5 Ways to Reset When You're Feeling Down at University

Amid the busy days, early mornings and late nights that university often throws at us, sometimes the moments where university life takes its toll and leaves us feeling down can be overlooked. As well as acknowledging that these feelings are both common and perfectly normal, it is important that, where possible, we consider ways of helping ourselves out of these ruts, so we can get back to making the most of our time at university.


1.)    Get outside

From my experience, nothing clears the mind quite like stepping outside. Removing yourself from the environment in which you were feeling unhappy is a simple step toward improving your mood. Perhaps visit a nearby location that you know makes you feel happy, or even take a stroll to somewhere totally new. In Lancaster we are lucky to be surrounded by so many options. A visit to Williamson Park, a stroll along the canal, or even a walk around the woodland trail on the university campus! In my experience, heading outside almost always leads me to a simple something that makes me smile, a dog playing in the park or the sun setting after a long day. Grab your coat, slip on your shoes and get out there!  

2.)    Call a friend

While many of us will be lucky enough to be surrounded by wonderful friends here in Lancaster, sometimes hearing a familiar voice from further afar can be just the thing we need. Hearing stories about another person’s day can offer an easy escape from the trials and tribulations of our own. For me, a call to my ‘best friend’ entails the typing of oh so familiar digits before being met by a welcoming ‘Hello?’ from none other than… my lovely Mum. Keeping in touch with family and friends is a huge contributor to my happiness at university, 30 minutes on the phone to someone special will totally refresh my outlook for the day. Think, who could you call?  

3.)    Exercise 

Now for the most predictable but annoyingly true tip! We all know that finding time to exercise whilst balancing our academic and extra curricular commitments can be a struggle, but it is 100% a must! Setting aside time to exercise daily is method proven to lift our spirits and it keeps us fit too! One of the main reasons I hear from people struggling to exercise often is the ever so common…GYM FEAR. But there’s an easy solution! A few years ago as I was first exploring the world beauty and lifestyle blogging I stumbled across the extensive range of fitness experts offering free workout videos via YouTube. My personal favorites include ‘The Body Coach TV’ and ‘Lucy Wyndham-Read’, both of whom offer workouts of varying lengths and intensities, which cater to the needs of absolutely everyone. As well as being accessible in terms of their difficulty, they can also be done in the comfort of your own home!


4.)    Shower

Now this one might seem a bit odd, however two or three years ago I overheard someone taking about using this as a method that helps them ‘re-set’. Naturally, the next time I was having a down day I thought I could try this out. For me, this method gave me the opportunity to feel as through my day had restarted, particularly in light of me being a stickler for routine; it allowed me to mentally restart my schedule. Whether it’s just jumping in for 5 minutes or going through your ‘getting ready’ process in full all over again! While I know this is not always going to be a feasible option on busy days, I’ve found this to be a great way of re-injecting some motivation into a down day at home.


5.)    Do something fun 

At this point, advice columns and self proclaimed mental health gurus tend to advise something like ‘read a book’ or ‘write in your journal’. While this might be effective for some, I fail to believe this generalisation resonates with many. Instead, pick an activity that you enjoy, and spend half an hour fully concentrating on that one thing; it can be anything you like- drawing, playing games, even watching an episode of your favorite series on Netflix. Taking time for yourself is never a waste of time, regardless of the form it might take. Never feel as though you should find relief or enjoyment in something on the basis of others doing so, find what works for you and run with it.