not seeking medical advice. This is partly due to the stigma surrounding mental health (specifically men), or the misconception that poor mental health is a sign of weakness. There will be plenty of help available at your university – so make sure you do your research and have a look at what is available if you or your friend’s mental health was to deteriorate.

Everyone wants you to succeed, and everyone is there to support you. You are not alone and should not suffer in silence.
This year, mental health awareness week is centred around kindness, and how it is important to always treat those around you this way. If you are looking to get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week and want to see what you can do visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week