Mental Health Awareness Week will come to an end on Friday but the message will definitely be kept alive by the many services and initiatives going on around the campus.
With the pressures that come with Student Life (deadlines, relationships, balancing studies with your social life) it can sometimes make you feel worried and/or experience stress or anxiety- all of which are normal emotions.
Although it's normal to feel this way now and again, it is important to recognise when you feel down for an ongoing amount of time and seek help. Dealing with these emotions on a regular basis can contribute to life becoming unbalanced and can make you feel hopeless and alone.
It might be that you don't know what's wrong or it could be that you feel like you've done something wrong and are reluctant to talk openly about your feelings. BUT whether it be family, friends or someone else, it's vital to talk and share.
We don't like to preach at Res Life but it is worth knowing, there is a proven direct link between alcohol consumption and low mood. Many of us know the feeling of being a little demotivated and tired after a heavy night. This can increase over time when alcohol is taken regularly and can become more difficult to bounce back from.
There are things you can do to help achieve a balanced body and mind so look after yourselves!
Try to get leafy greens, beans, pulses and nuts into your diet. Yes chips and pizza taste great but so too can a good home cooked meal.
Give those endorphins a chance to do their job with a run around the park or a session in the gym. The difference regular exercise makes can be incredible for your mental well being.
There are so many types of meditation out there and it can be difficult to know the one that is right for you. Many meditations serve the same purpose and are designed to bring you back to the moment gently,without force or to much focus so to give your mind a well needed break from the chatter of your brain. Mindfulness has a great reputation as you can do it almost everywhere even while reading.
None of the above should ever replace professional help if you are struggling. Never feel ashamed or afraid to ask for it.
There is a lot of support available at DCU and discussing issues with a member of the university support team can mean adjustments can be made.
Confide in someone close:
Family, friends or just someone you trust can make you feel more comfortable about talking openly.
Seek help online: Online support groups can be helpful for anyone not ready to talk to someone they know. They can be a safe haven for people to share their experiences.
Use apps: Not as obvious but there are some great apps out there that can help you track your mood/emotions as you go through the day. Have a look at Emoodji.
There are so many great organisations that offer support to students struggling with Mental Health so don't be afraid to reach out and just remember, that it's ok to talk.