For our mental health themed edition, Craccum caught up with some students to find out what they do to look after their mental wellbeing.
Emma, 21, Arts
“I look after my mental wellbeing by making time to exercise. I love to go for long walks, or head to a reformer pilates studio for a class if I want to feel boujee. When you exercise, it takes your mind off whatever you are stressing about and you’re forced to live in the moment. I always feel better afterwards, and am better placed to face whatever challenges there might be ahead for me. I especially love walking because it gives me time to appreciate the beauty of our natural environment and notice all the little things I would usually miss if I’m rushing off to uni or the supermarket.”
John, 28, Arts
“The best thing I’ve learnt to do is organise and plan out my time. Having a million assignments due and exams for all of your courses might seem daunting, but separating out your study and personal time gives you a clear plan of attack and also ensures that you have some time for yourself and don’t get bogged down in coursework. I recommend using a diary or google calendar. Also, I’ve learnt that preparing for your assignments well in advance helps you feel so much better than cramming at the last minute. Easier said than done!”
Leah, 21, Commerce
“You know yourself better than anyone else, and it’s important to recognise when you aren’t really coping well and seek help. It feels so much better when you do reach out, whether that’s to your friends, whānau or professionals like doctors or counsellors. If you are struggling there are people that are there to help you. If I’m in that position I know I have friends I can count on to be there for me.”
Dan, 22, Law
“This is going to sound so lame, but going for walks really helps me relax. I’m a serial over-committer – I have a weird habit where I constantly burden myself with loads of different projects and promises and tasks until I have no free time left. For the most part, I like staying busy, but it does sometimes get to the point where I feel like I’m drowning myself in too many commitments. Going for a walk really helps to relax me because its time where I can’t be productive. It’s 30-60 minutes of the day where I can listen to music, chat with friends, or just unwind without feeling like I’m wasting my time.”
Billy, 24, Arts
“It sounds so… banal, but there is really nothing better for forcing myself to calm down than putting on a podcast, and opening the Bubble Cloud app on my phone. It’s like a more frustrating Bejeweled, and it requires perfect concentration after the first 20 levels. Hearing the person in my headphones drone on about the Elder Scrolls or the Iraq War or whatever – when combined with Bubble Cloud, it just sends me off to a different place than where I currently am.”
Rose, 21, Arts
“Food is my main way of coping with stress. I find baking and cooking for myself really relaxing, but I also love to reward myself for getting through the stressful times with my favourite foods. When I have two thousand words to write and two days to do it, the only way I get through it is knowing that I can have a Big Mac for dinner. Also, I do that thing where you get a piece of your favourite candy for every 200 words you write. It makes the whole thing way more relaxing. There’s nothing better than a delicious dinner with friends (or in a darkened room with no witnesses) to de-stress you in the busy season.”
Names have been changed to protect students’ identities.