It’s holiday time which means no more reason to stress or feel anxious right? Not exactly. Just because exams are over doesn’t mean we should stop looking after ourselves. The only person who can take care of your mental health is you.
It’s important to look after your mental health because, as young students, we have a lot going on (uni, work, social life) but it’s not always balanced with rest and nutrition.
You know you’re mentally well and healthy if you can:
- perform daily tasks without extra effort
- maintain social relationships, stay connected with those around you and communicate well
- problem-solve and make decisions easily without being agnostic.
It is very important to remember that being happy and content looks different for every individual. It is up to you to determine if you are not mentally healthy. And we cannot judge or make decisions for others’ situations.
With stresses such as financial difficulty, family drama, over-working etc. over summer, use these tips to look after your mental health these holidays:
- stay connected with family or friends and practice good communication skills. Be clear and confident about what you need to say
- get outside! Exercise or just sit in the sun, but keep to a routine. Even if you’re not in the mood you’ll be doing yourself a favour
- eat well. Potassium and a Mediterranean diet (tomatoes, lettuce, legumes) are said to be best for your mental health!
- get enough sleep! Cliché but important
- pursue what you do to relax. Hobbies that you do on your own take the focus off yourself, which is very healthy. For some it may be playing the guitar, for others, writing journals – experiment and find what works best for you
- have at least three people to talk to if you are going through a difficult situation to confide in and feel supported.
Remember, if you are happy, don’t worry about it because you’ll most likely already be doing these things!
If you do recognise negative mental health, speak to someone. And if someone notices something, listen to them. As a friend, look out for alarm bells and red flags, and without judging, be there as support.
You can book an appointment with a CSU student counsellor online, and there’s a mix of experienced male and female staff across campuses.