Our mental health influences how we think, feel, and behave in daily life. The Covid times have really tested our ability to cope up with stress, recover from life’s hardships, overcome challenges and build relationships.
In light of Dundee University raising awareness about mental health last week, I wanted to share a few tips I have learnt about maintaining a healthy mindset.
1) Release all the unwanted energy – Keeping yourself active by exercising is key to sustaining good mental health. It not only gives you a sense of achievement but also eliminates anxiety, stress and feeling tired and lazy. You can try the online sessions hosted by the university that involved various activities like yoga, poetry, and Bollywood classes.
My friends and I tried the classes and turned out to be a fun break from our online classes. I am a big believer that meditation can relive tension and emotions and so would recommend joining the meditation zoom sessions hosted by the chaplaincy.
2) Connect with nature – Take a break from your computer screen and get some Vitamin D. Soaking up this vital vitamin helps you improve your mood by releasing chemicals like endorphins and serotonin. I usually tend to put my headphones on and go on a run along the riverside.
You can also be part of the University of Dundee Walking Club! Download the Strava app where they have created innovative walking routes and challenges to take part in. As a member, you can post walk-selfies and connect with others virtually. To find out more visit the ISE website.
3) Eating the right food enhances your mental capacity & stability – I have endless amount of pinterest pins that consist of new vegan recipes to try and improve my eating habits. Motivation to cook is a major factor and for that the solution is to cook with someone else. It could be your flatmate or even have a zoom call with your friends or family cooking the same recipe. It might take longer to cook but I can guarantee that you will have a blast. Now all my group chats are filled with our food presentations and scoring boards for best-looking dishes.
A student-led society called ‘thevirtualbca’ are running cooking sessions with students to help create a fun online social environment. In fact, they are having an Irish baking session cooking ‘Fifteens’ on 20th March (1pm) in the spirit of St.Patricks day. Make sure to follow them on Instagram to know more about it.
4) Support system – One of the feelings millions of us are experiencing during this lockdown is loneliness. Connect with your family members and friends and talk to them. There is also a connect Social held online by the University Peer Connectors and the Welfare Champions. If you have any worries, you can find support by talking to these trained student volunteers who will listen and support you.
Being part of a group that already has a shared interest with you is a great way to meet new people, even if you are not in the same room. As mentioned above, the university always has events going on and you can subscribe the newsletter for updates. The global room is hosting games like ‘Among us’ that you can tune in on Wednesday 3pm.
5) Engineer yourself with wellbeing – Assignments and exams can take a toll on our mental health and make us go down a negative spiral. In times like that it’s all about resolving one issue at a time. It could get overwhelming when you have a thousand number of things to do that could even affect your sleep. In times like that, I usually just take a step back and prioritize things accordingly. This keeps me focused and makes workload seem manageable.
As a medical student, it is especially tough handling workload and going on placements. It’s all about finding balance and preventing a burnout. I have written a blog on advising about escaping an academic burnout.