We all know the feeling. The hollow promise of Christmas filled with the twinge of January exams and deadlines. The holiday period was a mixture of highs alongside the unrelenting reminder of stress heavy on your conscience, demanding to be acknowledged.
December comes and goes, and the new year opens up before our very eyes, coming with it a myriad of false promises and late nights in Hallward Library: it seems as though January has lasted forever.
“Most New Year resolution’s a forgotten memory, seen in the remnants of untouched running shoes and a half knitted sock”
By the time term has now actually come around, most students are exhausted both physically and emotionally. New Year’s resolutions are a forgotten memory, seen in the remnants of untouched running shoes and half a knitted sock.
The idea of a ‘new year, new me’, a happier and more fulfilling life from the change that comes with the change of the year just doesn’t ring true for most.
“As a student living away from home for the first time, it can be difficult to know what to do and how to do it”
From my own experience, I can see why depression and mental health issues are a prominent issue in universities and amongst students. Stress, late nights, a lack of structure in the day-to-day, all these things add up over time. This may not be the case for everyone, but as a student living away from home for the first time, it can be difficult to know what to do and how to do it.
So how do we escape the January blues?
I would like to offer up a few solutions to ease the stress and allow you a little reassurance that there are ways of relieving some of the lowness that follows the doom and gloom of the cold months. As SU correspondent for Impact Features, I have also included the details of all the best ways to seek help that is provided to you by the UoN Students’ Union.
Step One: Let it Out
Holding things back are unhealthy which is why I advocate talking. This can be with a close friend, housemate or even your personal tutor at university. Opening up about your worries can be extremely beneficial, lifting a load off your shoulders.
“Chatting to my friends can be like bursting a balloon – letting out all the things I’ve been holding back for fear of exposure”
Talking can also help in figuring out the root of your anxieties; you might even be surprised and find that others share the same fears. From experience, I’ve found that chatting with my friends can be like bursting a balloon: letting out all the things I’ve been holding back for fear of exposure.
However, if you’re not comfortable with chatting to those around you, you can always make an appointment with the university’s counselling services. They run loads of useful workshops on anxiety and stress and even have online resources. Otherwise, talking one-on-one with a counsellor could help you benefit from the peace of mind that comes with speaking confidentially.
Step Two: Structure
“Many people have commented on the higher levels of productivity which come from rising early”
Some of the key things to having a happy and maintainable life are motivation and organisation. Both things are difficult to strive for and some things in life you just cannot prepare for. However, many people have commented on the higher levels of productivity which come from rising early and having a set schedule for your day.
I myself understand the satisfaction that comes with making and ticking off a to-do-list. The knowledge that yes, I have gone to the gym 3-4 times this week and the thrill that comes with opening the fridge and being amazed to find a meal there, pre-prepared by yours truly. Little things like this can enable you to take control of your life, and for those days when you’re not feeling so hot; they make them just that little bit easier.
Step Three: Have a Little Fun, Eh?
Having structure can be great for maintaining a healthy lifestyle but letting loose can be equally as beneficial. If I glance at my calendar and see it filled with things to look forward too it allows me to look forward rather than back.
You should always be excited about the future and learn to treat yourself. University can be very harrowing at times so making the time to have a coffee with the gals next Thursday can give you that reassuring burst of positivity in times of need.
Just don’t overdo it at Ocean…
Feeling Blue, Here’s What the SU Can Do for You
Just in case you do need some extra support, here are some useful links and services available on and off campus:
· Student Counselling:
· Groups and Workshops:
· The SU Welfare Officer, Laura Bealin-Kelly:
Featured image courtesy of ‘Matthew’, image licence found here.