Putting yourself first this academic year.

Congratulations, so if you are reading this article, you have probably been through the UCAS process and 60% of your problems have been tackled. Let me take a moment to welcome you to this place of awesomeness, where you can find immense support regarding your tenure at Cardiff University. 

Being a student has its perks (Meh!). But let me tell you that it is also normal to feel low at times. Through this article, I would like to share some of my thoughts and tips. We all can collectively battle against common mental health issues that can help mitigate significant unanticipated problems in due course: 

1. Getting Proper Sleep & Rest: Indeed, studies can be exciting and challenging and your body does demand adequate sleep and rest. It claimed that getting 6-8 hours of sleep every night is a must for mental peace. It is also a common problem among students to have irregularities in their sleep schedule, where students are habituated to skip sleeping at nights and instead to use their mornings to cover up for that all-nighter. This tendency might be infrequent initially, but soon before you realize, it becomes a habit that is extremely difficult to rectify. 

2. Following a good diet: Surely, that slice of cheesy pepperoni pizza might be intimidating, but do NOT make it a habit! Yes, it is convenient to bombard the local pizzeria with your regular orders, but would you prefer this convenience at the cost of mental health? Make sure to consume stuff that does more good to your body & mind than it can harm. You need to ensure that you have a balanced diet! Want help with meal planning? Check this out!

3. Stay Active - Stay Fit: An active lifestyle should be your go-to lifestyle. The good part is that you are free to choose from the ample of options you have. You can jog your heart out at the Bute park., hit the gym, join a yoga club, or play a sport. Nonetheless, whatever way you choose, make sure to have a physical & active lifestyle!

4. Maintain a healthy balance: It is essential to enjoy life to your fullest! You cannot achieve anything by studying and working the entire day, without dedicating a single moment for yourself. It is essential to take a break. Yes, let me repeat, TAKE A BREAK! 

Bonus tips for freshers week!

Cardiff University is prepared for the Fresher’s week, but are you? Here are some bonus tips for the Fresher’s week:

1. Join a society: Joining new societies is one of the best ways to grab some company. It is cool to have a company because everyone is in the same boat as you. You get the feeling of oneness, hence helping you reduce that tiny bit of anxiety that you have.

2. It is okay to be bombarded with different emotions: Everyone is feeling the same as you are. Being nervous, anxious, overwhelmed, and uncomfortable with new things is very common. But this is a temporary feeling and I am sure you will settle eventually. For further guidance, you can always consult your personal tutor and the student mentor as they are there to assist you in settling well.

3. Keep in touch with friends & family: I am sure homesickness is something that you wished never existed. But the good news is that there are many ways to get rid of this temporary problem. Firstly, make sure to give a call to your mom or dad at least once a day, talk to your sibling, and be connected with friends. For me, video calls work even better! I would also recommend you keep a family photograph always in your room as it helps to mitigate the feeling of homesickness. Other possible solutions could mainly be, decorating your room & cooking something that you usually ate at home.

Stay safe and healthy! You come first! Your mental health officer, Mahruk Zulfiqar