by Nathalie Hollede
We all have those days – it’s been a tough 125 hours of staring at the same page of your course notes, tagging friends in memes about how hard you’re studying (when you’re actually not), and ultimately having a panic-inducing day. Then you might realise that the reason you’re staring at that blank page for two hours is because you can’t find the confidence or energy to do anything.
Your whole word feels like it’s crashing down on you, and you start to doubt if you even have what it takes to finish that degree. When this feeling starts to manifest itself regularly into physical symptoms and mood abnormalities a mental disorder may be starting to take control of your life.
Catch a break with this list of feel-good tips that I’ve put together.
1) Breathing Space
If you’re having a really bad episode of anxiety, borderline personality disorder, manic depression, or anything else, call a hotline. I have tried this myself, and I speak from personal experience when I say that if you think you’re about to die from a panic attack, it helps to speak to someone older who has lived through it, or someone who knows how to help. You’ll find out that you’re not completely insane, and that nothing will happen to you.
The NHS lists the following helplines, but google is your friend, too: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/mental-health-helplines.aspx
2) Water Therapy
Being immersed in water is very calming for most. Order some Chinese food, and get in the tub with that goodness – because it floats. You’re welcome.
If you aren’t lucky to have a tub, go swimming. Yep, the uni has a pool, and it is open for recreational and lane-swimming every day. Check out the times via this link: http://www.stir.ac.uk/sports-centre/facilities/swimming/
3) Vent Your Frustrations
You could exercise.
Or just buy a bunch of bubble wrap from Poundland at the Thistles Centre, sit down with a cup of tea, and start popping like there is no tomorrow. Order some cardboard boxes; let’s say they’re for moving day. Tape them up, and start punching using the bubble wrap around your fists for an extra satisfying experience. That ought to get rid of some exam stress.
It’s okay to let out violent grunts and roars, your flatmates will understand once they read these tips (totally not self-advertising, by the way).
4) After That You Need Some…
Zen time. Let’s face it, that was way too draining. If you chose my ‘punching boxes’ method in place of exercise, any responsible adult would be appalled. I can almost hear myself having to say: “it’s a part of mental illness, mother.”
Lie down. Breathe. Go with this flow:
5) Dat Pose
What’s it called? Cat-cow?
You should ideally get on the floor, but the beds in halls are approved for this activity by myself as a yoga connoisseur, obviously. Alternate between arching your back and head up as far as you can whilst breathing in through the nose, then curling your back and head down as much as possible whilst breathing out through the mouth.
This helps me immensely with my anxiety. It will restore energy, and decrease your heart rate. A+ for effort if you continue this slowly about ten times.
This lady knows how it’s done:
6) The Quiet Place
If you really can’t catch a break, visit this website, and do as they say, since you won’t listen to me: http://thequietplaceproject.com/thequietplace.
7) Treat Yo’ Self
If you’ve tried, and reluctantly sat and listened to everything everyone else in society (including me) has told you to try, and it’s useless, pace yo’ self, and treat yo’ self.
Trust me when I say that we don’t know our limits as well as we think we do. I find myself neglecting my own sanity and mental health numerous times; we all do to some extent.
Get that denim piece from Topshop, put on your face, order that pizza that would leave you close to broke, or go out with that friend who’s been asking for about a month and a half. Treat yourself, because you are so important.