With everything going on in the world at the moment, it’s understandable that you may be feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. Times have been especially difficult for students who may not have been able to return home to their parents due to imposed restrictions, or for those who are concerned about how their grades might be impacted, or even the uncertainty of not knowing what the future of attending university is going to look like.
At Student Housing Lancaster, we understand that this is a troubling time. However, it is also more crucial than ever to make sure that you are keeping both mind and body active and healthy; it’s the best defence against stress. So, here’s how you can remain active in Lancaster as a student:
How to Keep Your Mind Active
First, let’s talk about keeping your mind active. Keeping your mind active is just as important as keeping your body active. It’s great for your mental health and can come with a wealth of benefits. With all the worries you’re no doubt thinking about at the moment, taking care of your mind is so essential for remaining healthy. Here are some things you can do to improve your mental health and protect yourself from stress:
- Develop a routine
Establishing some form of control over this seemingly out of control situation will help you focus on being less stressed. To that end, make sure you establish some kind of daily routine to regain this sense of control that may have been lost over the last few months.
It doesn’t have to be too rigid, but making sure you have a set bedtime, getting up time and meal times will help you map out the day and be aware of how your time is being spent. In the hours in between, try and set out goals for the day, even if it’s just something as simple as going for a short walk or calling your parents.
- Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep is so crucial for our health, and a lack of sleep can make stress so much worse. Healthy sleeping habits come with a world of health benefits like improving your concentration, keeping your heart healthy, keeping your immune system strong and maintaining your emotional wellbeing. So if you’re struggling to drift off, stop using electronics an hour before bed, eliminate distractions and slowly adjust yourself into an 8-hour sleep cycle.
- Stay organised
This may vary depending on what you’re trying to achieve at the moment. Perhaps you’re working or maybe you still have university work to be getting on with, whatever the case, organising yourself will help combat stress and let you feel more in control.
Make lists of daily tasks to accomplish but keep it manageable, so they don’t seem overwhelming. By laying everything down on paper, it will stop your brain from becoming too bombarded with information and feeling like you have too many tasks to complete, increasing your stress.
- Seek help if you need it
Knowing when to reach out to others is an important skill and will help you in the long run. If you feel like your mental health is spiralling or you don’t know what to do, reach out to friends and family for help and guidance. There is also the Samaritans, who are free to call on 116 123.
How to Keep Your Body Active
Along with keeping your mind active, your body should be active too. All this time spent inside will not have been good for our bodies, but there are things we can do about it without breaking government guidelines. Here are some ways you can keep your body active:
- Go for a walk
Try to make time for a walk every day, even if it’s just a short trip down the road and back up to your house. Getting outside and breathing the fresh air will do wonders, and your body will appreciate the exercise, however brief.
Alternatively, Lancashire is full of fantastic walks all over the county. If you have a car, consider a trip up to one of these beauty spots for a more intensive hike up a hill across the beautiful countryside.
- Take up running or cycling
For a bit more extensive exercise, running, jogging or cycling are great for getting your heart rate up and keeping active. It’s a free activity that doesn’t require a gym membership, and Lancaster is full of fantastic places to go exploring.
The city is full of cycle lanes that you can use that take you from the city into both Cumbria and Lancaster University. Lancaster University also has a trim trail across its campus, which includes the likes of a ladder walk, bars for sit-ups and chin-ups and balance beams for a fuller workout.
- Try yoga
You don’t need expensive gym classes to start doing yoga. There are thousands of free yoga instructional videos on the likes of YouTube for you to try out. With nothing but a screen and a yoga mat (or a towel), you can take up yoga right from your very own bedroom in your student accommodation in Lancaster. Yoga is a great way to stay fit and also has mental health benefits.
Instructional videos are also great for trying out Pilates, or even just cardio workouts that don’t require any equipment.
- Play sports
With restrictions lifting, you can start engaging in sports outside with friends. If you have a group of people close by, why not head out and play a game? There are sports that you can do that allow you to remain at a safe distance from others, like tennis and badminton. You’ll get the health benefits of exercising while having fun with your friends too.
This year, make sure you’re taking care of yourself and keeping your body and mind active during this stressful, uncertain time. Take time out for yourself and do a small thing each day to keep yourself healthy and active.