8 Things to Do to Improve Your Mental Health at Uni
Looking for things to do to improve your mental health? Read our guide on how to live a happier and healthier life at university. It’s a great first step if you feel you are struggling at university or want to get ahead of any potential future difficulties – we applaud you.
In the past we’ve offered help with guides on how to deal with depression and anxiety as a student, and now we’ve worked on tips to help improve your mental health.
Caring for your mental health is as important as caring for your physical health.
Finding that balance and having a plan in place to help you when you’re feeling under pressure or you notice those personal triggers, will help you to live a better life at university and to know when to take extra care with your mental health.
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If you are struggling to keep a balance with your life and feel university is more of a struggle than it was, or should be, never be afraid to ask someone for help.
Talking is key to maintaining positive mental health, especially that first step of acknowledging your feelings. There are three main ways to go about seeking help for your mental health.
Speak to friends and family – your first port of call should be friends and family, people you trust and love. Just saying how you’re feeling is a good start to helping your mental health.
Speak to your university – your tutors will always be happy to help, either to speak to confidentially or to offer advice as to the services your university offers.
Speak to a professional – professional counselling might be available through your university, or you can speak to your GP and find professional mental health support.
2. Stick To A Routine
One way to look after your mental health is to create a routine that works for you and to stick to it.
Try to get up at the same time every morning, have a shower straight away or other little routines that work for you, and go to bed around the same time every night.
Create a work schedule that you stick to that fits around your university time, and make sure that you have time off booked into your calendar.
Sticking to a routine helps to ward off instability and uncertainty, which can both cause poor mental health if left unchecked.
3. Create Small Goals
If you are struggling under the pressure of big coursework deadlines and other life goals, it can be hard to see a way out.
When creating your schedule build in smaller, much more achievable goals – this can count for any part of your life.
So, for instance you could set yourself a target of going for a half hour walk on your lunch break or writing a certain number of words in the evening towards your coursework.
By meeting these little targets you’ll feel great and realise that the large goals are achievable and shouldn’t cause you loads of stress.
4. Look After Your Sleep
We all need a good night’s sleep to make sure that our body and mind is recharged and ready to face the challenges and stresses of university
We ideally need between 7-9 hours sleep each night to help regulate many different parts of how our body and mind works.
The less sleep you get, the more tired you will become and the harder it is to stay focused on your university work and to give your best. Poor sleep habits can lead to poor mental health.
Stick to a bedtime routine where you switch off electronic devices for a period before bed, calm your mind and get a good night’s sleep.
5. Stay Hydrated & Eat Healthy Snacks
It is so important to stay hydrated and to maintain a balanced, healthy diet.
Keep a water bottle next to your study area so that you are taking regular drinks throughout the day and to maintain a fully hydrated mind and body.
Instead of sugary drinks and snacks, keep fruit on you to get your recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetable in easy, fun, portions.
Your diet is all about creating a positive, simple habit that becomes second-nature.
6. Exercise Regularly
Similarly, regular exercise is a great habit to get into. When you are struggling with your mental health it can be daunting to even consider how to get started with an exercise schedule.
Exercising releases endorphins, triggering a positive feeling. You don’t have to hit the gym hard or do anything too strenuous, especially if you are struggling at the moment.
To start with, even a daily walk on your lunch break or after university will help to get some steps in, get the blood pumping, and help your mental health.
7. Make Time For You
It is important that you learn how to say no when things are getting too much for you.
Learning your anxiety triggers and building in time to your schedule where you can just sit and fully relax, with no responsibilities, is the perfect way to unwind.
You don’t have to put too much thought into what you do with your ‘me’ time. Watch your favourite TV show or film, sit and read a book, listen to a podcast, meditate, or go for a walk.
If you take that time to recharge your mind and take your focus away from the stressful parts of your life, you are helping to maintain positive mental health.
8. Maintain An Active Social Life
Your social life at university is also very important. Creating new networks of friends will help you build that support network that can be invaluable when you are struggling with your mental health.
You might not feel like socialising when you are stressed, but having a regular routine with friends, either for night’s out, as part of university societies, sporting activities, or volunteering, will help you.
As you can see, there are a few different things to do to improve mental health.
First off, know when to recognise your own personal triggers, when to seek help from friends or professionals, and when to take some time out just for you to relax and take your mind away. Everything is linked, so regular exercise and a healthy diet will also help you keep on top of your mental health.