How to improve student mental health

There’s no denying that, as a nation, we’ve all been spending increased amounts of time at home due to the coronavirus. Although it’s great to spend time under the same roof as the rest of the family, it’s easy to feel cramped and there are endless distractions. However, it’s not been easy for those who are studying at their student accommodation either. 

After several periods of isolation and the closure of universities, it’s not surprising that students are struggling. It’s normal to feel worried about the spread of the virus, however, it’s important – more now than ever – that we are doing everything we can to look after our physical and mental health.

A great place to start is to join University Mental Health Day on Thursday 4th March – a day that brings the university community together to make mental health a priority. Despite things being a little different to usual, universities are gathering (virtually) to tackle the stigma of mental health in students.

Here we take a look at just a few more ways you can take care of yourself, whilst studying for your degree, in the middle of a global pandemic…

1. Don’t bottle everything up, get it off your chest!

If you’re struggling with your mental health or feeling anxious about something, you might not want to burden others with your problems – and we get it. But, if you don’t talk about your worries, it can affect your energy levels, concentration span and optimism. 

Of course, we’re not saying you should take to Facebook and tell everyone, but maybe grab a brew and some biscuits and confide in someone that you love and trust. We can’t promise it will solve things instantly but, as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved, right?

2. Take time to relax

As a student, finding the time to kick back and relax can be easier said than done. You have to juggle studying and socialising with eating, sleeping and cleaning – on top of food shopping and budgeting your money. However, self-care and relaxation are important for student’s mental health.

Whether it be 5-minutes or an hour or two, it’s okay to take a break from what you’re doing. You could treat yourself to a power nap in the afternoon or a little at-home pamper session. Maybe you could go for a walk around campus to clear your mind?

3. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated 

Believe it or not, hydration and mental health are connected. Though it may seem a tad odd, not drinking enough each day can make us feel more tense and will affect our memory, energy and capabilities.

As a general rule of thumb, keep a reusable bottle of water handy and make sure that you’re filling it up at various points during the day. If you’re not overly keen on water, perhaps add a splash of cordial or opt for flavoured water instead. 

4. Reduce your screen time

Do you spend hours scrolling on Instagram or online shopping? We’re all guilty of it but it’s good to set yourself a limit. You could gradually reduce your screen time by an hour each day or put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode so you’re not distracted when you get a notification. 

Less screen time can reduce eye strain, prevent headaches and improve your sleep at night. Which leads us nicely onto the final tip.

5. Set yourself a sleep schedule

Late nights are inevitable at university. You might need to finish your assignment which is due the next day or maybe – once restrictions have been lifted – you’re going on a night out with your course mates. 

It’s recommended that students get approximately 7-9 hours’ sleep each night. Anything less and the chances are you’ll wake up in an irritable mood, feeling groggy, and unable to focus. It’s all about getting the balance right and sticking to a routine that works for you (and the other tenants at your student accommodation).

That’s why, if you’re not already staying with Caro Lettings, then you should book a viewing as they provide some of the best student accommodation Liverpool city centre has to offer. All their rooms come with a large bed as standard, along with an en-suite, smart TV and bills included. So, there really is no need to worry about sleepless nights at their student lets!