Number five: ignore FOMO.
As exciting as starting university life can be, it can also be daunting and overwhelming moving away from home for the first time. Therefore, besides managing assignments, societies, trips, exams, part-time jobs and 100 other things, it’s of the utmost importance to take care of your own wellbeing, as well. Here are my top tips for #selfcare in first year and beyond.
Food is the easiest thing to neglect and the first to be compromised in times of stress. As students, it is very common to eat junk food or skip a meal altogether. Shopping and prepping healthy meals in addition to all the extra university work can seem daunting. However, it’s easy if you cook meals in bulk and stock up for the entire week. Getting a lunch box and taking lunch to classes or work is good for your health and your budget. Additionally, nutritious food supplies the required nutrients to the brain and helps you to stay sharper and maintain a good mood. Buh-bye stress!
For the students living in student accommodation, you can make use of the gym for free. There are varieties of exercises you can choose from, such as, swimming, basketball, Zumba and so on. Exercising is known to boost physical as well as mental health and helps you stay active.
Suvekshya celebrating with uni friends
Your university life is not going to last forever. Go out of your comfort zone and mingle with people from different countries and walks of life. Instead of being locked in the room every chance you get, push yourself and attend events and join clubs and societies. Having a good circle of friends can give you a good morale boost and help you tackle your daily stress.
Suvekshya on a day trip to Derry/Londonderry
There are many trips conducted by different societies. It’s good to explore and visit various places. This will help you become familiar with the place and enhance your state of mind as well. Belfast is full of beautiful picturesque places to visit. These trips may end up becoming some of your most memorable.
While socialising is important in university life, make sure that you balance other aspects of your personal life as well. Do not spread yourself too thin, that you don’t have time for yourself and end up being drained out. There are times you might need to spend time with yourself. Try the ‘Art of doing Nothing’, where, as the name suggests, you do nothing but just relax in your own space.
Yoga is a great way to maintain your physical as well as mental health. For people with anxiety and high stress levels, regular yoga is known to have healing effects. There are various sessions conducted by Student Guidance Centre and in the PEC. Besides, yoga can also be done at home as well. If you are not lazy enough.
Similarly, another source of high stress is the plethora of activities and work we need to accomplish in a limited time. It is good to start early and manage your time accordingly. If you are active in extracurricular as well, it is even more important to manage time better while not letting your grades drop. Start early so that you have ample time to research for your assignments. This way you can avoid the last-minute stress and the sleepless nights, which can lead you to fall ill. From my own experience, I left all my assignments to the last minute due to my extracurricular activities and ended up falling ill for almost 10 days during Christmas and New Years’ time, which is the last thing you want.
There are times when university life becomes overwhelming and no matter how much you try, things aren’t falling in place. If you feel like you are not able to handle it, seek help from your friends or make use of the Student Wellbeing services at the Student Guidance Centre. There are counselling sessions held in the meeting rooms on the second floor. You can either book an appointment in advance to speak to an advisor or just come in during the drop-in times which is 12.30 – 1.30pm Monday to Friday.
All in all, do not forget to enjoy and grow during your university life, as this time is not going to come back.
More about your mental health at university.
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