Mental Health Awareness Week has come and gone, but we must continue our efforts to care for each other. In this blog Pacific Advisor Riki Welsh talks about the importance of recognising when our mind and body need a recharge.
Looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health. We know when our pants start getting a bit tight, and our mood levels are getting sluggish that it is time to start eating better and looking after ourselves physically. But do we equally notice when we can’t sleep at night because of anxiety or stress, or when we start to isolate ourselves from others, or when we just can’t get anything done despite all the effort in the world, that it is time to start looking after ourselves mentally?
Once we do recognise the signs, what do we do? I’m not qualified to give a medical answer, but I think an important first step is to talk. Even if you are healthy, talking about mental health and taking care of yourself, you can sometimes initiate the first step for someone else who needs a prompt.
If you are keen to talk but aren’t sure where to start, UC has lots of amazing people who are here for you! The counsellors at the Health Centre, the Student Development Team, Māori Development Team, and of course the Pacific Development Team are all here to talk. We aren’t all health experts, but we all understand the challenges of life and how hard things can get sometimes.
Also, don’t forget lecturers want to support you as well! Although it’s not their primary job, I’ve never had a lecturer who didn’t want to support a student who is going through a tough time.
As we head into exam time please remember to make sure you and your friends and family are doing everything you can to look after your wellbeing. Start with the basics of getting good sleep without any technology on, eating three meals a day, exercising, and talking. If you want help with this, I’m keen to spend my lunch walking, talking and eating lol, even as I write this I realise I too need to make sure I’m doing these things.
If you think you might need more help, see the doctors! They also have amazingly effective solutions.
If you remember nothing else, remember that UC cares for you! Please take care of yourself and let us help.