Our physical and mental health are both tied into our overall wellbeing. Here are our top ten tips for looking after yourself at university.
- Eat right! It’s important to eat healthy, nutritious food. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever gorge on a takeout with your flatmates but make sure you eat some fruit and vegetables. You’ll feel better for it.
- Exercise. There are plenty of ways to move your body, and just 20 minutes a day can really boost your physical and mental wellbeing. Try cycling to uni if you usually get the bus, or exploring the city on foot.
- Sleep well. Getting enough sleep is super important, as everything feels worse when we’re run down or tired. Try and get into a regular pattern of sleep, and get an early night once in a while!
- Register with a doctor and dentist early on in your uni life and don’t be afraid to use them – it’s what they’re there for!
- Talk to someone – a friend, a chaplain, a university counsellor or a church leader. Don’t suffer in silence and don’t suffer alone. It’s easy to isolate ourselves in our struggles but try to resist that temptation. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- If you have a faith (or even if you don’t!) it can really help to take time out of your day to pray and read the scriptures. The Bible is full of encouragement and it is so wonderful to be able to talk to a God who we know is listening to our struggles and who loves us.
- Practise Mindfulness. Try a guided meditation or body scan (YouTube has lots), list some things you’re thankful for or light a few candles and sit quietly with your thoughts.
- Keep in touch with friends back home and with family, but be careful not to be in contact so much that you don’t make new friends.
- Be your future friend. Think about the things that are causing you stress and try to put a plan in place to help alleviate it. Your university student support team will be able to advise you and give you tips for dealing with the pressures that come with studying.
- Be kind to yourself! Don’t beat yourself up for feeling homesick, stressed, or for struggling with your mental or physical health. Give yourself the same love and care that you would a friend and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be a certain way. You are you, and that is perfect!
Ruth is the Finance and Communications Officer at SCM. Ruth is part of the Communications team along with Rob, and she loves a good pun, a bit of subversive cross stitch and eating breakfast foods at all hours of the day. Show her a good meme and she’ll be your friend for life!