Due to all the reports of how student mental health is declining from being at university in the pandemic, it is important to remember that you made it through the last lockdown, so you can make it through this one.
Here are some ideas to help protect your mental health:
Do not consume too much news: It’s okay to keep up to date with the latest news but clicking on every news article is only going to harm you. It’s scary seeing how the media is blaming students- there is a lot of talk around the student community at present, so it’s best to keep away from this source of negativity.
Get a routine: Take one a day at a time and make a routine to get you through each day, this way it won’t be repetitive, and you will find different things to do. Make sure to include breaks, meals, walks and how much work you want to achieve that day as part of the plan.
Brighten everything around you: There is less daylight during your waking hours now since the clocks went back so you don’t need to surround yourself with any more darkness. Get some fairy lights, candles, open up the curtains and try replacing any dark decor with warm autumn colours. It will help you feel more comfortable and less anxious to be stuck in one room all day.
Stay active, stay connected: Try going for walks or doing exercise to help you get out of the house. Even if it’s a 20-minute walk, getting fresh air and stretching your legs can make a huge impact. Stay connected to friends, make sure to keep in contact and speak daily to friends and family.
Don’t feel forced: You don’t have to do anything you don’t feel like doing. If you want to have a day off from doing work, do it. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to sit in bed all day watching Netflix and ordering takeout. You don’t need to put pressure on yourself, it's normal to have days like that.
Plan for the future: Instead of feeling down about things getting cancelled- make new plans. Plan days out, plan holidays, plan what restaurants or bars you want to go to. Don’t feel that your life has stopped because of a lockdown- there are so many opportunities to do things in the future, rearrange the date and know you have something to look forward to.
Treat yourself: Don’t feel that you have to cut out everything good in a lockdown. Buy that comfort food, sleep in till 2pm, binge watch that tv series. You need to look after you. If that means you don’t do any university work and have a self-care day, have a self-care day. You deserve it.
What you need to remember is that everyone is in the same boat as you, your feelings are valid. Everyone goes through the lockdown differently. You are not alone.
Resources that will help you:
- The Samaritans helpline
phone: 116 123
- Anxiety Uk
phone: 03444 775 774
phone: 0300 123 3393
phone: 0800 58 58 58
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