While in my third year at uni, I have noticed the impact this year’s workload has had an impact on my mental health. During the summer, my mental health had improved and I felt I had my depression relatively under control.
However, within the first few weeks at uni my mental had declined which led to a breakdown one weekend. This is mainly because I let my studying for my modules and dissertation take over which resulted in leaving myself no time to focus on myself. I worked myself into a mindset that I couldn’t have a day off from uni work because I believed having a day off would set me back and put me behind. Every time I took a quick break, I felt like I was wasting time on unimportant things instead of focusing on my dissertation or the work I needed to do for my modules. I ended up feeling very stressed and this carried on until I completely broke down. My breakdown occurred when I tried to fix our kitchen light and rather than fixing it, I accidentally knocked the bulb out. Normally, this wouldn’t have bothered me but because I was so stressed and so burnt-out it was the last straw. I ended up crying for hours and felt like I was failing at everything all because I knocked the light out. I was completely worn out afterwards and had to take the rest of the weekend off because I was so mentally exhausted that I couldn’t focus on anything let alone try and do my uni work.
This breakdown made me realise that I was completely burning myself out and putting uni and working above my mental wellbeing. I knew I needed to change my routine because if I carried burning myself out, I would have made myself ill which would’ve resulted in me not attending uni which was something I couldn’t afford to do. So instead I changed how I approached my uni work. I make sure I take time for myself and just have a break from everything which has been so helpful and I don’t feel as stressed as I did.
Self-care whilst studying is so important for you and your mental health, I learnt that the hard way, but you don’t have to. Take time for yourself because you need it and deserve it.