Written by Ellis Farnworth a 3rd Year Law and Criminology NTU student
We are all victim to our human habits especially around the winter months and the start of the New Year. We task ourselves with workloads and aspirations. Now don’t get me wrong aspirations are never a bad thing, however, setting yourself challenges should be fun with achievable goals allowing yourself wiggle room and flexibility because you are only human and bad days can happen.
Our minds control everything we do, which is amazing, however more often than not our minds can be an overbearing burden. Thoughts are constantly consuming our minds. Some of which can be very negative and debilitating to everyday lives. Unfortunately, negative thoughts will never completely go but we can learn to challenge these thoughts and change our outlook. First, acknowledge the negative thoughts and recognise the distortion, would you say those things to someone you love? Whether that be family, friends or a partner. Listening to your negative thoughts can be so draining. Try to release judgement of yourself, everyone is individual and comparing yourself to others can be more of a hindrance as we are all on different paths. Focus on your strengths and remind yourself of your success, no matter how small. From getting out of bed and showering to baking or completing part of your scheduled work. Fitness is a great way to improve not just physical health but mental health, even if it’s dancing to your favourite music or some star jumps, if it gets you moving then your endorphins are going. But also remember balance is key and rest is essential too, so ensure you are getting enough sleep or time where you relax by either napping, reading a book, listening to a podcast, art or just watching a series.
Nowadays with social media it is almost too easy to become preoccupied with an idea of how we think we “should” look. But like fashion, society’s views of beauty standards change and so do our bodies with our age, it’s easier said than done but try not to become absorbed with the admired representation provided by the internet and our everchanging civilisation. Be more tuned in with how much time you’re spending on social media as it can affect our mental health, try to limit how much scrolling you do each day.
With Christmas gone, and no doubt some overindulgence, we can be left feeling guilty or negative about our bodies. But we must remember we are more than our bodies and we are all different and similar in some retrospect. But poor body image is not fixed by weight loss. Fitness can help by making you feel strong and healthy but life is too short to be mean to yourself. If your self-image is influenced by social media and certain accounts aren’t benefiting your mental state, change who you follow. Write things you like about yourself. This can be hard as we are taught to have insecurity and to be unaware of our beauty. But by acknowledging you are who you are and learning to accept yourself overtime comes self-love. Your happiness comes first so try not to put pressure on yourself to fulfil these pesky new year’s resolutions especially during the pandemic, you’ve got enough stress and struggle right now. Give yourself a break. You’re allowed to eat there is no good or bad food only balance.
The only new year’s resolution anyone should focus on is becoming the healthiest version of yourself both physically and mentally. Learn to love the person you are and who you are becoming. With 2020 behind us bringing new beginning with 2021, instead of punishing yourself for eating something you enjoy or telling yourself you’re not good enough, think about how you might change those thinking patterns that affect your overall wellbeing. What could you do to challenge those thoughts or what might help you overcome this way of thinking? But most of all remember you are only human and you are not alone. So please reach out to people or professionals if you are unable to manage life at the moment, there is support for you to use so please use it. And remember everything takes time.
For help and advice whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.
- Support from NTU
- Silvercloud: SilverCloud is our online system designed to help with a range of mental health issues.
- Health and Wellbeing resources
- NTSU Information and Advice service
- Wellness in Mind: Advice and support for anyone in Nottingham experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing
- Student Minds or Student Space
- 10 Keys to happiness