Students - improving mental health

Green wooden heart - chezbeate from PixabayAs a society we’ve come a long way together to help promote the importance of mental health awareness with a range of campaigns, and for students in particular, University Mental Health Day, which took place last month on March 4th. However, despite the strides we are taking we can’t let our foot off the gas and have to continue with this momentum to help continually raise awareness and provide the right support to the so many who need it.

It’s also important that we take the time to do all we can to look after ourselves and our own well-being. So, with that said, let’s take a look at a few different things that can be done to keep your mental well-being healthy as you face the many difficult challenges university life can throw your way.

Open up and talk about it

It’s easier said than done but opening up about something that’s troubling you and talking to someone you can trust or confiding in a professional who will be able to listen and offer sound advice could be tremendously helpful. Struggling through uni life can be stressful enough, but adding problems that aren’t even related to your studies to the mix can really affect your energy and enthusiasm for not only university itself but also everything else that you’re involved in. 

So, although there may be a nervous reluctance to confide in someone, just remember that by the end of the conversation there’s a great chance you’ll feel a whole lot better with perhaps even a few ideas and steps in place to begin improving things for the longterm.

Add a balance of exercise and relaxation

Student life can certainly be hectic at the best of times so we understand how difficult it can be to fit in some time for both exercise and relaxation, but even a small allocated amount of time every few days can do you the world of good - even if it’s literally 10 or 20 minutes worth. This 10 or 20 minutes every now and then is enough time get in some quick high intensity training, to take a short walk around a local park, to have a chat with a friend or family member, to read a chapter of a book or to just close off your mind for a little while.

The more free time you can find to fit exercise and relaxation into your life, the better. The main thing is to make sure you do fit them in and to remain consistent. A healthy and relaxed body really can lead to a healthy and relaxed mind.

Keep well hydrated

Everyone is aware of the importance of keeping well hydrated but so few of us truly act on throughout the day. Our body and mind needs to be hydrated to function as well as can be, including everything from our memory, energy levels and ability to carry out tasks. Many studies have shown that consistent adequate water intake can reduce the risk of anxiety and depression while improving moods. Keep a reusable bottle with you at all times so that you’re reminded to sip and re-fill it throughout the day - if you’re not a fan of plain water, you can always opt to add some flavoured drops!

Less time with screens

There’s no getting away from the fact that the majority of us spend far too much time glued to our screens. Spending less time scrolling through social media and checking out your favourite websites can reduce the strain you put on your eyes, prevent niggling headaches, improve the quality of your sleep and even improve how well you can focus. In today’s modern world it’d be unrealistic to ditch scrolling through your phone or laptop for days at a time, but consciously trying to cut down on the hours you scroll, especially in the lead up to bedtime, could help you reap some positive benefits.

Keep a diary

If you’re looking to keep your thoughts nice and organised as well as have a written account of your life to look back on in years to come, a day-to-day diary is what you need! They can help you keep a positive mind set and allow you to outline your goals and keep a record of what you’re doing each day, week, month and year in terms of achieving them. There are plenty of different diaries available, from ones that focus on personal reflection to food diaries, ones that keep track of your dreams or simply a blank canvas to jot down whatever comes to mind.

Get your quality sleep

Last but certainly not least is ensuring you get plenty of top quality sleep. This is vital for both positive mental health and physical well-being as it’ll make sure you’re as equipped as you need to be to tackle the challenges of university and daily life. It’s a well known fact that everyone should aim for around 7-9 hours of sleep every night, as failing to do so can leave us irritable, moody and struggling to remain focused - not to mention tired! Even squeezing in the odd afternoon nap from time to time following your studies can help top up the snooze hours.

Looking for the ideal student accommodation in Cardiff? If so, our lettings team here at CPS Homes are ready to help you every step of the way and be sure to check out our student guide to renting for more useful tips and information. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more about how we can help and advise by calling 02920 668585, e-mail or by popping into one of our three branches.

14 April 2021


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