Mental Health Awareness Week: Taking care of yourself during a pandemic

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Sometimes, in a world where everything feels incredibly scary and uncertain, you have to give yourself a pat on the back for getting out of bed.

It’s very easy to beat yourself up about having a mental health dive right now. Lockdown has been detrimental to a lot of people’s mental health, more than you might think. This might feel embarrassing to admit when there’s what feels like bigger problems in the world right now. All we’re being asked to do is stay inside and stay safe, but it’s very valid that your mental health is struggling as a result.

Mental health problems are common among students. One study by YouGov in 2016 reported that one in four students struggle with mental health problems. We are not able to combat mental health struggles in the way we normally would be able to as we are self-isolating.

Still, there are other ways to make sure that you are taking care of yourself, which is the most important thing that you can do right now. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so whilst you are staying safe from COVID-19, take some time to take care of your mental wellbeing, too.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (18th-24th May) is centred around the idea of kindness, which seems very on-brand with what’s going on around us at the moment. What we need to remember is to be kind to others around us. We are all experiencing the same pandemic, but some of us are in different circumstances to others. We don’t need to make the situation worse for anyone. What we also need to remember is to be kind to ourselves, and that includes being patient with ourselves.

Leeds Nightline has been working hard to support students and their mental wellbeing during this time. Even though we are in quarantine, these few weeks have and are going to be stressful for students who still have to complete deadlines. To try and help, Nightline has created virtual support packs for students. Every day of this week, they have centred a PDF pack that is downloadable around a certain theme, providing links and resources that students can utilise in these struggling times. Monday has resources centred around ‘Self Care’, Tuesday as ‘Keeping Active’, Wednesday as ‘Keeping Busy’ and Thursday as ‘Combating Loneliness’. Most of these linked resources are all free and there are extensive lists on making sure you’re keeping safe, healthy and entertained. They are posting every day on their social media, so go check it out!

In addition to this, they have started an interactive website for these support packs, so that it is all in one place. On this website, you are able to pick and choose your own resources for your pack and add them to your basket, which will then email you the list you’ve created at the end! There is also a blog section, in which recommendations for books, TV and film, music, podcasts and recipes are being posted, so make sure you keep an eye on the updates for that regularly! What Nightline has tried to do is support students in these surreal times, and provide you with resources to ensure you are riding out this pandemic as well as you can.

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Image: Pixabay.