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10 Tips to Look After Your Mental Health at Uni

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By Vinnosh Kumur, VP Welfare

Give yourself a big pat on the back! We are all very glad to welcome you to the Essex Family.

For some of you, this maybe your first time living alone or adapting to a new environment. With that in mind, it's important to look after your mental health. Here at Essex, we want you to be comfortable and at ease when we need to talk about difficult things and reminding that it is A-Okay to not be okay. So, here are my top 10 tips to look after your mental health.

1. Talk About It

Whether it’s a close friend, a lecturer, or anyone you trust, make sure you talk to someone about how you’re feeling.Your feelings are valid and there is no such thing as having the wrong emotion or being difficult. We will always draw our strengths through our shared experiences.

2. Clock Out

If a situation is becoming difficult, have a moment to yourself. Remove yourself from the situation and have a 5-10-minute breather. If you need more time, go for it. It is important to give yourself time to process things at your own pace.Enjoy having that moment to the most important person in your life - you!

3. Keep Active

This means many things to many different people. Go out for a walk, have a catchup with an old friend, or start building Lego structures (this is an essential hobby for me). Engage with your body and mind. Stay in tune with them. Do an activity that brings you joy and happiness. You will learn to appreciate your amazing abilities and I can’t wait to see what you create!

4. Be Your Biggest Cheerleader

Your friends and family are your support network. However, if you feel that they are not making you feel good about yourself, know that you deserve a support system that will be there for you and celebrate your achievements. Be proud of who you are and what you represent in today’s world.

5. Drink Sensibly

We’ve all been guilty of having a little too many alcoholic beverages on a night out. Whether it’s your first drink or you’re a seasoned pro at shots, be careful and wise about your alcohol consumption. It’s easy to get carried away, especially when peers pressure you to do so. Remember, it is your decision whether to drink or not. No one should force you to do anything you don’t want to.

6. Eat Well

As a student, it's easy to forget to eat or overindulge on fast foods. My personal kryptonite is Smarties. At Essex, the world and it's cultures descend onto our campus in October. Try out new dishes and recipes with new friends.Cultural foods are always better than fast foods.They are almost always more nutritious.Curry or sushi anyone?

7. Challenge Yourself

Ever wanted to run a 5k? Volunteer with vulnerable persons? Take a rocket ship to Malaysia? You can do all of that here at Essex... except the rocket ship. I’m still working on that one. The best part of challenging yourself is that you can do it on your own or with a friend.The most exciting part of challenging yourself is you decide how and when you progress. You get to grow on your own terms, and that’s the best kind of growth.

8. Blast Out The Tunes

I cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve had music playing on my walks and I was the lead of the music video in my mind. Music gives us words and sounds that we may sometimes struggle to find in order to express ourselves.Listen to some upbeat pop anthems or if rock is more of your thing, go for it. Personally, Lizzo keeps me going on those rough days.

9. Talk To Me

My name is Vinnosh, aka Vinnie, and I’m your Vice President of Welfare. My day-to-day job is mainly ensuring your welfare is being taken care of and that you get access to the support that you need to be your absolute best self. I love chatting with students so NEVER, EVER, EVER hesitate to drop me an email at vpwelfare@essex.ac.uk so that we can converse via email or book an appointment. I am here for you, and I always want you to know that.

10. Connect With Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service (SWIS)

It’s okay if you’ve tried all of the tips and they don’t work for you. No one shoe fits all. SWIS exists to provide professional and proactive guidance for you to achieve your potential. They can give access to an adviser through a drop-in service, counselling and refer you to specialists if it is necessary. Visit SWIS here to find out more.

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