According to the NUS survey, around 78% of postgraduate students surveyed indicated they have experienced mental health worries over the past year! Worryingly, 46% of respondents said that mental health issues had impacted on their quality of life, 44% said that they had impacted upon their studies and grades, and 43% said they had impacted on their relationships. When asked which factor they believed contributed to any mental health issues they had, 42% of respondents said their course, and 39% said it’s lack of money and financial pressure.
These are some shocking statistics, but the SU is here to help you prevent that from happening. The SU VP Welfare Officer Taran said:
“'Doing a Masters is a great way of studying what you love but can be more stressful than your undergraduate. Make sure you're taking regular breaks from your work, doing things you enjoy such as hobbies, and most importantly - remember that there's a whole network of support available to you from the university and the Students' Union. If you feel like you're struggling or just feeling down, pop into SU Advice and have a chat with us.”
Below there are 6 signs that you might be overwhelmed. If you’re
experiencing any of these signs, you probably are pushing yourself too hard. But dont worry, we have some useful tips which you can follow to improve your wellbeing. These steps are simple and easy. They don’t cost a fortune and also doesn’t take up a lot of your time. Anyone can do it, so why not start today?
YOU’RE ALWAYS TIRED, NO MATTER HOW MUCH SLEEP YOU GET
Sleep. When you’re overwhelmed, your sleeping schedule can be affected. You might notice you are finding it difficult to fall asleep or you find yourself sleeping too much. Try creating a night time routine. Make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time, not too late or too early. Try a soothing drink before, such as chamomile tea. Leave your social media aside; spending time on social media portals can distract your mind, making it harder to fall asleep.
Eat Healthy foods that give you energy. Fast food can sound like a good idea during the busy day, but in the long run, it can become too much. There are plenty of healthy, easy and quick recipes on the internet; make sure to have a look and try some of them. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
Exercise. It has been proven that exercise provides many positive benefits to us. It helps with mental well-being and helps you to sleep better. There are loads of exercises you can do by yourself at home. They are easy and don’t require much equipment. Try taking a walk around the campus lakes.
YOU’RE STRESSED OUT
Take a Break. It’s nothing wrong with taking a break and making time for yourself. During the long day of studies, make sure you take small breaks; it will help you calm down. Go for a walk around the lakes (get that exercise in!), listen to some music or go grab a healthy snack
Break down your work. Plan and divide your workload in smaller tasks. Focus on completing one task, this way you’ll enjoy a sense of accomplishment and self- worth as you progress towards your goal.
Limit caffeine or energy drinks. Too much caffeine can increase anxiety, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and fatigue
YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY FOCUSING OR YOU LACK MOTIVATION
Plan your work. Make a plan in action and write it down. When things are written down it’s easier to follow.
Check off the completed tasks. That’s the best part of studying!
Develop a good relationship with your supervisor. A good working relationship with your supervisor is essential in order for you to make good progress on your thesis, overcome any problems with your research and gain confidence that you’re guided through the challenging aspects of postgraduate studies.
YOU’RE MOODY OR EMOTIONAL
Speak with someone. If you’re feeling depressed or have concerns about your emotional state, make sure to speak with someone. SU and the University of Essex, have plenty of support available. Don’t forget: seeking help is a sign of strength – not a weakness.
Make time for yourself. Break up the monotony, although our routine makes us more efficient and enhance our feeling of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road trip, take a walk in a different park, hang some new pictures or try a new meal.
YOU HAVE A LOSS OF APPETITE OR YOU’RE OVEREATING
Make a meal plan. Establish a routine, by eating at regular times each day and try sticking to it! Eat healthy meals that are nutritious provide you with energy; healthy food will have you feeling full for longer.
Eat healthy snacks. With the loss of appetite try eating snacks throughout the day and bigger meals when you’re feeling most hungry.
YOU’RE FEELING DISTANCED FROM YOUR FRIENDS
It’s nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself! Use this time to improve your well- being by doing some activities you enjoy.
Make time for your friends. You’re probably just used to see your friends in classes, study sessions or nights out, but it’s very important to just spend time together. Go for a walk with friends or make a dinner, trust us it will help you relax and have some fun too!
Laugh! It can help make everyone’s life better and easier. We all can achieve just as much in life without all the stress.