How to cope with anxiety & depression at university
University can be a stressful time for anyone. It’s tiring, you’re swimming in coursework and often you’re away from home. So managing your mental health as well can be daunting and it may seem scary, but you’re not alone.
When 1,061 students were asked if they had a mental health problem, 27% of them said yes. Of those students, 77% had depression and 74% had anxiety.
Here are our top 5 tips to make managing your mental health a little easier…
Talk to someone
One of the first and most important steps you can take is talking to someone. Don’t bottle up your feelings and keep it a secret. Talking to someone about how you feel is not a sign of weakness. Whether you choose to confide in a friend, family member or even a teacher, people care about you and will want to help.
If you don’t feel comfortable telling someone you’re close to, register with your university’s GP. Most universities have a GP on campus as well as a free wellbeing, counselling and mental health advisor who is there to support you.
Join a support group
Attending a support group is a great way to meet people who are going through similar things to you. You can discuss your experiences, share tips as well as support each other. One of the biggest benefits of attending a support group is realising that you are not alone, there are other people who feel the same and this can feel like a huge relief.
Find your Nightline
Nightline is a student listening service open every night of term. It is run by students for students, and gives you the chance to talk about your feelings confidentiality and anonymously with a trained volunteer.
With over 400,000 students accessing various nightlines, they are a safe place to talk about what is on your mind. Whether you choose to access Nightline via phone call, text or email, you can speak with a specially trained Nightline volunteer who follows 5 core principals: confidential, anonymous, non-judgemental, non-directional and non-advisory.
There are over 30 Nightlines covering over 90 universities. Find your Nightline.
Look after yourself
It’s essential to look after yourself and make some time for you. A healthy diet and regular physical exercise has been proven to have a positive impact on both your physical and mental health. Exercise can also help you manage anxiety and panic attacks, so why not try going for a walk or run and take some time for yourself to think things over.
Did you know research suggests that mindfulness-meditation practice has a positive effect on improving anxiety and stress, as well as helping you to focus?
There are various different meditation apps out there now to help with this and Headspace is just one of them. Headspace helps you manage your mental health and with various different meditation collections available you can pick a session to suit you.
Don’t forget, university is an incredible experience and as long as you have the right support system in place and remember you are not alone, there is no reason it should be anything else.