With schools and universities staring up once again, we thought we should talk about how they can both positively and negatively impact our mental health and ways to keep mentally healthy. Many people find going Uni or school to be very stressful this could be due to coursework, monetary issues, relationships, friends or if it’s the first-year stressing about the unknown.
These fears, stresses and built-up anxiety are very normal especially surrounding education and starting a brand-new journey. There are many ways we can help to alleviate some of those stresses. A big cause of anxiety is staring fresh, whether that be a new year or whole new start. For people going back it’s all about seeing those people we may have not seen throughout the summer or staring back on the course and coming to complete blank. For people just starting, it’s meeting new people, going to a totally new place and also maybe the first time away from home or parental control.
Coping Mechanisms to try:
- Doing some light reading before the course re-starts.
This one seems quite obvious but when on summer break the last thing you want to do is open a book on what you’re trying to take a break from. Reading little bits before the lectures and classes start allowing for you to retain information from the previous year. It also means there is less anxiety surrounding coming to a dreaded blank.
- Meeting up with friends
Meeting up with friends allows for us to support them but also be supported by another person. Even though you may not have met someone for 3 months face-to-face that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still your friend. It means that you probably had 3-hour calls with them or asking them if they are ok after a few days of no contact. Having a support network allows for you to alleviate some of that fear and anxiety because you know if you’ve had a bad day, you could have a chat with your friend.
- De-stimulating yourself
University and school can be such an overwhelming place and with all that buzz sometimes you don’t have time for yourself. Trying to take that well needed self-care time to just be you and away from others. This could include playing some video games, reading, watching a movie, taking a long bath/shower, or just sitting. This allows for your brain to process what has happened and what could happen.
- Take one day at a time
For those people who are brand new it’s a time of anxiety and stress but also excitement for a new experience. The challenge is getting swept up by everything and letting it take over everything. For many this could be the first time away from home and that can be nerve-racking however if you take one day at a time, you can rationalise everything. If you are in student accommodation, it’s meeting your roommate and going to the fresher’s week to meet new people.
Overall, you should celebrate yourself and appreciate that while there are those apprehensions and fears, you can work through it.