1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some form of mental health problem in their lives.
Meaning that even if you haven’t experienced a mental health problem, you most definitely have come into contact with someone that has.
If this is such an issue in the UK, then why is it still an issue of such stigma? We are lucky enough to live in an environment where the controversy surrounding mental health issues is lessening and people are willing to learn how to best deal with the crippling problems that those that suffer with mental health issues face everyday. Yet, sadly, we’ve still got a way to go until this “issue” is normalised. A way to tackle this issue is to face it head on. No one should be made to feel embarrassed or ashamed to admit that they have mental health issues; at Essex, we are here to help. This post will hopefully give you some tips for that period in your life that you aren’t feeling mentally 100%.
Talk about it.
Like mentioned above, the best way to deal with an issue you may be facing is to tackle it head on. Talk about it. Tell people exactly how you are feeling. Initially, this does not have to be a medical professional. Tell your family, your friends, or even a member of staff you are close to at the university. Recognising that you aren’t feeling like yourself is the first step to getting back on track. Once you have verbalised your issues to someone else and gained some understanding on how you are truly feeling, you’ll be able to make a game plan to help you feel better again. Whilst you might not feel like talking about it, or asking for help, a problem shared really is a problem halved. Though you may feel like it, no one is going to judge you and many people in your life have your best interests at heart. Suffering with a period of bad mental health may feel like a dark, scary and isolating time in your life, but you really are never alone.
Keep yourself busy.
A busy mind is a distracted mind. Surround yourself with good people and do something you love and you’re good at. Enjoying yourself can help beat stress and doing something you enjoy probably means you’re really good at it. That sense of achievement will really help boost your self-esteem. Concentrating on a hobby, or your friends, will help you forget your worries and instantly boost your mood. While you may just want to lay in bed all day and the thought of leaving feels you with dread, getting out and doing something will only make you feel better and, hopefully, will leave you with a slightly more positive outlook on life and yourself.
Practice self care
Taking care of yourself both on the inside and the outside can definitely help improve your mental health. Start small. Have a shower and put on your favourite clothes. Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious, filling meals. Try and do some exercise. This doesn’t mean going to the gym and doing a heavy weights session and a 5k run. Get outside, go for a walk and have some fresh air. 2019 has been the year of self-care. Relaxation and mindfulness are therapies you can safely do alone, so give it a go and see how you feel.
Value yourself and treat yourself with kindness and respect. Give yourself time and try not to be self-critical. Admitting that you’re not feeling your best is a massive step and achievement. If you’re still struggling then please reach out to one of the numbers or services below. You’re not alone, there are people out there to help you and one day soon you will feel better.
Mind: 0300 123 3393 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 6pm)
Men’s Health Forum: 020 7922 7908
Samaritans: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)