Study Love Durham: take time for yourself and for others

by Arkeke Makhmud

Being kind takes courage but at the same time, it helps with your mental wellbeing. This is why Study Love Durham recently ran its ’12 Random Acts of Kindness’ campaign. Being kind and helping others can bring as much joy to you as to them. It can be very challenging as a student to keep up with positive self-perception, wellbeing and not beat yourself down when facing academic or social obstacles.

Taking this into account, Study Love Durham planned to challenge students to do one small act of kindness either towards others or yourself. Kindness can help reduce the feeling of anxiety or stress as you shift the focus from your worries to those around you. Seeing that your actions made someone smile or made their day better will, in turn, make you feel better too.

There are effects even on a biological level, whereby engaging in acts of kindness promotes certain brain-circuits that enhance the flow of endorphins and other mood elevating neurotransmitters. All-around kindness can benefit your relationship with others and your personal wellbeing and mental health.

Study Love Durham planned to challenge students to do one small act of kindness either towards others or yourself

Mental health is something that we should all prioritise, yet we do not always do a great job of taking care of it. It would be so much better if taking care of our mental wellbeing was taught to us the way were are taught to take care of our dental hygiene, for example – we all brush our teeth twice a day without question but it is different when it comes to taking a minute to nurture and look after our feelings, thoughts and emotions.

taking care of our mental wellbeing should be taught to us the way were are taught to take care of our dental hygiene

Overall health is something that enables us to do the great things we do as students. It lets us study to the best of our potential, engage in social activities, participate in sports and so much more. However, many just perceive health as physical health and tend to overlook that in reality health consists of two components: physical health and mental health.

One reason might be that mental health problems are never as visible as physical health issues. Mental problems can be much trickier to detect, but it doesn’t mean they are not important. Ignoring mental health issues as anxiety, depression or stress can build up and cause long-term negative effects on your quality of life, but also they don’t let you to fully enjoy every moment.

As students, we always have numerous deadlines, various events and other duties, so it is easy to overlook the importance of taking some time to invest in your mental wellbeing. This is why Study Love Durham aims to remind and help students to take a second, step back and look at their mental health, and take some small steps that can make a big difference to your wellbeing.

Study Love Durham’s work can help students to have a safe space to get some guidance, connect with other students that might be struggling with mental health and to find new ideas on how to take care of personal wellbeing.

Photography by Arkeke Makhmud

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