10 self-care tips from fellow UCL students

10 July 2019

Find out how other UCL students are looking after their mental health.

Balloons against a blue sky

We asked UCL students how they look after themselves and their mental health. We received loads of responses with a range of amazing, do-able and cheap (or free) self-care tips!

We have pulled together our 10 favourite tips self-care tips below:

1. Forgive yourself. You can’t be perfect all the time

Self-compassion and forgiveness is always important in our world where we are constantly striving to be the best and surrounded by ideals of perfection. This is especially important for students. Maybe you handed in an assignment late or didn’t get the marks you had hoped for - accept that you are human and you are allowed to make mistakes.

2. Meditate

This was the most common self-care tip we received from UCL students and is surprisingly easy to fit into your daily routine. There are plenty of apps available including UCL’s free 10 minute mind or Headspace. Maybe you can join a yoga class – this can give you the chance to slow down and be present whilst keeping active.

3. Exercise

If the idea of looking after your mental wellbeing is a foreign concept to you, looking after you physical health is a good place to start. Exercise doesn’t have to mean training for a marathon or joining a gym - maybe you could walk instead of taking the bus/tube, or join a sports team.

4. Make your bed everyday

This might sound really simple but we shouldn’t underestimate the benefits of having a positive routine. Making your bed everyday also means your room looks tidier and you’ve achieved something before you’ve even left the house!

5. Have coffee with friends

Whilst you may not be a coffee drinker, finding time to connect with friends and those around you is important. If you are keen to make new friends, why not join a UCLU club or society?

6. Learning

If you’re a student, it is likely that you are constantly learning. Take time to recognise and appreciate how important it is to keep learning. If you are keen to learn something outside of your subject, why not start learning a language or an instrument?

7. Slow down, it is not a race.

This can be (really) difficult to do in London, but sometimes it is good to give yourself permission to slow down – this could be as simple as travelling more slowly or not overcommitting and spreading yourself too thin.

8. Tackle mountains one small step at a time. You’ll get to the top eventually and enjoy the view.

Doing a degree can feel like overcoming a huge mountain, but taking it step by step and breaking it down into smaller chunks can make it a much easier obstacle to overcome.

9. Remember self-love in NOT selfish

This is true and often you cannot care for others as effectively if you don’t look after yourself first.

10. Sleep enough and eat regularly

This might seem obvious but when we are stressed or busy, it is easy for our diet and sleep to be compromised. It is recommended we get at least 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Make it a priority to drink enough water, eat your fruit and veg and sleep.

If you would like to talk to an adviser, in confidence about your mental health, or any other personal or emotional challenges, come along to one of our daily drop-in sessions - no appointment needed. 

Louise Nolan, Student Support and Wellbeing Adviser