How spending time with people can improve your mental health

Often when spending long periods of time alone it is easy to slip into a cycle of over-thinking and low mood, being overwhelmed by a multitude of issues that consume your thoughts with no other narrative to distract you besides mindless scrolling of people living supposedly better lives than yours. From an outside perspective, this is clearly unhealthy and self-sabotaging but can be hard to get out of when you’re being consumed by it, especially with deadline season approaching and the added pressure of making valuable memories during the festive season. Therefore it is vital to reach out to people and break out of these isolating thought patterns. Although your first thought may be that you’ll just annoy people, your friends won’t think that at all, imagine if someone reached out to you and how good it’d make you feel that someone is thinking of you and wants to make plans, besides the worst thing that can happen is they say no and you re-arrange! 

Here are a few ideas on how you can spend some more time with people:

  • Simply talking to your housemates whilst making dinner could be a big morale booster and give you a fresh perspective on your problems or prove to you that you’re not alone in how you feel, or even take your mind away from your worries entirely, just for an hour or two. 
  • Planning something like a games night in your flat is a great way to have a laugh and enjoy simply being together, if you’re more into classic board games the Swan on campus has loads of free games you can play or you can download phone games like Among Us which are great to play with a group!
  • If you’re wanting to meet people with similar interests it is never too late to join a society, each society often hosts socials you can partake in, a good amount of these aren’t alcohol related so you don’t need to feel isolated if you don’t drink, as it’s easy to feel left out when it is a large part of the stereotypical university culture. 
  • Take your studying to new places, stay on campus an extra hour with your course mates and work on your next assignment together, there are a list of study areas available on the library website and it is a great way to meet new friends and build on new relationships.

In conclusion, reaching out and talking to anyone, even just nipping out to Tesco with your flatmates can provide so much for your mental health, allowing fresh perspectives, jokes, advice and distractions all add up to improve your mindset and may give you more strength and the needed motivation to battle the heavy weight low mental health can be. 

If you feel as though you need more support, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Student Wellbeing.