University Mental Health Day is on Thursday 3 March. On this day it is especially important to reflect on how to keep yourself sane and functioning well, while being a student in the contemporary, stressful world. I think we’re all familiar with the image of the “Uni Student Pyramid”, which consists of coursework, social life and sleeping schedule. The catch is that you can choose only two out of the three. However, reality doesn’t have to look like that, a life consisting of all the three Pyramid’s components is possible – and to celebrate University Mental Health Day, here are your Guild’s top tips on how to balance them.
Though this may sound like an obvious one, scheduling could really help you be on top of everything. Take your time to schedule. Think about your priorities. Plan your week. A great schedule really does go a long way and you could even surprise yourself with how much you can get done. It also leaves less room for procrastination which is one of the biggest demons haunting the students.
A great way to overcome that daunting feeling is to balance uni life, your social life and your sleeping schedule. It goes without saying that that’s easier said than done but it’s definitely doable. It is also imperative to make time for yourself and to relax properly. Whether it means reading a book or just zoning out and staring at the ceiling be sure to take time to clear your head and rest.
Another way to have a great “me” time moment is to go on a walk – it not only has physical health benefits such as lowering blood sugar or boosting the immune system but also is a great way to clear your head. Not only that – by going on a walk in nature you are completing the Go Green Week challenge for that day, so that way you not only relax your mind but also contribute to the sustainability project!
Be a high achiever – not a perfectionist
Focus on your goals and priorities - don’t obsess over little things! You don’t have to be excellent at everything. It is important to take it one day at a time and set boundaries when it comes to both – social and academic life. Be assertive when you need to be and do what feels right for you.
We’re all in this together
Trying to thrive in the University environment sometimes can be quite overwhelming, however, it is important to remind yourself that you are not alone. You could also be active in the community, meet like-minded people and share what you’re going through. Societies like Mind Your Head Society are an excellent example of a society that provides a safe space for students. You could also join a sports club to relax!
If you need it – reach out for help
If you, however, feel like it is too much – reach out to the wellbeing service. It is ok to not be ok and admitting this to yourself is a good first step. There’s lots of support available, from the university to the Guild and wellbeing charities. Here at the Guild, we have launched our I am not fine campaign, where we hope to encourage you to have conversations about how you’re feeling and to reach out for support if you need it.
Exeter’s Guild is celebrating the University Mental Health Day (Thursday 3 March) on both campuses – Streatham & St Luke’s. On Streatham you will be able to chat about mental health while getting a fabulous haircut by the Lion’s Barber Collective. On St Luke’s on the other hand – there are goodie boxes and hot chocolate waiting for you. Come and say hi!