It’s the beginning of another term!
Over this past year, our university learning has changed, and we’ve all been working and living under stressful circumstances. As the new term starts again, in a different way for many of us, it’s important to concentrate on your mental health and stay in touch with how you are doing.
This week try something new every day and take some time to do some of the things you love, to remind yourself that whatever is happening you are doing your best.
MONDAY – Meditate
On your first day, take a few minutes in the morning to check in. You can find guided meditation on apps like Headspace, on YouTube or you can do it by yourself. You can choose the meditation depending on how you want to feel going through the day – whether you want to feel energised or calm.
Pause, find a quiet spot in a neutral place, where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes in a seated position, start with the bottom of your body and work up to your head, checking in with every part of your body to find any areas that may be tense and relax them, taking deep breaths as you go. You can do this from five minutes to an hour, just let your body and your mind flow. This can be done at night as well, to unwind after a long day before bed.
TUESDAY – Get Outdoors
Today, take a moment to be in the fresh air. Turn off your headphones and silence your phone. Take deep breaths and name three things you can hear, see and feel. These sensations will bring you out of your thoughts and allow you to be present. The Vitamin D will help as well!
WEDNESDAY – Mid-Week Affirmations
As the middle of the week begins, it’s important to remind yourself how far you’ve come, and keep your energy going. Repeat your favourite affirmation. You need to find one which resonates with you and makes you feel good. An affirmation can feel strange at first but keep repeating it and it can be an instant mood boost. It’s important that you take some time to be kind to yourself and accept pride and love.
Here are some examples to start;
- I believe in myself
- I am worthy of love
- I trust myself to accomplish my goals
- I am here in the present
THURSDAY – Stretch
What is your favourite type of exercise? It may be something you can’t do at the moment and this may be stopping your routine but there should always be time set aside for stretching. Try a YouTube tutorial to guide you through. It is especially important if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day. Try to loosen your shoulders and be mindful of your posture. You can tailor the stretch routine to whatever space and time you have available. Remember to be careful of injury and use a routine from online to make sure you aren’t over-exerting yourself.
FRIDAY – Treat Yourself
You made it ! It’s Friday, remind yourself how proud you are. Do something you love to end the week on a positive moment. No matter how your week may have gone, you’re through it and it’s the weekend. Whether the thing you love is a special food, treat or dinner, or it could be your favourite song that you play to dance to.
SATURDAY – Not a Typical Day
Though things are different right now, lockdown should offer an opportunity to focus on reconnecting with yourself and those around you. Think about what you would usually do on a Saturday outside of lockdown and see if you can make it lockdown safe. Would you go to the cinema with a friend? Facetime your friend and watch the movie simultaneously. Or maybe you would spend the day in your community? If there is someone who is struggling, reach out to them through a message or socially distanced and offer your help.
SUNDAY – Prepare and Self-Care
It’s Sunday ! Don’t fear the coming week and don’t waste your day thinking about what might happen. Grab a piece of paper and write out a to do list, visualise the next week and the goals you want to achieve by next Friday. Then, put it away and practise self-care. You’ll be more successful next week if you are calm and mentally prepared. Have a bath or use a face pack. Do whatever it is that will stop you and focus your mind. However, try to limit your screen time. With many classes online, we are spending large parts of our week on the screen. Remember to take some time away to be in the present.
Always remember that you are doing great ! If you are struggling with your mental health, there are people here for you and you are not alone. Below are some resources available for you, if you need them.
At Queen Mary
Shout – a text support service
Samaritans – a phone service
(Featured Credit Image: @brucemars on Unsplash)