World Mental Health Day
Today (Tuesday 10 October) is World Mental Health Day. This is a great opportunity to take some time to reflect on how we can all look after our own mental health. Looking after our mental health is not something we should just do if we are struggling, or feeling low, anxious or stressed. It’s actually something we should think about all the time and really invest in, just like with our physical health.
There are lots of things we can do to look after our mental health and wellbeing every day – make a start with these 7 top tips from NHS Every Mind Matters:
- Reframe unhelpful thoughts
The way we think, feel and behave are linked. Sometimes we develop patterns of thoughts or behaviours that are unhelpful so recognising them, and taking steps to think about things differently, can improve our mental health and wellbeing. Watch the NHS video on how to do this.
- Be in the present
If we take time to be aware of ourselves and be in the present moment, noticing our own thoughts and feelings, and the world around us, we can gain a better perspective. Sometimes this is known as being more mindful.
If you are looking for a place to be quiet on Central Site, there are a number of options. Trinity Hall Chapel is a quiet space, open to all and is always unlocked (except when there are bops). The Jerwood Library and benches around Latham Lawn are usually quiet, as is the bench by the Old Library. Spaces around Staircase A are also often quiet such as the Terrace Room and the space by the music/seminar rooms. The JCR by the Aula café is another place which can be quiet at times.
- Get good sleep
Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel mentally and physically, so it’s important to get enough. Silly the Cat knows how important sleep is! Watch a video on getting good-quality sleep.
- Connect with others
Spending quality time with friends or family, talking to someone about how we are feeling or finding ways to help other people can all help stop us from feeling lonely and improve our mental health and wellbeing. This can be online, by phone or seeing someone in person. Find tips on making social connections.
- Live a healthy life
Being active, enjoying the outdoors and having a healthy, balanced diet all impact how we feel. Also, binning bad habits like smoking, and cutting down on alcohol and caffeine can have a positive effect on our mood.
- Do something for yourself
From enjoying our favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax, it’s important to do things that make us happy, like trying a new hobby or learning a new skill. The Cambridge SU Societies Directory lists hundreds of student clubs and societies at the University of Cambridge.
- Write a letter to future you
When you’re feeling good, think about what you would want to tell your future self if things get harder and you find you need more support. Reminding yourself of what’s keeping you feeling positive right now can help you through those more difficult times in the future.