Last reviewed on 17 December 2020
COVID-19 has brought many challenges in recent months and, now that you’re back at university, you’re probably facing some new ones.
You might be frustrated that you have to do your learning online and that you’re not able to take part in activities outside of your studies that give you purpose and boost your mood. Perhaps you’re missing your family and friends or angry about media articles that blame young people for the rise in coronavirus cases. You might be self-isolating if you’ve got symptoms or if you’ve been in contact with someone else who has tested positive. Whether you’re a first-year student who has missed out on freshers’ week or you’re in your final year and have exam worries, this is probably not the university experience you imagined.
The team at London’s digital mental wellbeing service, Good Thinking, has put together this toolkit to help you look after your mental health in the Autumn term and beyond. Created to mark #WorldMentalHealthDay, it contains recommendations for free NHS-approved mental wellbeing apps, including Be Mindful and tomo, as well as links to our self-assessment tool and expert advice.
Our message for you is simple: It’s OK to not feel OK. You’re living through a global pandemic, which has disrupted every part of your life. But you also have the right to feel better. We know from our conversations with young people and with student organisations that there is a lot of uncertainty and that you might need some extra support at this time. Check out our podcast to hear Mhairi Underwood of The Student Room’s views on this.
We hope you find this toolkit useful and, don’t forget, you can contact your university’s wellbeing service if you’d like to discuss any particular concerns or if you’d like any general wellbeing advice or resources. You can also contact Shout (text STUDENT to 85258) or Samaritans (call 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org). If you need urgent help, you can find details of support organisations on Good Thinking’s Urgent Support page.
There’s a lot going on at the moment and you might be feeling anxious about many things. You’ve just arrived back at university and you might be concerned about staying healthy, doing your studies remotely and how you’ll meet new people with all the current COVID-19 restrictions in place. Good Thinking has lots of tools to help you manage any feelings of anxiety.
If you’re struggling to get to sleep or waking in the night, you’re not alone – research shows that many people are experiencing sleep problems due to COVID-19. Rest and relaxation is really important for both your physical and mental health so Good Thinking provides a range of resources to support you in your quest for a good night’s sleep.
Concerns about being back at university with COVID-19 restrictions still in place might be affecting your mood. If so, there are lots of things you can do to build your resilience and help you to stay positive. Take a look at the Good Thinking resources below if you’d like to boost your mood.
Stress is a perfectly normal reaction to a threat – it prepares you for ‘fight or flight’. But if it’s affecting your daily life, Good Thinking can recommend free NHS-approved apps to help lower your stress. On our website, you’ll also find advice about managing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic and you can use our self-assessment tool to get a better understanding of why you’re stressed.
Other useful Good Thinking resources
Other useful websites
My Mind TV (videos) (click Explore, select Children and Young People, select 18+, click Apply)