Our first Campus Culture Week of 2020 has begun, and we are beginning the week focusing on one of the most growing concerns in health and wellness; mental health.
Whilst we all ride through waves of highs and lows, many of us are struggling daily with our mental health in terms of constant states of anxiety, depression and substance abuse. Increasing the awareness of mental health issues and promoting the number of national organisations working towards breaking the stigma has assisted, although some people still suffer in silence.
To those who suffer, you are not alone, and we want to help you in any way we can. With the aim to educate our students on mental health today, we’ve compiled some general tips in dealing with stress, anxiety and depression where you live, learn, work and play.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
You’ve heard it before, ‘8 hours of sleep a night is a MUST’, but as a student it can be nearly impossible to fulfill this checklist item. A lack of sleep has been linked to increasing feelings of sadness and depression. To promote better sleep, start with the basics. Leave the bed for sleeping, not screens. Your brain will accurately associate sleep with lying on your bed. Turn off your electronic devices at least half an hour before you go to sleep. Steer clear of caffeine after midday and opt for a juice. Establish sleep routines, try waking up and going to bed at the same time every day.
Find a Suitable Creative Outlet
It can be almost impossible to take your mind off negativity and the issues you are going through that no amount of ‘walks’ can clear out. Instead, we ask that you try out some mentally stimulating activities and tie them into your passions. Want to turn your script to screen? Use your experiences to tell a story and educate viewers on mental health. Are you an actor? Turn to the camera and start expressing your emotions as loudly as possible, don’t shy away from them.
Unfollow Online Negativity
Whilst the internet is full of support and resources for mental health issues, there is evidence the internet may contribute to the sufferings people face. Bullying, privacy threats, unrealistic expectations, negative body image and a range of other issues are all contributing to the negativity surrounding social media. Take the time this week to clean out your socials and unfollow people who you think spread negative vibes, leave your social media space clean for the possibility of more meaningful connections, trust and happiness.
Become a part of the support. Take an active role in joining the conversation and removing the stigma surrounding mental health and the struggles people deal with every day. Non-profits are spaces where you can openly talk to someone about your troubles without the fear of judgement and seek the appropriate support. Their value to our community is unquantifiable.
If you, or someone close to you is struggling with their mental health, AFTT encourages you to speak up and seek help from the following resources:
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
Headspace: 1800 650 890
Support Act: 1800 959 500