At In a Box Group Ltd we have put together a University Essentials Guide covering various different aspects of university life giving you the student essentials necessary to have a happy and safe time whilst you are at college and university.
We will be posting different subjects on our blog so make sure you check out the ones already done and keep an eye out for the future blogs and subjects we will cover!
This blog is looking at the university essential of the different aspects of student health and wellbeing covering the student essentials for keeping you and your mind healthy, happy and upbeat! We hope you will find it useful.
In this In a Box Group student essentials we will be covering the following subjects:
- Student Stress
- Student Mental health
- Student Fitness
There is no doubt that for most of us change can be stressful and what bigger change can you have than moving away from friends and family, living alone for the first time, and changing your day to day method of learning?!
Stress is natural and is the body’s way of coping with change and challenges. A stress free life doesn’t exist, coping with stress is a skill that you can master. Stress heightens your senses and motivates you to focus and work harder, and in this sense if harnessed it can be a student essential.
For some of you the changes you experience at the start of University are exciting and challenging but, unfortunately for others it is easy to feel overwhelmed.
So, what are the signs that you are starting to suffer from stress?
- Sleep problems
- Dry mouth
- Churning stomach
- Palpitations (pounding heart)
- Shortness of breath
What can you do to keep stress levels under control?
- Identify what is causing you stress. Once you have identified the cause consider whether. There are changes you can make to alleviate the stress.
- Sometimes it is as easy as completing the task that is causing the concern.
- A healthy body helps a healthy mind. Eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly, limit caffeine, alcohol and avoid drugs!
- Make sure it is not all work. Try to balance your life.
- It’s not a competition. Don’t compare yourself to others
- Relaxation and breathing exercises can be helpful.
- Remember you are not alone. Could you discuss the issue with a tutor? Family member Friend?
If you feel you need professional help, then reach out for it! Have a chat with your GP or a student counsellor.
Student Mental Health
Mental health problems differ from stress and shouldn’t be ignored, make sure you take medical advice as soon as possible should you believe you are suffering from any form of mental health.
Some of the signs you should look out for include:
- Weight loss or gain
- Decline in personal hygiene
- Poor attendance at lectures.
- Doing too much work
- Becoming withdrawn
- Being more agitated or anxious than usual.
- A loss of interest in life and a feeling you can’t enjoy anything
- Feeling tired
- Loss of appetite
- Finding it harder to make decisions, or feeling disengaged from, or unmotivated to do things.
- Having problems getting to sleep, then waking up too early
- Loss of interest in sex
Bipolar disorder is a condition that affects moods, which can swing from one extreme to another. If you have bipolar disorder you will have quite extreme periods, or “episodes”, of depression and mania lasting several weeks or more.
Anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders that can affect students and can affect both men and women. Anorexia involves severe, sometimes life-threatening, weight loss. Bulimia is more common and involves bingeing) then vomiting or purging with laxatives.
The use of drugs can sometimes provoke the start of psychosis, especially in people who may have schizophrenia within their family.
The symptoms may include:
- hallucinations (especially hearing voices)
- paranoid delusions (false or very unusual beliefs)
It is extremely important to exercise not just for the welfare of your body but also for your mental health. Exercise can be a tremendous way of coping with stress. It’s particularly good during exam season!
It will help you feel calm, re-energised, keep you confident and refreshed. Regular physical activity will also help to keep you at a healthy weight and lower your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease and some cancers.
It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort and it can be done with zero or little cost!
2 ½ hrs of moderate exercise a week can have health benefits. Just walking at a decent pace or cycling will all add in to the required amount of exercise you should take.
You don’t need to make a special trip to a gym to reach your weekly quota of exercise:
- Walk instead of the bus.
- Take the stairs!
- If you have a bike, cycle!
- Go to a nightclub and DANCE!
- At lunchtime/weekends, play games with your friends in the park.
- Freshers week will identify what clubs are available at your
University. Most universities have sports facilities. Most college sports facilities are heavily subsidized, and sometimes free. Ask at your student union for more information.
Recommended Readings: What to take to university?