A trending topic of debate is the #mentalhealthcrisis, there is a considerable increase in student mental health with several key issues attributed to the pressure of attending university. The pressure of maintaining top grades, balancing a budget and living away from home can seriously affect one’s well-being. The Natwest Student Living Index illustrates that 64% of uni students document the stress of studying for a degree as seven or above out of ten. Furthermore, additional studies conclude that 82% of UK university students suffer from stress/anxiety, and worryingly there is a substantial increase of students dropping out of university due to mental health.
University is one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of a young adult’s life. There are ways to tackle issues, such as stress by making small lifestyle changes that can truly make a difference.
Seek social support
As a recent university student, I can confirm that one of the hardest challenges was living away from home. The new-found independence can be liberating, but also lonely. A prominent cause for stress, as friends and family are not around to comfort and reassure. But it is imperative to talk about your feelings, whether that’s over FaceTime with your parents/best friend or even a university tutor. A simple ‘you can do it’ can make all the difference when you feel the pressure getting too much.
Take control of the situation
Maintaining a healthy balance between your studies and social life contributes to your overall happiness. Good time management is essential to reduce stress, so be organised and stay ahead of the game. Avoid leaving tasks to the last minute and pulling all-nighters. The key to coping with stress is to prioritise some “me time,” and organise your work by splitting a task into smaller, more easily manageable goals.
Avoid Emotional Eating
The first few weeks living away from home is a major learning experience. Firstly, you realise how expensive everyday essentials, such as butter and coffee really are. You also establish that you will not be buying the £3 tub of Lurpak or £4.99 Millicano coffee that is always stocked in your own home. It is now an unsustainable choice on your new budget. You realise you have taken these small treats for granted, especially when you swap the McVitie's chocolate Jaffa cakes for Asda’s 31p Smart Price option.
Despite this, you can now plan and prepare your own meals. Having the right diet can have a positive impact on your development. If you eat unhealthily continually you may start to feel sluggish, so limit sugary and fatty snacks to help optimise your brain function.
Plan your sleep schedule
Students who do not get enough sleep will find it more difficult to recall information. Psychology lecturer Jakke Tamminen states,
“Even though you’re not studying when you sleep, your brain is still studying. It’s almost like it’s working on your behalf. You can’t really get the full impact of the time you put into your studies unless you sleep.” Sleep is therefore essential for embedding knowledge in the brain.
By following the above tips your overall attitude to university can change for the better hopefully. It is essential to be positive and always believe in yourself. The well-being of our clients is of great importance to us. Consequently, the #mentalhealthcrisis should not be a problem for universities to avoid, but a priority to tackle.
By Ashleigh Jane McCann
Digital Marketing Executive - City Room Rentals