Your mental health is important to us every day of the year. And as we approach Mental Health Awareness Week, we wanted to share our tips and services in place to support you.
Mental Health Awareness Week
The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is anxiety. Anxiety is a common feeling that can get out of control. There are many things which can lead to feeling anxiety. This can include exam pressure, relationships, a change in employment or other big life events. Another factor that can bring on feelings of anxiety is financial stress such as not being able to meet your basic needs like buying food.
While there are many factors that can bring on anxiety, there are also many ways to help you feel brighter.
Tips to help with anxiety
We have put together some tips to help combat feelings of anxiety. Everyone is different. What works for you, might not work for someone else. We recommend trying our different ideas to find what works best for you.
4-7-8 breathing technique
If you are feeling anxious, take time to focus on your breathing. Concentrate on the feeling of your body as you breathe in and out. This technique can help you control your thoughts. Once you have focused on your breathing, close your mouth and breathe in through your nose. Hold your breath and count to seven in your head. Then, breathe out through your mouth, making a woosh sound, while counting to eight. Repeat this technique for four breath cycles.
Exercise is a good way of dealing with anxiety. It’s important to remember that ‘exercise’ doesn’t have to be a vigorous work out. Exercise at your own pace. You could even try some gentle stretches, yoga or seated exercises. Whatever exercise you decide to do can help as it gives you something else to think about. Be sure to concentrate on your exercise, to take yourself away from your anxious thoughts.
Spend time with nature
Spending time in nature can have a positive impact on our mental health. It can help us feel calmer and less stressed. This can be as simple as tending some flowers in a window box or going for a walk outdoors. Any amount of time doing this is good for you. The more time spent connecting and immersing yourself in nature, the better.
Keep a diary
While you want to take your mind away from anxious feelings, it is important not to ignore them. Keeping a record of what’s happening in your life and how it affects you can help you understand what is triggering your feelings. Knowing this can help you better prepare for and manage situations that may cause anxiety.
Making time to write how you feel in a diary can also help you manage the rest of your day. It could be half an hour first thing in the morning to sit with your worries and write them down. After then, you can take control and stop anxiety from getting in the way of what you want to do.
Challenge your thoughts
Anxiety can lead to thinking things over and over again in your mind. This is called ‘ruminator’ and it’s not helpful. When you catch yourself ruminating try to write down the thought and challenge it. This works especially well if you are keeping a diary.
Take a moment to assess your thoughts. Is what you’re worrying about likely to happen? Are you being realistic? Have you had similar thoughts which have not turned into reality? This can make it easier to challenge your thoughts and stop them from overwhelming you.
Join a community
Togetherall is a safe space. You can register for free as an Edge Hill student. Once registered you can access support 24/7 as well as benefit from workshops and resources to help your mental health. Togetherall is a community. You don’t have to face your emotions alone. Start conversations with people who understand how you feel. Conversations help you feel better while also helping others.
Support on campus
Edge Hill’s support teams are available for you throughout your studies.
St James’ Campus
Join Campus Sport on Wednesday 17 May for a 2.5KM health walk. Everyone is welcome. The health walk is the perfect opportunity to get fresh air, take time for yourself and meet other people. If you would like to take part, register for free via the Student Life Portal. The walk will start outside Catalyst at 12:30pm.
St James’ Manchester walking tour
Want to get connected with other students while exploring Manchester? Discover hidden gems and check out Manchester’s most iconic buildings. Join in on Tuesday 16 May from 12-1pm. If you would like to join in, head to the Student Life Portal to register.
As part of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we are running a self-care giveaway on the EHU Residents Instagram page. To enter all you have to do is like the post, add a self-care tip in the comments and reshare to your story. You will then be in with a chance of winning a self-care bundle including a Bluetooth speaker, water bottle, EHU jigsaw and more.
The winner will be announced on Friday 19 May, good luck!
If you are struggling with anxiety, please reach out to our team at [email protected]
May 12, 2023