World Mental Health Day – Ways to look after your mental health

This Sunday is World Mental Health Day so one of our Student Mental Health Champions has shared different ways that they look after their mental health…

Nicole Taylor a current BSc Psychology (Mental Health) NTU Student

There are a variety of different ways I like to look after my mental health, especially since moving back to university.

Regular exercise

The first thing I would suggest for improving mental health would be taking part in some form of regular exercise. Something I have recently started enjoying would be going to classes at the university gym, which are free with the membership, as these really help to motivate you to complete your workout and help to increase your confidence whilst meeting new people. Exercising can make individuals feel a sense of accomplishment as well as improving not only physical but mental health as activity aids the release of ‘happy hormones’ such as serotonin.

In addition, it is always nice to try to get out of the house for a few hours a day whether that be going for a walk, going to the gym, meeting friends, or going to university to study.

Connecting with others

Another thing I would suggest for improving mental health is ensuring you have a good support network around you and finding time to socialise with others. Connecting to others is good for our overall wellbeing and so it’s important to communicate with your family, friends, housemates, or classmates on a frequent basis. Overall, socialising leads to better mental health, improved confidence decreased stress, and a better quality of life.

Get into some kind of routine that works for you

Making sure you have some sort of routine within your week also can lead to improved mental health. Routines can help us cope with change, reduce stress, improve relationships, and allows us to create healthy habits. Part of my routine would include making my bed in the morning, doing some form of exercise, for example, yoga or going to the gym, eating enough meals a day and ensuring I have done some university work in the day. Saying this, it’s also very important to give yourself a break now and then. So, you shouldn’t feel bad if you want to stay in bed all day watching Netflix as sometimes this is what our bodies need!

Sometimes it’s a combination of little things we can do each day that can help to improve your mental health so whether that’s exercising, socialising, and creating a routine all of those little things can really help.

Remember you don’t have to struggle alone, take a look at the following for support if you need to speak to someone about how you are feeling urgently:

  • Call Samaritans on 116 123 (24 hours a day, every day of the year)
  • Text SHOUT to 85258 (24 hours a day, every day of the year)
  • Call the HOPELINE UK 0800 068 4141 (9am – Midnight every day of the year)

For help, advice and resources whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.

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