Looking after Ourselves

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Hello Everyone, I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year! Last year was a bit of a roller coaster of a year to say the least and was immensely challenging for numerous reasons As we start the new year, and we are already facing so much uncertainty and a national lockdown, I wanted to post something about the importance of mental health and some tips for looking after yourself during the coming year.   

  1. Turn off the news!  Back in March last year, when the first lockdown was implemented, I remember spending ages looking at the news, constantly checking for new information. Now, as much as it is good to keep up to date with what is going on, I found it was having more of a detrimental effect on me, as the more articles I read the more anxious and uptight I became. So, I began limiting myself to looking at the news once or twice a day, and this way I was able to focus on my university work more and feel less anxious throughout the day.  

2. Exercise. Now, I am by no means a huge fan of exercise and I certainly need to work on doing more of it, but physical activity can really help clear your head and expel some of that anxiety that you are feeling. This does not have to be an intense cardio workout, it could be some yoga, a jog or just a walk. One way that I found helpful in motivating myself was to go on a run or walk with one of my housemates. Now, I know with the current restrictions exercising with someone else might be difficult but there are online classes, such as yoga and workout groups that you can join, so that way you have some company as well.   

3. Give yourself a break. As we move into second semester, we are all undoubtably stressed about upcoming exams and deadlines, and this is on top of coping with the pandemic! As much as we all want to do well, giving yourself a break and doing something you enjoy is as important. This could be something as simple as having a cup of tea, watching an episode of a TV show or going for a walk. Taking a break can help you stay motivated but also give you something to look forward to after you finish studying.  

4. Talk. Talk and talk some more! I am a big advocate for the saying ‘a problem shared in a problem halved’, and so if you are feeling low, anxious or worried, go and talk to someone about it, if you can. This may be to a family member, a friend or a professional. Whoever it is, speaking to someone can really help in letting out your concerns and lift a weight off your shoulders. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone in person, there are lotof organizations you can call who will be happy to listen. 

 5. Social Media. Now, despite social media being beneficial in many ways it can also be harmful as well. Limiting your time spent looking at social media, changing who you follow, or what you are looking at, can help keep you in a more positive frame of mind. 

6. Give yourself some credit. As I have already mentioned last year was immensely challenging and  sometimes just acknowledging how well we have all done in getting through it is importantSo, give yourself a little bit of credit once in a while.  

 7. Seek help if you need it. Finally, I would like to finish with saying that if you are struggling, please ask for help, if you are able to do so. There are so many people ready to support and help you. I will leave some links at the end of this post which can give you some more advice on where help is offered and what to do next.  

Thank you so much for reading.  

Some helpful links: 





You can also look at booking an appointment with your GP, and they can help and guide you with what to do next.