Mental health is a difficult subject to talk about at times, but it shouldn’t be! A large majority of people have experienced a low point in their mental wellbeing, and it can have a large affect in your life therefore, the need to improve and look after your mental wellbeing is now even more important than ever especially with the current restrictions in place.
Here are my top tips for maintaining good mental health that you can practice in lockdown and after the restrictions are lifted.
- Connect with other people
One of the best ways to improve your mental wellbeing is to talk to other people. This could be with friends, family or co-workers, it’s completely up to you.
I find it is usually better to arrange a video call rather than just messaging as this is more like if you were meeting up in person. The effects of just talking to someone about everyday things such as the latest episode of a favourite programme or any exciting opportunities either of you have coming up are really positive.
- Be active
Being active doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do gruelling workouts every day. It could simply be a short run or joining a fitness session with one of the sports or dance societies. For a throwback, you could even get out your old games console if you have one, go on the app or online and play a bit of Just Dance.
This is great to do with friends and helps you to feel a bit more awake and ready to face the rest of the day.
- Go outside
Leaving the house and going outside work wonders for your mind. Even if you are just going for a short walk, it gives you the chance to recharge and lets you immerse yourself into nature and fresh air. As long as you follow the Government restrictions, you can do whatever you like outside!
- Keep a diary to write down all of your happy memories
When you are low, it sometimes helps to read about the times when you were happiest, reliving that memory in your mind and improve your mood. Reminding yourself of the good times could also give you ideas to re-connect with past friends or make plans to arrange a similar event in the future.
Making plans for the future can also be a very nice way to have something that you are actively looking forward to.
- Take lots of photos
Just like the point above, photos can help you to relive moments. Something that you could do is to gather photos of all of your favourite memories and make a collage or stick them up where you can see them. Pictures of people smiling will improve your mental wellbeing as your mood will improve when you look at them.
- Take up a hobby
Finding something that you love to do is a great feeling and helps increases feelings of self-worth! There are so many hobbies you could take up such as photography, crafting, supporting important causes, the list goes on! If you would like to try a new hobby out, why not attend the Virtual Macramé class, which is going to be happening on the 17th of March? To find out more, please click here.
Whether your hobby is something you do by yourself, or with others, it can be a brilliant way to raise your mood.
- Don’t overwork/underwork yourself
Work can be the cause of a lot of stress and anxiety for many. Ensuring that you have a good balance of work and breaks is crucial when it comes to maintaining positive Mental Health. If you are having a bad day, it’s completely fine to take more breaks than you usually do.
Scheduling your time can be an excellent way to manage multiple workloads. Try not to work after you have dinner, reserve this time for relaxation to wind down for bed (this could be a great time to do your hobby). This advice is up to you but overworking over a long period of time can lead to burnout, something that all students will probably experience but should try to avoid.
- Learn a new skill?
What is that meal you’ve always wanted to cook, that language you’ve always wanted to learn or that project you’ve never had time to do? Different from a hobby, learning a new skill lets you try new things and shift your focus onto something completely unknown. Whether you spend fifteen minutes on it or a whole year, diversifying your skill portfolio can be a very useful thing to do in life.
- Help other people
Whether it is going to work and trying your best to provide excellent customer service or volunteering within the community, seeing someone smile because of your actions is always great to see.
Positively improving other people’s lives will make you feel like you are having a more meaningful and tangible impact on the world, this will improve your mental wellbeing and make you feel good inside! You could even do this within the University with volunteering through STaR mentors, Students in Schools or other initiatives.
- Be kind to yourself
This may be the hardest point to follow; however, you should try to give yourself a break and learn to not criticise yourself. If you think more positively and value your own self-worth, your mental wellbeing will improve as you’ll feel more optimistic about your life and the opportunities available to you.
Thank you all for reading today’s blog! I hope you found the tips useful to help improve your mental wellbeing and to ensure that you keep a positive mental health. There is going to be lots more content coming for University Mental Health day, so keep your eyes peeled!