There's many reasons why you might struggle with your wellbeing and mental health at university. You might feel stressed, anxious, down, unmotivated or just a little lost, especially now with Covid-19 on the scene.
Anxiety is a horrible feeling. One of unease, apprehension and fear of what's to come.
It's your body's natural response to stress and can be really useful in pushing you to be at your best for things like giving a presentation or sitting an exam.
However, when anxiety isn't managed well it can be crippling and you may find yourself socially withdrawing or avoiding potentially stressful situations. This can affect your academic performance as well as your social and personal life.
The key is learning tips and tricks to manage the anxiety so you can stay in control. Understanding how your body and mind work together can help you to rewire your thinking patterns, and consequently reduce the physical sensations associated with anxiety and panic.
Having this knowledge will give you the confidence to start doing the things you want to do whilst exploring your true capabilities - without feeling crippled by anxiety on a daily basis.
It’s normal for our mood to go up and down and us experience a range of emotions. Sometimes we may feel low because of a particular event such as an argument with family or friends, an unexpected grade or hearing some sad news.
Sometimes we feel low with no noticeable reason. The onset of low mood and feeling down may be gradual over time or may feel more sudden and intense at times.
Often when we feel low we don’t feel like doing the things we would normally do. This can affect our day to day functioning and motivation to get up and do the things we would normally do with ease.
Feeling low or depressed during university may look like:
'I can't be bothered to do my work, even though it's important to me'
'I don't want to socialise with my friends as much as I did before'
'I'm struggling to imagine a successful, happy future'
'My grades are slipping but I don't know how to address it'
'I can't be bothered to shower regularly and look after myself the way I did before'
If you can relate to any of the above, firstly don't worry. The first step is recognising that something is 'off' and then taking the first step towards talking about it.
It's important to reach out for help if you're struggling with low mood or depression so you get the support that you need to help you manage this in a safe, healthy way.
That feeling when you know you've got a deadline coming up but you just can't bring yourself to do the work. Or you've promised that this week you're going to start getting in shape and eating well, but Monday comes and goes with no change in sight.
You get more and more frustrated and angry at yourself for not doing it, even though it's important to you.
What's with that?
Well, the key to motivation is all in your mindset and setting achievable, realistic goals. There can be a lot of pressure on your during university, so it's vitally important that you learn the skills to manage this and not fall into a hole of procrastination and denial.
It's about acknowledging you are the one in control, with the power and not placing emphasis on waiting for motivation to hit.
This is easy to say, the hard part is doing.
Us human beings naturally shy away from things that challenge us and so it feels easier to stay in our comfort zone than to push ourselves outside of it.
My role is to keep you accountable for the goals that you set so you can tap into that mindset where you are in control and know what keeps you motivated and on top of life.
Not feeling like you're good enough can be mentally draining and can act as a huge road block in getting to where you could and should be in life. This can create issues around the way you see yourself which in turns impacts on the way you act and behave.
Examples of negative self-talk could be:
"Don't answer that question because you'll probably get it wrong as you're not clever enough and you'll make a fool of yourself'
"No one likes you, you're boring and have nothing interesting to say"
"You're not going to achieve like the others will"
Most people would never talk to someone else the way the talk to themselves.
So why are we so brutal to ourselves?
Is it any wonder that your self esteem is on the floor if you're constantly putting yourself down?
You're putting up personal road blocks, with no good reason before you've even started, making it much more difficult for you to feel happy in your life.
The good news is, we can change this. It can take time and dedication, but together we can challenge individual negative thoughts and begin replacing them with kinder, more encouraging statements which will boost your self perception, not destroy it.
If you can relate to any of the above, firstly don't worry.
The first step is recognising that something is 'off' and then taking that step towards talking about it and addressing it. There's no better time to reinvent yourself than when your at university.
By booking your first session, you are taking that step closer towards getting yourself back on track and living the life you deserve.