We’ve all had the experience of feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions and feeling like we’re swimming in a never-ending cycle of news that has a detrimental effect on our health. Nevermore so than now, are we constantly connected to what is going on in the world and witnessing day by day, hour by hour how issues around the world are unfolding and forcing us to re-assess how we live our lives.
It is in these times when perhaps overwhelmed by stress, anxiety, negative thinking patterns or general low mood that we need to be kind to ourselves and be proactive in taking care of our mental wellbeing for a more positive frame of mind.
These simple life hacks can be useful to keep us afloat in such times:
Keeping a Worry Diary – if you’re worried about the current state of affairs and find yourself feeling overwhelmed with worry, then it can be useful to keep a worry diary on hand, in your bag or next to your bed, to jot down any worries you may have. This helps relieve yourself of the worries and transfers it from you to the paper, offering an outlet which reduces the amount you ruminate on one particular issue.
3 Good Things – 3 good things is a simple exercise in gratitude, helping us reconnect with what we are grateful for in our lives and acknowledging this. Recognising what we are grateful for and bringing into awareness what we value most, can have a profound effect on our mental wellbeing and even help improve our sleep. Try writing down 3 things you are grateful for each day and see what improvements this brings for you.
Learning to Adopt an Attitude that Fosters Perspective - Having perspective in these troubling times is going to be key to maintaining a positive frame of mind and healthy mental wellbeing. It can be easy to get lost in news articles reporting on every detail of incoming news – however, is this really healthy to follow moment by moment and get lost in the depths of news that fuels our anxiety? I’d suggest not. Perhaps, it is wiser to stay up to date where you can, but, approaching each article you read with a critical mind and give the situation some perspective – whilst ensuring you get your information from a trusted source.
Check-in with yourself from time to time – How many of us go about our day to day lives without ever actually checking in with ourselves and noting how we feel? Life keeps us busy and can often feel like we’re being pulled from pillar to post to just get through the day; whether that be study commitments, work-life, family and our social life. But during this time, taking time out to zone into how you are feeling can be extremely beneficial in maintaining a healthy mind. Try mentally noting how you feel before you get up each morning and wherever possible throughout the day, to simply check in with you and acknowledge where you’re at. But remember to be kind to yourself and approach this non-judgementally.
Take a Break – The most obvious of them all, yet something that is often neglected through fear of not getting work completed on time, or the amount that is left to do. We often get caught in the trap of ‘powering through’ or ‘cracking on’ with day to day tasks and workload due to an underlying anxiety of feeling behind or because of the pressure we put on ourselves. But there is nothing more productive than taking a break. Schedule in a 10-minute break every hour to refresh both your mind and body. Stretching, getting some fresh air and getting a glass of water are all great to rejuvenate how we feel and give our minds and bodies a much-needed energy boost.
Talk to Someone – Feeling anxious? Overwhelmed? Low in mood? Do you feel overrun with negative thoughts about the future? Or feel scared about how the current pandemic will unfold and the effect this will have on our lives? If you feel any of the above then why not reach out to a trusted friend or family member and share your anxieties. A problem shared, is a problem halved and by just laying your worries out with someone your close to can go a long way in reducing the power we give to these anxieties. Sometimes, hearing that others share the same concerns can be all it takes to feel like you’re not alone and keeps you connected.
Alternatively, if you wish to talk with someone confidentially who is trained therapeutically and able to offer you support to manage your current anxieties, feelings of low mood or a space to air concerns about current uncertainties then please contact the Student Wellbeing Service. Follow the link below to service website and book an appointment with your Faculty Wellbeing Adviser - https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/wellbeing
Student Wellbeing Advisor - Faculty of Arts & Humanities