Whether you’re a new or returning student, this academic year is going to present a lot of changes and challenges which might put a strain on your mental health.
That’s why we’ve put together some useful resources and tips for maintaining your mental wellbeing, as well as what to do if you’re finding it difficult to cope.
Keep an eye out on our social media for updates from VP Wellbeing & Diversity Henn Warwick, who has plans for some great campaigns focused on mental health coming later this year.
When things around us are changing, especially those out of our control, it can feel very overwhelming, as our brains work extra hard to stay alert and make sense of what’s going on. This in itself can be distressing, but if you add on the stress of trying to keep up with a challenging course, maintaining a social life, and everything else you’re expected to do, it can easily become a bit too much to deal with!
There are lots of things you can do to try and manage the stress of uncertainty in your life.
Student Minds have launched a website called Student Space, which has lots of advice for maintaining your mental health during the pandemic. One resource they have is an Action Plan template, where you can work through areas of worry and uncertainty about the upcoming year, and create a written plan to refer back to when you feel overwhelmed.
Sharing your worries with other people can also really help to relieve stress and anxiety about uncertainty and change. Try talking to a friend or family member who you trust, or even a pet! Sometimes just saying your concerns out loud is helpful. You may also want to check out this article, which has loads of tips shared by readers about how they deal with anxiety, if you have any good ideas, consider contributing too!
You may have heard of self-care before, but if you haven’t, The Blurt Foundation have some great resources on their website explaining why it is such an important tool in maintaining good mental health.
In short, self-care is all about making sure you are looking after your physical and emotional needs, and treating yourself with kindness. When we go through stressful periods, it is easy to forget to take a break, so it’s important to build self-care time into your routine, and prepare for the busier times.
Here are some self-care tips you can use to get prepared for whatever this term may bring:
While these tips are useful for maintaining good mental wellbeing, they are no substitute for professional support. If you’re struggling to cope with your mental health, below are some services you can reach out to for help.
Registered charity no: 1141998
The Students’ Union, Royal Holloway
Egham, TW20 0EX