The importance of self care:
Research suggests that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in our lifetime. With the pressures of today, it can be difficult to manage daily tasks and take care of our needs. This can be particularly challenging when you are juggling a balance between family, relationships and your studies. While it’s normal to feel anxious, stressed and experience low mood occasionally, when it’s affecting your mental and physical health, extra support may be needed. If you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed, there are some signs to look out for, including loss of appetite, no interest in activities you used to enjoy, procrastination, and withdrawing yourself from social activities.
Head of counselling at the University of Oxford, Alan Percy said that mental health problems are not caused by medical problems themselves, but by everyday life problems.
When managing stress, self-care is extremely important. Try to schedule in time to do things that you enjoy and dedicate some time to yourself. Even if it’s an hour a week, your mind and body will benefit from a ‘switch off’ from everything that is going on around you. This time will also help you to re-charge.
If these feelings persist for longer than two weeks, and start to affect your studies, it may be worth speaking to someone who you trust, may it be a family member, friend or teacher. You may find that confiding in someone you trust about these feelings will immediately lift a weight off your shoulders. Alternatively, many universities and colleges will offer a free counselling service that you can access on campus. Speaking to your GP may also help as they can discuss support options.
Furthermore, if you want to speak to someone who is not connected to your university, Counselling Directory lists qualified counsellors and charities within the UK who can help:
Guest Post: Melissa Cann