University Mental Health Day (UMHD) is a day dedicated to supporting the 2 million-plus students currently studying in the UK. With all that has happened in the last 12 months, mental health awareness is on the rise. That being said, there is still a way to go, in order to instill the much-needed change needed for challenges that university students face every day. 

Since COVID-19 has uprooted the way students are able to live and learn, there has been a significant rise in mental health issues. As well as the usual suspects of stress and depression, the pandemic has brought with it a rise in loneliness, anxiety, uncertainty about the future, and an even stronger pressure around jobs and employment. 

So what can you do to help with your mental health whilst studying? 

Healthy eating
Eat
Whether it’s a takeaway treat to pre-ward yourself into studying, or a healthier option to keep you feeling fit and healthy whilst the gyms are closed. Whatever your food choice, remember that food is vital, and not to be left in the fridge.


Hydrate
Doctors, nutritionists, PTs, dieticians…they all agree and will tell you that keeping well-hydrated is key to keeping you going, to keeping your mood up.


Exercise
Use that 1 hour exercise time to the limit! Be it a walk, a run, a chance to get some fresh air in your lungs, as opposed to the same old study-filled air you breathe the rest of the day.


Socialise
whilst the promise of beer gardens and dance floors is getting nearer, it can still be difficult to deal with loneliness during the lockdown. The age-old 2020 trick of Zoom meetups, online games to play together, and even a good old-fashioned phone call to family or friends can help alleviate that sense of loneliness. Check out our FREE socials for some inspiration!


Self – Care
All the influencers go on and on about self-care, even more so during the pandemic. But the ritual of taking time to do something for you (be it a skincare routine, a bubble bath, ticking off something on your to-do list, or even just sitting and watching Netflix) is essential in caring for your own mental health.


Talk
This is where the University itself comes in. Friends and family phone calls not enough? Go to your University to see what they have in place to help and support you during this time of stress.

Everybody has a different way of dealing with their mental health, their own support networks and ways of coping. But no matter what your coping strategy is, know that you are not alone, and that there are loads of options to help this UMHD and everyday.

Join the UMHD movement this year by hashtagging #UniMentalHealthDay and share your experiences and support other students.