June 20, 2019, by Issy
Looking after your Mental Wellbeing over Summer
For those of us with mental health issues, the summer can be both a blessing and a curse: a blessing in terms of a chance to relax and switch off, but a curse in terms of being away from university support networks, friends and even possibly a sense of routine.
I guess this blog is sort of a reminder for me as well. I often find my mood dips and my anxiousness is heightened around this sort of time, so trying to maintain positive emotional wellbeing is something I really want to focus on (this is my last long summer before I start clinical medicine placements!).
I think it’s really important to remember that the services at uni are still available for students to access over summer – just because it’s not term time, doesn’t mean that people suddenly don’t need any advice! Some examples of ways you can get support are:
- Your personal tutor. Drop them an email – they may still be around for a phone call conversation over summer, or a catch up in person if you happen to be in Nottingham. If your personal tutor isn’t around, then it’s worth contacting a senior tutor in your school to see if they can have a chat.
- SU advice is still available over the summer – have a look through their website at https://www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/advice/health-and-wellbeing/and they are in Portland and available to email and phone.
- The Counselling Service – https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/counselling/self-help-resources/self-help-resources.aspxis available over summer for students and staff alike to access – and offer excellent self help resources, which could be incredibly useful if, like me, you’re worried about impending exam results! https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/counselling/self-help-resources/self-help-resources.aspx
- If you are in contact with the Mental Health Advisory Service at the university, or your GP has referred you there, they are also open to students struggling with serious mental health concerns, either in person or by phone.
This clearly goes to show that even though term has finished, there is no lack of support available – for me, this was something I wasn’t aware of until I was told by my tutor that I wouldn’t just be left in the dark over summer. I think went a long way in terms of making me less anxious in general, knowing that I did have the support if I need it.
Also, if you do need face to face support, and are not in or around Nottingham over the summer, you can register as a temporary resident at your home GP surgery for up to 3 months – without deregistering you as a patient at your normal GP surgery if this is in Nottingham. The NHS has a good explanation of how to do this here – https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/nhs-services-and-treatments/how-do-i-register-as-a-temporary-resident-with-a-gp/. Its super important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and if you do need help or support over summer, seeing a GP for this reason is no less valid than if you strained your wrist. It’s okay.
Finally, if you’re like me, and have an almost constant inability to relax, even over summer holidays, I also wrote down some ways in which you can tryand switch off:
- Finding a new favourite TV series (I know Game of Thrones is over, but my recommendations include New Amsterdam and Line of Duty) or watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup – some super good viewing and England have made the last 16 – would be amazing if they could go one step further than the men!
- Go for a walk, with some good music.
- Go for a swim
- Go to the local bookshop, have a browse and buy a new book which you are actually excited to read.
- Organise your desk/ cupboard/ room
- Naps are for adults too!