What are the January Blues?
The New Year brings new beginnings; shouldn’t we all be happy and enthusiastic about fresh starts and new opportunities? Researchers prove that not always the case.
January blues is a period of New Year when days are short, weather terrible, we’ve managed to fail our New Year’s resolutions, our motivation level is lower than usual and we feel in need to take charge of our lives.
A recent study shows that six times more young people struggle with mental issues now than just one generation ago. We all have mental health; sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not so good. We, the SU, want to make sure all our members know how to recognise if they are struggling and know how to handle it. So, we’ve put together an article about handling everyday life stress and making the most out of the resources we have on campus.
Here are some signs for you to watch out and some tips on how to deal with them:
We all catch a cold sometimes, but if you’re sick all the time, it is a sign that something might be wrong. Stress can have physical as well as mental symptoms. Listen to your body and give it the rest and care it deserves. ‘If you don’t take a break, your body will take a break for you’. Remember to dress according to the weather and take care of your eating and sleeping routines.
Exhaustion and sleep issues
Are you feeling tired all the time, no matter how long you sleep? Or maybe you’re battling insomnia? These might be signs you need to take better care of yourself. Reduce the time you spend using smartphone, TV and computer. Take frequent walks and try meditation. Even a small change in day to day routine can have a positive impact on your health.
Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
Everyone feels overwhelmed from time to time, but if you’re constantly feeling you’re losing control over things, it’s a sign you might need a break. It’s a good idea to ask yourself if you feel like this because you actually have no control of your life or because you’ve worked yourself too hard. Try to avoid taking up extra activities for a while, break down your tasks into smaller chunks and ask for help!
Feeling lonely or homesick
Maybe your missing your friends and family from back home after the winter break, you’ve been so bogged down with deadlines you haven’t spoken to anyone in a while, or you just haven’t found your kind of people yet. We all get lonely from time to time. The SU offer some great opportunities to meet new people in a safe an relaxed environment. Check out some of the great opportunities Just Play has to offer – they are all free!
Always worrying, feeling stressed, anxious or angry
A huge red flag is erupting in anger for almost no reason. If you’re constantly feeling nervous, worried and angry, it’s probably time to reflect. Why not use one of the wellbeing activities organised at the university?
Lack of motivation
Remember that essay you were so excited to write? Yeah, the one about the topic you’ve always been interested in. If now you just lack the motivation to do it, you lost interest in the things that once used to excite you or effort does not seem to pay off anymore it is time to question where this sudden change is coming from.
There is lots of support on campus if you need help or someone to talk to, you don’t have to face these things alone.
Below are the resources you can find on campus, but why don’t you check out our new Support Services Flowchart here to help you quickly find the best place to get support.
Student Services Hub
Located on the first floor of the Silberrad Student Centre, next to the Albert Sloman Library, the Student Service Hub is open during office hours. If you want to talk about a personal issue, get advice and guidance, get support and advice to help you stay healthy - physically, mentally and emotionally, you can just come for a drop-in session. No appointment is necessary!
The Nightline provides a confidential listening, emotional support, information and supplies service, run for students by students. It is located at the back of Keynes Tower in North Colchester Campus.
Validium Student Wellbeing Support Line
You can contact the Validium 24-hour Student Wellbeing Support Line. You can talk about the difficulties you're experiencing and the support available to you.
Call 0800 970 5020 or +44 141 271 7168.
Chat with Charlie
Chat with Charlie offers online mental health support every evening between 6pm – 10pm. You can get support with exam stress, relationships, low mood, anxiety or anything else which may be troubling you, however big or small it may seem.
If you live on campus accommodation you can also contact the Residence Life team through your RA or the RA on-call.
SU Advice can give you free, confidential and impartial advice on loads of issues that you may experience whilst at university.
You can go to the health centre for mental health advice for a professional and in order to pursue further specialist help if needed.
We have a number of Chaplains and faith representatives who offer their time to the Faith Centre, you can contact them for advice or have a chat with them in order to calm your mind.