Looking after your mental health is so important, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some things you can do to check in with yourself and look after your mental health.
During lockdown we’ve tried to be more self-aware of how we’re feeling.
As momentous occasions have passed us by, we think about how that impacts our mental health. People have had birthdays, weddings, births, funerals and even graduated – life keeps moving. Just as these events mark defining moments in life, choosing a university will affect the rest of your life too, which is why it's so important to take time to check in with yourself and look after your mental health as a student.
Transitioning and getting settled can be overwhelming, but there are things that you can do to help give you some peace of mind and help you keep moving forward.
Staring at a computer screen and overworking yourself are two things that can feel productive at times, but can also be your worst enemy. A lot of signifiers of your mental health, are physical: tiredness, low moods, and headaches. It’s important to take breaks and to listen to your body. Avoid just switching from one screen to another – the days I take time away from technology leave me more refreshed. Give yourself time to rest. Just for five minutes; meditate, take a stretch, go for a walk, read, cook, dance... the possibilities are endless!
Learn to prioritise and time manage
When you have a mountain of things you need to get done, it can be overwhelming and a big contributing factor to a lot of students’ stress. Not to sound dramatic, but learning to prioritise tasks and to manage your time effectively is a life skill!
Talk about the decisions you’re making
Seek support from family and friends, or in the ARU Facebook group. Take time to vent or ask for advice. You aren’t alone making these choices and there might be other people asking the same questions or needing the same kind of support.
Engage with us!
Getting involved with your university via social media is a great way to feel connected and to find support. ARU’s Facebook group for offer holders is the perfect place to meet other students, as well as Student Ambassadors like myself!
Also look out for events like Open Days or Applicant Days, where you can go to virtual course talks and speak to students and lecturers.
Where you can go
University services for mental health and wellbeing
ARU offers a free and confidential wellbeing service. There are also plenty of self-help guides on the mental health and well-being hub.
If you’re thinking about studying at ARU and have any questions about health and wellbeing, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARU’s wellbeing and counselling service runs from Monday-Friday within office hours, so it’s important to know where you can go if you need support outside of those times.
Nightline is a listening service that is run by students, especially for students at ARU and University of Cambridge. It’s available from 7pm–7am every night during term time.
This is one of a great many support services. If you are afraid for your safety or need critical help please call 999 or go to A&E.