“You are Braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem. Smarter than you think and loved more than you know”
-Winnie the Pooh
As a little bit of background, my name is Jessica and I’m currently entering my third year of study of my Fine Art degree. I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder this year after years of not knowing what was happening. The reason I am telling you this is so that students can know that this isn’t an uncommon thing to experience in life and its okay not to be normal – whatever that means.
I want to be able to use my mental health experience to help fellow students who are going through similar problems and let them know that this is a common concern whilst making the huge leap to study at degree level.
Everybody knows how stressful university can be at the best of times, especially when you are swimming in coursework and deadlines to tackling more personal issues – such as moving away from home and relationship issues.
University is such a big change and can be a huge shock to the system if you don’t harness the busy lifestyle of work, life balance.
In a nutshell, Mindfulness is a form of meditation but not that stereotypical yoga posing, chanting and gongs sort of meditation. Mindfulness simply means to press the pause button. To take a step back and breathe. This helps us to focus on the present and not worrying about x, y and z.
This is easier said than done obviously, trust me I know. But what I found was easier to do was simply counting to 10 slowly. The reason that I found this helps is because it detaches me from the situation at present that may be stressing me out or is too much to handle.
Mindfulness has also been proven to help students to be more productive and help reduce low moods, anxiety and low self-esteem. It increases your wellbeing, emotional resilience and motivation to push on.
This is the art of noticing. Noticing that university is so much more than stressful deadlines, upsetting relationships and stress because this is an amazing opportunity to make life-long friendships and to excel into your future career.
From a fellow student who has gone through it all, please remember that it’s okay to have low times in your life. You may roll your eyes when you hear “it does get better” but as a matter of fact, this is very true. Things do get better and you can help this by staying Mindful.
- The University provides support for students who may be experiencing any form of mental health difficulty.
- Anxiety UK offers a range of services delivered by professionals; supported by staff & volunteers with personal experience of anxiety, stress, and anxiety based depression.
- Mind support anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
- Beat are a champion, guide and friend to anyone affected, giving individuals experiencing an eating disorder and their loved ones a place where they feel listened to, supported and empowered.