January is a tough one. It’s known to be the most challenging month of the year; Christmas is over, everyone’s eaten too much, and reality hits with the New Year. It’s also when the most students drop out of uni, and we want to do everything we can to help so you don’t feel unhappy or stressed. We run loads of great events to help you along, and have also included a list of fab ideas for general wellbeing.
The days are short and dark, and it’s proven that a lack of sunlight during winter can get you down. But even if it’s not sunny remember to take breaks while studying. Go have a quick 10-minute lunch in a park, or go for a walk in between lectures, anything for some fresh air to help you feel more refreshed.
Make resolutions, but not unrealistic ones
It’s good to make resolutions that’ll better yourself, but make sure they’re things you can stick to and achieve. Any “get fit” resolutions always sound great, but in practice a slow and steady health and exercise plan will work better in the long term and be easier to maintain. Set positive goals rather than restricting yourself, for example “do a good deed every week”.
Have something to look forward to
Whether it’s a holiday in the summer, planning to try something new this year, or simply a week at home to study during Enrichment Week. Set something in your diary that’ll help you through January and give you something to work towards.
Ask yourself what’s making you feel down in the dumps, and reflect about what would make you happier in life. If something or someone is toxic, consider whether you need them/it your life. If you’re stressed about money or your career, visit our careers or finance team. They’re there to help. The best way of improving your situation is to set yourself a goal of how to try and fix it.
Try to be active
Exercise releases endorphins, which are your feel-good hormones. This lifts your mood, and has all kinds of positive knock on effects like a more consistent sleep cycle. Even a quick run once a week around Stanmer Park or along the sea front in Brighton would help. For our Hastings students there is Alexandra Park, or for Eastbourne there is Gildredge Park.
You can boost your mood with Vitamin D, which is the vitamin we usually receive from sunlight. You can find good sources of Vitamin D in breakfast cereals, eggs, dairy and fish. All of these will help your immune system and keep you healthy.
Stay connected and meet with friends
Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to leave the warmth of indoors, but seeing friends or family helps you feel less isolated. Stay in regular contact, and if you’re struggling with mental wellbeing talking to someone feels like a weight lifted from your shoulders. The SU has a brilliant Support team that are here to help if you need to talk, find out more about them here.
It’s important to remember to take some time for yourself and some TLC. Run yourself a bath, read your favourite book, play your favourite game, book a haircut, anything that’ll make you feel better.
Now no-one will tell you balancing life isn’t hard, there’s a lot you’re meant to stay on top of. But remember you’re human, everyone is different so don’t compare yourself against friends. We all have different ways of celebrating and coping with different things. So, remember the SU is here to support you and get you through January Blues.
We have lots of Refreshers’ Events planned in you can read about here, and health and wellbeing services available here.
We also know that a lot of students have exams this month for handy Exam Stress tips, read the guide below.