It’s that time of year again, when prospective fresh university students make the long trip to their new homes with pots, pans, bottles of alcohol and belly butterflies in tow. It seems like fresher’s week comes around even more quickly year by year. Fresher’s week is a fantastic experience for many students, with an opportunity to make friends, explore a new city and live away from your parents for the first time. However, despite all the fun and games of this new-found freedom, Fresher’s can also have a more serious side.
According to a study carried out by the National Union of Students in 2013, 20% of students considered themselves to have a mental health problem. With issues of anxiety and depression rising, mindfulness and meditation expert Tom Evans is making available his ‘Be Calm’ mediation to help students to calm their mind and relax.
Tom states; “It’s completely understandable that mental health issues are commonplace at university when you consider the amount of pressure students are under. The pressure to achieve academically, to live away from parents or guardians with minimal finances and to find friends all add up and are compounded by worries about the cost of university and the competitiveness of the job market after graduation. I understand the stress that many of these first time students will be under, so I wanted to offer them the chance to relax, take some Me Time and look after their mental wellbeing.”
As well as the meditations, Tom has some tips for students who are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed:
Antidote 1: Cut yourself some slack
Put off something you think has to be done today until tomorrow, or next week. You might find a better way to do it or that it didn’t even need to be done at all.
Antidote 2: Perform a random act of kindness
Do something random that takes you no more than a minute but that really makes someone’s day, or week. Watch how random acts of kindness come back doubled, and from another source, when you’re least expecting them.
Antidote 3: Make someone smile
Smile at a stranger or let someone ahead of you in the queue for the bar. Or send someone something online to make them laugh.
Antidote 4: Forgive someone
Let the anger go concerning someone who crossed you. The older the grudge, the better it is to let go of. You can even forgive yourself for something you regretted doing too.
Antidote 5: Give yourself a treat
Spoil yourself and buy something to cheer yourself up. Or just get away from the library and go for a walk at lunchtime.
Antidote 6: Get back in touch with an old friend
Re-make that connection with someone you’ve been meaning to call for ages – perhaps a friend from school. You might even inspire them to do the same to someone else. What goes around comes around.
Antidote 7: Give yourself some of Me Time
Listen to my Be Calm meditation for just ten minutes and let the blues fall away.
Tom adds, “One thing that is often glossed over is how stressful the experience can be for parents, lecturers and support workers at universities. These tips and the meditation will work just as well for them!”
Tom also runs a number of philanthropic initiatives, making self-study courses available free of charge to anyone suffering from a life shortening condition so they can make the most of their time. He considers such cases individually, and will make the courses available to those in serious need. Visit his website www.tomevans.co for more information.