The start of the year is always a bit of a tough time. I know I’ve struggled to get back into the uni routine, I miss being surrounded by my family and I really have to make sure my anxiety doesn’t get the better of me. But there are some things you can do, and that I do, to make myself feel a teensy bit better and to make sure I get that much needed ‘me’ time so that I get some perspective and don’t push myself over the edge.
1. Grab a magazine
There are some days where I just want to switch off from technology – I don’t feel like watching TV or scrolling through the same old Twitter feed and reading my favourite magazine is a really effective escape. This is such a great one for most people because magazines don’t cost much – I’m a huge fan of Glamour which is only £1. Also, if you’ve been doing uni work all day, reading a magazine isn’t too strenuous but it’s just a great way to focus your mind on more trivial things for half an hour or so.
2. Light a candle
Again, this is such a simple one but I find lighting a candle can completely boost my mood. A nice relaxing scent is perfect after a long day and just gives you that feeling of calm and indulgence. It doesn’t have to be a particularly expensive one or anything and they’re so easy to get hold of. And even when it’s not lit it’s a lovely looking addition to any room!
Since moving to uni I have really struggled over the years to deal with everything life throws at you on my own, without having my mum there to reassure me all the time and I have to keep my anxiety in check if I want to function on a day to day basis and meditation and yoga has genuinely been so effective for me. This one might seem a bit ‘hippy’ for some of you but I cannot sing its praises enough. Just taking 10 minutes out of your day to meditate really helps you figure out what is and isn’t important in life and just helps you to see so much clearer. If you’ve ever thought about doing yoga before I would urge you to go and try it out. The opportunity to breathe and focus on your body and mind and nothing else for a good hour is priceless and I promise you it will make you feel so much better afterwards. If you don’t want to go to a proper class, there are loads of videos on YouTube that you can watch and do yoga at home and it’s a great introduction.
We all know how therapeutic music can be. If you feel like relaxing but you just can’t switch off, find a relaxing, unwinding playlist on Spotify. Or if you’re a bit sick of your music library, browse YouTube and Spotify to find some new artists and make yourself a new playlist. Having a playlist full of great new songs to listen to on the bus in the morning or on your walk into uni, work or school just helps you feel like your life isn’t so samey and stale – variety is the spice of life right?
I cannot tell you how therapeutic it is to just talk to someone about how you feel. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have my mum on the end of the phone just to hear my thoughts and worries and to reply with reassurance, love and understanding. Don’t ever feel silly for talking about your feelings, no matter how ridiculous they seem in your head. Your family and friends are far more supportive and understanding than you think about these things and a good chat to my mum, friends or boyfriend about whatever is bringing me down always helps me get some perspective and also to remind me that I have some brilliant people in my life and really, that’s what’s important!
I hope these tips help at least some of you! I know if I didn’t do these from time to time I would be so overwhelmed with all that life can throw at me! But it’s so important to find the time to look after yourself and realise that life isn’t all that bad and you are definitely strong enough to take it on! X