Today is University mental health day. Fortunately, mental health is being talked about more and more, and is finally appearing on the agendas of universities, but there is still much to be done. With harsh cuts to local mental health services, we must keep campaigning on its importance.
We all have mental health, and many of us will have difficulties at some point in our lives, with university being an especially challenging time. The most important thing is that we talk to someone when we need to.
With this in mind we compiled a list of 10 top tips for boosting wellbeing from the team at Bristol SU:
1. Getting outside, whether for a run, walk or just to sit and ponder - this was mentioned by lots of people as helping them get away from everyday work and pressures. Apparently, the colour green reassures and calms us on a primitive level because it suggests an abundance of water - the wonders of the internet eh.
2. Listening to music - Making time to just sit and listen allows you to take a minute out, forget all the things you have to do and put things in perspective
3. Grabbing a coffee with a friend - Sometimes just meeting someone special to you can make everything alright. We’re social creatures really, and going through something alongside someone else can make all the difference.
4. Exercising - In a similar vein, others mentioned running and swimming as things that make them feel good. Running allows you to see lots of different places in a short space of time, but exercise also gets your body to release all sorts of good things.
5.Checking in - There are a whole range of mobile apps out there which can help you manage your wellbeing and cope with stress. These can be really useful for checking back over to see how you have been doing.
6. Playing ping pong with the cat - This was my personal favourite. Apparently throwing balls to a cat and watching it trying to return is a very satisfying activity.
Credit: Mathias Erhart
7. Going to the cinema - Something to get immersed in. Alternatively there’s nothing like a good book.
8. Sleep - As students we often really don’t get enough sleep. Often it's easy to get trapped in something of a stress competition, where people compare levels of stress and lack of sleep. Sometimes it's treated almost as a good thing. But it is so important for us to get our hours in overnight to allow our minds to recharge and relax.
9. Don't bottle it up - Don't 'try not to cry'; think why you need to instead.
10. Get out of Bristol and see somewhere new - If you feel up to it and have a free day, getting out of the city, getting some fresh air and seeing somewhere new can be really useful.
If you are having difficulties at university, please do speak out about it. Talk to a friend if you feel comfortable, or your personal tutor or senior residents. The university has support services listed here, http://www.bristol.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/ and the counselling service also has a range of contacts for support here http://www.bristol.ac.uk/student-counselling/self-help/.
If you are are worried that your exams may be affected by ill health or Extenuating Circumstances, contact the Just Ask team here or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org for advice and information about available options.