Struggling to Look After Yourself at University

I wrote this blog title last semester in Aberystwyth, but the post never followed. However, it's still relevant here in Brno. Yes, sometimes I'm really struggling to look after myself at uni. My mental health can be a bit all over the place, and admitting that is the best first step.

I primarily struggle with eating and sleeping. Sleeping has always been a recurring issue for me, but I've been particularly alarmed by my eating habits lately. I have issues with motivation; my bedroom's messiness reflects my mind's jumbled state and finding the energy to do simple things seems far harder than it should be. I'll go away for the weekend and walk 25,000 steps a day; I'll go to my classes and actively participate; but for some reason taking care of myself gets neglected, and if I have no important plans for the day, getting out of bed might be a real challenge.

One of my problems is that I'm too good at doing nothing. 'Lazy' is a word that makes me cringe, making me feel defensive and ashamed (that's capitalism's doing) but yes, I can be very good at being lazy. I'll keep myself occupied with my laptop, phone, book or nothing at all... hours can go by without me realising, whether I'm being productive or not. I've always been envious of people who get bored easily because they end up being so much more active during the day. Whilst I truly do have an attitude of wanting to do lots of stuff and get as much out of life as possible, this definitely doesn't apply to every singular day. Instead, it seems to apply to my weeks, with permission to spend some days in my own head, really not doing that much at all. I find it hard to tell at what point my habits become unhealthy.

Being a student can be weird, especially when you're studying abroad and are far away from the people who truly love and understand you the most. When you're doing a degree, you have a purpose, yet sometimes it's easy to feel totally detached from it. You're reflecting on the past, worrying about the future; you're in this weird in-between stage of your life where you're trying to set yourself up for post-degree life whilst still enjoying the present. Yet, it all seems too crazy to comprehend that it'll actually happen. Sometimes it leads you to a halt, and as you sit amongst a mess of your bad habits you feel guilty, but not enough to make big changes just yet.

Life isn't all rosy and nobody's is perfect. I wanted to write this because I don't want to be in denial about the parts of myself I dislike - I don't want to pretend they're not there. If you can relate to what I've said in any way, you're not alone, and the good news is that once you're aware you're not doing a great job at looking after yourself, you can start making a conscious effort to be better. Maybe you'll make quick progress, maybe you won't, but knowing it's something you need to do is a nudge in the right direction. We deserve to treat ourselves kindly, and that doesn't necessarily mean excusing ourselves from everything we don't want to do. It means doing what's right by our bodies - making efforts to sleep better and eat better and clean up our mess. We have to try, and we'll be okay.

Until the next post,

Em x

Photographed by: Amelia Xanthe

1 comment

  1. I went through the same thing when I was a student in college. And still, go through it from time. Sometimes I get so caught up in things that I forget to take care of myself. But, this post is a great reminder to take a step back and acknowledge there's a problem and take steps toward fixing. Thanks for sharing :D