We’ve handed the blog over to our students today! Following from University Mental Health Day, Hetty gives us some top tips for putting our mental health first! If you or your team would like to contribute to the Green Impact blog, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Spring House Green Impact team have been focussing on improving the mental health and wellbeing of staff in the department. The 1st of March was University Mental Health Day, a national campaign aimed at promoting the mental health of university students and staff. University is an exciting environment, but also sometimes a pressurising one. With this in mind, here are five tips for looking after mental health for students and staff alike.
- Getting enough sleep
Whilst our busy schedules can sometimes make getting an early night difficult, a good nights sleep can have a dramatic effect on your overall health and wellbeing, in particular giving you the energy and concentration to perform during the day, and boosting and regulating your mood. A good starting point for improving your mental health is making sure you are getting enough sleep. This might involve leaving time to wind-down properly before bed and limiting your exposure to screens at night-time.
2. Eating well & being active
Caring for your physical health can have large benefits for your mental health. Diet can affect brain functioning in the same way that it effect the performance of other organs in the body. Although the fast pace of everyday life can sometimes make eating a healthy balanced diet difficult, eating regular nutritious meals, drinking plenty of water and limiting your intake of caffeine, sugar and alcohol can all be beneficial. In addition, keeping active and exercising can release serotonin to make you feel good, and in turn lead to better concentration, self-esteem and reduced anxiety and stress.
- Making time for friendships and relationships
When you are busy, spending time with your friends and family can sometimes fall down your list of priorities. However, friends and family can help you deal with life’s stresses and make you feel cared for. Relaxing and having a laugh with friends can be a massive mood-booster. In addition, being there for other people in their time of need can help you feel valued and boost your self-esteem. So grab that coffee with a friend you haven’t seen for a while as a way to boost your mood.
- Taking a break from it all!
In addition to spending time with your loved ones, it’s equally important to take some time out and give yourself a break from work, studies and commitments. This could involve putting time aside for your favourite hobby/activity, having a long hot bath, reading a book or meditating. It also includes getting away from your desk at lunch-time, and combining this with a short walk is a great way to keep active.
- Talking about your feelings
Although it can seem difficult initiatively, talking about your feelings is a big part of caring for your mental health. None of us are superhuman and at times we all get overwhelmed. Talking can be a great way to relieve yourself of things that have been worrying you, and help you form solutions to problems. And even if a problem isn’t resolved, being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone.