University Mental Health Day: How students look after their mental health and wellbeing
To mark University Mental Health Day (4 March), students and members from the Students’ Union Executive team have shared what they do to look after their mental health.
Alex Marlowe, Welfare and Diversity Executive Officer
“Looking after your mental health is the same as looking after any other part of your being. However, it can be a bit more difficult to notice the signs for when you need to take a moment to look after your mental health.
For me, I need to be really conscious of spotting the signs of my mental health taking a toll and only then can I try and make it better. Sometimes different things work for different times and sometimes I have to try a combination of all of them. But they include: doing some exercise (I like Zumba or dancing), playing a video game, cooking a delicious meal, going for a long walk and spending quality time with my partner. Also, fluffy animals help but I don’t see many of them at the moment.”
Leah Langley, BSc Sport and Exercise Psychology
“When it comes to looking after my mental health, I have found journaling to be really useful. It can feel good to get all your thoughts out onto paper. You don’t necessarily have to write about your day but putting some words onto paper about anything on your mind can be very therapeutic.
Music is a huge help too. Put some cheesy dance music on or some classic pop ballads and go crazy with dancing and sing at the top of your lungs. You may think you look funny, but it’s a great way to relax and channel your energy somewhere else.”
Ada Ughanwa, BSc Sociology and Criminology
“One way I keep my mental health in check is by having phone cut off points. So everyday between 10pm-11pm I have 10 minutes or so of complete silence. I put my phone on flight mode or I switch it off and I close my eyes and reflect on my life thus far. This helps me to gauge where my thoughts are at, reflect on all the good things I’ve done and learn from my mistakes of the past.”
Fejiro Amam, LSU Vice-President
“It can be easy for poor mental health to spiral downwards so it’s very important to be aware of your triggers and come up with a plan to address them.
I often like to listen to a lot of upbeat music, spend time watching movies, go on long walks or just hang out with close friends. It is often useful for me to remind myself of everything I do have to be grateful for as well, as it helps to put whatever is happening in my life into context.”
Joe Dean, MSc International Financial and Political Relations
“Always be yourself. It can be really tempting to try to ‘fit in’ or change yourself when mixing with new people and making new friends, but be proud of who you are and don’t change! You are enough.”
Beth Hodgson, BSc Accounting and Financial Management
“My top tip for maintaining positive mental health is to try to get outside to exercise every day. It’s so easy at the moment to stay inside but getting outside even for half an hour for a walk or run definitely makes you feel better, it lifts your mood and gives you more of a routine. I’d recommend finding a good podcast to listen to whilst walking – it makes it a bit more fun!”
Emma O’Connor, BSc Psychology with Criminology
“Make sure you have a routine. It’s very easy to lose track of time, so I find creating a plan to follow for the day really helps. I include things I want to do, lectures, breaks etc and this helps to ensure that I don’t put too much pressure on myself to be working all the time. I find it is quite easy to get stressed when I’m not working at the minute as there is little else to do, therefore scheduling the day really reduces this.”
Matt Youngs, LSU President
“Routine and variety have been concepts a lot of us have struggled to find in the current climate. Although perhaps at times contradictory with one another, they are both things I thrive on.
I’ve had to create my own variety in my routine. This can be something as simple as changing up a route I run, cooking something different for dinner, or indulging in a new genre of book. Whatever I do though, I know I’m in control of which way I go – and that’s okay.”
The Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity team are also running their ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ sessions on Thursday 4 March and you can book the following times via the links below:
Please note booking for these sessions closes on Wednesday 3 March at 4pm.
Health and Wellbeing
Wellbeing means being in a positive physical, social and mental state. Wellbeing is important to us as happy, healthy people who achieve harmony in their work / life mix are more creative, productive and help to create a great place to work.