The change in environment from high school to university is astronomical no matter how prepared you think you are for it. Whether it be the academics, the sea of different cultures or just being in a new place every day, sometimes the excitement of novel experiences can become overwhelming. Although it’s admirable to enter university ready to seize every opportunity that crosses your path, you cannot live up to your fullest potential without being in a healthy mental state. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to make this year a successful experience.
Prioritize eating, sleeping and exercising
Sometimes you’ll feel that you don’t have time to do the essential everyday things that keep you happy and healthy. Although sacrificing sleep to get ahead may be a tempting thought, it has counterproductive consequences. Eating well, sleeping and exercising will all keep you healthy enough to work to your best capabilities. Sure, sleep can seem trivial next to finishing homework, but the homework will probably get done a lot more quickly if you have a properly fed and rested body.
Take some time outs
Search up a five-minute meditation tutorial on YouTube. Do a quick yoga flow. Go on a walk or a run. Do a bit of recreational reading, or have a phone call with your mom. Just sit and close your eyes. Sometimes, when you feel like you can’t think to the best of your ability, the best solution is to just not think for a bit.
Evaluate your support system
One of the keys to good mental health is teamwork. It’s invaluable to be able to support yourself and be independent, but it is certainly useful to have people to lean on. Whether it be family, friends, counsellors, professors or older students, sometimes people can see things in your life that you yourself can’t. Having someone to point out when you’re overworked, need a break or a time out can be pretty awesome when you’re swamped with work and forget to check in on yourself.
There are plenty of resources on campus and online for UBC students to reach out to for mental health support. Any of the things below are fantastic options, whether you’re looking for someone to talk to long term, or just a quick chat.
Make an appointment with a wellness advisor. Advisors offer 15–20-minute appointments that focus on assessment of your mental health and wellness planning that will help you connect to whatever level of support you need. Call 604.822.3811 to book an appointment.
A drop-in counselling appointment. These 45-minute sessions are goal-oriented and can help you focus on your strengths and identify useful strategies that you can implement to support yourself. Call 604.822.3811 to book an appointment.
Call Empower Me. Free life coaching and counselling support can be accessed on this line. The professionals on the other side can help you with anything you’re concerned about. Call 1.844.741.6389 to access this resource!