When uni gets you down

I feel like all I write on here is rambling, negative posts about university and I’m sorry, I’m trying to be more positive and I want to get back into blogging properly but it’s hard when you’re not feeling yourself. In all honestly, I’m not coping with university very well. I mean, anyone looking in from the outside would disagree – academically I am doing well, I turn up to all my classes, I do the work, I have made friends and I am managing to cook for myself but on the inside I do not feel happy, or as happy as I could be.

One of the hardest things I’ve found about being at university is that you are the only person that knows who you are. It’s taken me a while to put my finger on it, but I think this is been something I’ve been struggling with ever since I got here. Sure, starting at a university where you know nobody would be hard, I knew that, but I it’s not hard in the way that I thought it was. Making friends has been fairly easy as everyone wants to make new friends as much as you do, but it’s really, really hard feeling like even the friends you have made don’t really know who you are and that they all have different perceptions of you, none of which reflect your true self.

As someone who has never had a strong sense of identity (hence my various crises over sexuality) and has never been very self-confident, being somewhere where I don’t have my friends and family to remind me of who I am is very difficult. I just feel lost, to be honest, like I’m not living my life anymore and I’m just doing things because that’s what I’m expected to do or that’s what other people think I should be doing. I don’t feel like the life I’m living reflects my inner values and self and I don’t know what I can do to fix it.

I make it sound like I don’t like university at all, which is not true because generally I like living away from home and being independent, I am enjoying my course even though I’m still a bit shaken up and uncertain if this is the right path for me after changing my degree in first term, I do have some friends and sometimes do fun stuff with them, but there’s this recurring feeling of being lost and not feeling like I fit in here or that being at uni is the right thing for me at all. Quite honestly, all this thinking and questioning is exhausting.

I do spend a lot of time by myself at uni as I don’t have many contact hours and I haven’t really clicked with my flatmates, which is fine when I’m having a good day as I don’t mind my own company and I sometimes find socialising tiring after a while anyway, but when I’m tired or stressed or something happens which triggers a negative spiral of thoughts, I really struggle being by myself as I spend too much time in my head.

It’s frustrating because I want to enjoy myself at university and I don’t want to be held back by this mess of thoughts, but I just seem to be stuck in a never-ending cycle of feeling down and lost at the moment.

I try not to talk about how I’m feeling with my friends and family back home as I feel like it’s hard to understand unless you’ve been through the same thing. As far as they’re concerned, I’m having a great time at university and my parents couldn’t be happier that I’ve settled in ‘so well’. Even with my friends at uni, I feel like I can’t open up to them because if anything I feel like they’re having a much better time than me and I don’t want to feel like a burden.

I’m not sure what this post is meant to be, I just have a lot of thoughts and I need to get them out.

I hope you’re all doing well and I really hope I can find the energy to write some positive posts about uni life sometime soon. For now I’m just going to try to work on taking care of myself because I want this term to go better than the last!

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Absence of Presence

I don’t know how long it’s been bothering me, but for a while now I’ve had this nagging thought in the back of my mind that I’ve finally been able to form into words.

As I mentioned in my post-exam update a few days ago, the past month or so has been really tough for me in terms of my personal life. This year, I’ve been really trying to improve my mental health and build up my self-esteem, which I identified as a cause of my unhappiness. I feel like I did actually, to an extent, make some progress towards feeling better, however the academic and emotional challenges that exam season posed have caused me to experience some really low lows, worse than ever before. 

Since then, I haven’t been able to shift this feeling that I’m not really living my own life. It sounds strange, and I’m only just getting my head round it after some deep thought over the past few days, but I’ve realised that I’m really struggling to live in the present. I don’t know how long this has been going on for, maybe years. I find myself unable to stop dwelling on past events, unable to move on and find closure. In addition, I keep worrying about the future – what if I keep encountering the same bad experiences throughout my life? What if I am the problem?

I tell myself that one day I will have a group of friends, one day I will find ‘my people’, one day I will have a job and not feel like a failure, one day I will be confident, one day I will be open about my sexuality, one day I will be in a relationship. But this neverending cycle is stopping me from living in the present. I feel like I am a vessel, carrying my past with me and weighed down by worries and hopes for the future. But what is left for me in the present? The past will stay with me forever, whilst the future will forever be unknown, but how can I live in the present when it’s duration and existence is so fleeting? Why can’t today be that “one day” where I am living my life to the fullest?

I feel like my past and future selves are in constant battle with themselves. I’m stuck. I can’t move forward if I can’t leave the past behind. Life is flashing past too quickly and too slowly all at once.

When I look at my friends, they’re all doing things with their life: working, going out with friends, learning to drive, in relationship. It’s hard not to feel like a failure in such a peer-pressured environment. I feel like because I’m not doing these things that everyone else is doing, I shouldn’t be enjoying my life, because I have ‘nothing’ to enjoy and my perception of happiness has become tainted by the lives of my friends who have all the things I mentioned above to define their happiness, purpose and successes in life. I don’t want to think like this, though, this isn’t me. I am not materialistic, not usually. I don’t need objects or symbols of status to bring me happiness, but I’ve become so preoccupied with the lives of others that I’ve forgotten what really makes me happy. 

Along the way, I’ve somehow lost myself, which I promised I wouldn’t do. I don’t want to live the rest of my life just scraping through, never feeling a connection to the present. I want to be me, and be happy being me. I want to feel like I’m living my own life, instead of being caught up in that of others. Right now, I’m returning to my identity as a ‘lost teen’. I really hope somehow I can find myself again, before I waste my youth wishing for something better. Wishing won’t get me anywhere – I’ve got to start taking action and get back in control of my life. I don’t know how, but I’ve got to try.

The Power of Talking; breaking mental health stigma

(I’m living life on the edge right now trying to type this out before my laptop restarts for yet another Windows update).

I met up with a friend today, spontaneously, but messaging her and asking if she wanted to meet up was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. I think I wrote in this post, about how I haven’t been feeling at my best for some time and of how I started isolating myself from people, being trapped in my mind and quite honestly driving myself mad from overthinking. I made a promise to myself to get out of that phase, to interact more with my friends, to be more open and honest about my feelings, but since half term started, I’ve become more and more isolated and lonely and have just generally been feeling awful.

However today I decided to reach out to my friend, who I haven’t seen in quite a while, but for a moment I stopped overthinking that I wasn’t worthy of anyone’s time and sent her a message. When we met up, I didn’t want to pressure myself to talk about how I was feeling – even thought that’s why I wanted to see her, just to be able to talk to someone who has been by my side for a long time and who I trust – so I just said to myself that whatever happens, I must be honest. And I was. I almost had a breakdown in the middle of a park but we had some really deep conversations about overthinking and anxiety and social pressure, and I’m proud of myself for actually giving an honest answer when she asked how I was, instead of the usual “good, thanks”.

Through talking to each other, we discovered that we’d been going through similar things and we understood eachother, which really meant a lot. As I’m used to bottling up my emotions, the world can sometimes seem a little mad because I overthink so much that nothing makes sense in my head and eventually nothing makes sense in real life either. But talking, casually, about mental health whilst walking in the fresh air – and eventually over a box of chicken nuggets – made it seem normal and okay.

Some of the advice my friend was giving me really made me think. She can be very philosophical in her outlook on life, and although it probably won’t have as much as an impact once translated into my words, I want to try to share some of her insights in life here, so maybe it can help others too.

One thing we were talking about was the pressure of social media, because I explained how social media is becoming a huge source of overthinking for me. It’s the pressure of being constantly social, and active and talking to other people. This need to be constantly in touch with the virtual world can make us presume that if someone hasn’t replied to a message then they automatically don’t like us, don’t want be friends with us and don’t care about us anymore. This is becoming a big problem for me, because I almost constantly pick apart all my friendships based on people’s activity on social media – it’s a downward spiral, a trap. Sometimes if a friend doesn’t reply to a message, but I can see they have been active on social media, I will think that’s it, the friendship’s over, they don’t care about me anymore, I’m not worthy of anyone’s time, there’s no point contacting other friends stop because they won’t want to talk to me either, I’m just being annoying, none of my friends really like me and so on. It’s ridiculous that social media controls my emotions in such a destructive way, and that my friend – and probably many of you – could relate. Although it’s hard to avoid social media and the pressures that come with it in the world we are living in, I need to find a balance between real life and the virtual world to be free from this pressure. I do want to have social media in my life, because I have met some amazing people as a result of it, but I also want to live in the present and for social media to be a positive addition to my life, not a negative obstacle that holds me back.

I admitted that some of the problems social media was causing me were due to the fact that I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere, because I don’t really have a set friendship group anymore and I’ve been feeling a bit lost. But I know now that that’s okay, because people come and go through our lives and I understand now that, to borrow my friend’s analogy, even if you keep watering a dead flower, it won’t come back to life. That is to say, you can keep trying to hold onto friendships that are falling apart and friends that are drifting away, but there comes a point where you need to let the flower die – for both individual’s sake – because this makes room for new flowers – or friends – to come into your life and blossom. I may feel like I’ve lost a lot of friends, but I still have a few “flowers” who I can always count on, and that’s what matters. I will meet new people and make new friends, just as the people who have slipped out of my life will or already have.

We also talked about anxiety and the stigma surrounding mental health. I explained how I’d been suffering with anxious feelings for the past month or so, probably the result of stress and pressure from college combined with social pressures, all of which has contributed to this constant overthinking and worrying about what other people think. It’s tiring – draining – to feel this way; it’s been a long time since I felt like I could do something with ease, in a relaxed way without my mind constantly racing with all sorts of irrational scenarios and thoughts. It was comforting that my friend understood and we could talk about it freely, it really showed to me that it was okay to talk about mental health, because we all have mental health and the sooner we break down the stigma around discussing it, the better it’ll be for everyone. No one should have to face mental health alone – we are so much stronger if we tackle it together.

Now I feel so much lighter after discussing all this with someone I admire and respect a lot, and I think it helped her too. Although I don’t see many of my friends often, I am now a little bit more reassured that they still do care and the friendship is still there. I can’t express enough how much today has changed my perspective on life. Although my thoughts aren’t coherent and I’ve still got a long way to go, I took a risk in reaching out to a friend for help, and it paid off. Life’s all about taking risks, we don’t always know which ones will be worth taking until we’ve taken them, but we always learn in the process.

Here’s to more opening up about mental health, on my part and yours.

 

The Trouble With Overthinking

Arghhh I don’t even know how to start this, or if writing this will be beneficial, but I’m going to give it a go anyway because a lot has been happening and I need to sort through it. 

The past few weeks, I really have not been myself, everything’s sort of been a blur and I don’t know how to describe it other than I haven’t been “with it”, if that makes sense. I’ve been so lost in overthinking that I didn’t even realise how much of a problem it has become. 

Without dragging up the mess that I’ve let my mind become, I will explain as well as I can, for my sake, if any, so I can reflect on this. Maybe you can relate, I don’t know, but I’ve learnt that the best thing to do is to talk about things, so bear with whilst I ramble.

Basically over the past little while, I – or rather my overthinking mind – convinced myself that I was worthless and that no one wanted me around. When I was around people – my friends, all I could think of was that they didn’t want me there and they’d be better off without me. I didn’t realise I was doing it, but I started to isolate myself from people in an attempt to cope with the anxiety that these thoughts were causing me. I actively avoided my friends and pushed people away, which of course was the worst possible thing I could have done. What’s more scary, however, is that I didn’t realise that I was doing it. I just got used to it. Avoiding people became a habit – just a part of my daily life. It would help me to cope with what was going on in my mind, because if I wasn’t around the people that were causing me to think I was worthless, then the thoughts were a bit easier to manage. I pushed my mental health aside and worked and worked and worked on my college work in an attempt to distract myself.

It’s honestly terrifying that it’s taken me weeks, if not months, to realise that getting the bus half an hour earlier to avoid my friends or hiding in the library because I couldn’t face being in the canteen at breaktimes wasn’t normal. I didn’t realise something was wrong with me, maybe because my close friends have been going through tough times so I diverted my attention to worrying about them. Either  way, it’s like I’ve been living in a day dream. Days blur into eachother. Weekends are the worst because even though I don’t have the stress of having to avoid people, I don’t see anyone at all and I feel lonely and empty and even more worthless. But I got used to it, I got used to shutting out even my closest of friends because I had let my spiralling thoughts convince me that I wasn’t worthy of anyone’s time. 

I became silent because the thoughts in my head were too much to cope with, overwhelming almost, so I didn’t talk because no one would listen and if they did I would just dwell on the fact that I was probably making their lives worse.

I talk about this in the past tense but really it’s still happening, these thoughts are still plaguing me but the difference is I am aware of it now so I can deal with it, rather than just struggling along, deliriously believing what my mind told me. 

Yesterday my friend – who means the world to me, yet I was sure I meant nothing to – helped me, a lot. I was in a panic, couldn’t think straight and was about to walk out of college because I didn’t know what to do. But she came after me, she listened to the few words I managed to say as she comforted me and, for a minute, my brain realised that someone does care about me, even if its just a bit, she was there and it mattered a lot – I don’t know what I would have done otherwise, I really wasn’t in a good mindset. 

The thing is, I wish I could have talked to her more and opened up to someone – which I haven’t properly done for years, but it was all I could do to try not to burst out in tears. However, she told me that she understands the overthinking, she gets it and she told me how she copes with it and that when I’m ready to talk about it, people will listen. Her words lingered in my mind when I eventually went home – she made me feel a bit more sane in knowing that someone understands. I somehow managed to find the courage to talk to my mum about how I was feeling – I don’t know how because usually I just put on a mask and pretend everything is ok around my family. So I talked for a bit. It didn’t all come tumbling out like I feared it would and I felt in control. 

I feel a bit lighter now, having got things off of my chest. I’m still so confused about how I let myself get to that point, without realising or doing anything about it. I kept pushing my mental health aside, believing what my mind was telling me until it became reality. 

But I think things are going to get better now. My head wasn’t so clouded today, I could think more clearly and I tried to be more engaged in conversations, tried to spend more time around my friends, talking to people in class etc. I didn’t think I could do it, and of course all the thoughts were still there, but somehow I thought through it. It’s strange really, because prior to the mess of the past few months, I was more confident than I had ever been and I’ve made so many friends since started college. I don’t know how long I’ve been pushing everyone away for and shutting them out, but it was long enough to forget what it was like to be sociable. 

Little things people did kept standing out today – in a good way. Usually my mind can’t help but fixate on the little things that people do that “prove” they don’t like me, whereas today I was able to focus on things that surprised me, that made me feel like I have some worth, such as a classmate remembering what I was planning on studying at uni and discussing it with me, my friend messaging me on the bus, people stopping to say hi as I walked around college. I was shocked, to be quite honest, to find that people actually want to talk to me. I keep wondering when my self-esteem became so bad, but that’s not what’s important now – I need to think about how I can make it better and find my confidence again.

Of course, things aren’t completely fixed. I haven’t seen some of my oldest friends for weeks, maybe over a month, partly because our college timetables are different and partly because I convinced myself that they’ve moved on and didn’t need me anymore, so I didn’t bother to contact them and as with everyone else, made an effort to avoid them around college. But as my mum said to me, all I need to do is send them a message and ask if they want to meet up, even if just for a coffee, because they may be thinking that I’ve just forgotten about them too, which is not the case – I’ve just been too anxious to reach out to them.

I feel like I’ve just blurted out a load of incoherent thoughts here. But that’s okay. It needed to happen, because I feel like I owe this community – and myself – an apology for not being myself and for my erratic behaviour, especially on Twitter where I have been nothing but negative over the past little while, and I’m so sorry for that. But I want to get better, I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I want to be confident in myself again, and I know that because I want to get better, I can.

So, there we go, an update, a ramble – call it what you want. As many people have shown and told me over the past few weeks, it helps to talk about things like this, because it isn’t irrational or stupid, people do care and will listen if you let them and you never know, people you know may have been through the same thing. 

Thank you for reading, and for always being there, it really means a lot. 🙂 

I don’t know what to call this

This is going to be a bit jumbled and probably won’t make much sense, but I’ve had a lot going on in my head lately and I need to lift the weight off my shoulders a bit by writing it out. I can’t really express how I’m feeling at the moment, my mood has been all over the place the past week and I’m sorry of stuck in this uncomfortable state of not feeling myself. I get frustrated when I try to get through the fog that’s cluttering my brain so I will take it slowly and try to explain things one step at a time. I’m not sure if it will really help – I’ve had awful writer’s block lately despite having the urge to blog but that’s part of the problem too I guess.

Recently I’ve been hit by a plague of loneliness – I can’t work out if I’m just coming to terms with these feelings and that they have been around for a while and I’ve just pushed them to the back of my mind. I don’t feel like I fit in, and I’ve felt this way many times before but this time it’s different because I have people around me who I know care about me and appreciate me yet my overthinking brain has started to pick apart and devalue my closest friendships, the people who make me happiest. There’s been a bit of drama in my friendship group that I don’t want to get into too much, and it has put a strain on the group but it’s a very complicated issue so it’s hard to explain. Yesterday for the first time in ages I felt truly appreciated and complete because I finally got to spend some time with my best friend which is rare because she is usually with her boyfriend. However it was a sort of bittersweet feeling because I knew it couldn’t last forever and today things went back to normal and I felt really disconnected from her again. It’s not quite as simple as that but yeah that’s the general gist. 

In typical me style I’ve been overthinking everything and feel awful because of it. Most of the time I can get by with not having people that I’m close to that I see often and having to bottle things up but it’s time like this when I realise that I feel so alone and disattached from everyone. The feeling that I’m always the “outsider looking in” within friendship groups emerges from the back of my mind and although this loneliness is something I experience from time to time, it doesn’t get any easier. Sometimes I feel so out of place – out of place amongst my friends, family, in my town and occasionally in my own body. I don’t feel comfortable with these thoughts, they don’t feel like part of me and I feel almost disattached from myself. 

A large part of me thinks that feeling lonely is absolutely ridiculous when I have some good friends who tell me they are there for me but when it comes to it I can’t reach out to them because in my mind they’ve always got something better to do and I am insignificant to them. Maybe my problem is that I am insignificant to myself, that I don’t take my own mental health seriously enough and spare the time to look after myself.

Another thing is that I have been rather stressed lately. Last year I think I handled my stress quite well. I didn’t have breakdowns every week, I didn’t feel like I was drowning in work and I physically I felt better. At the moment, I keep having nightmares or stress dreams where I dream about things that are happening in my life, like the other day I kept reciting lines from my university personal statement in my dream. I also feel exhausted a lot of the time and I’ve been feeling ill a lot too. It’s hard to describe – I don’t feel dizzy as such, it just sort of feels like my head is floating around and I lose my balance sometimes.

I don’t know how to tackle feeling stressed anymore. Everytime I scrape through a stressful day at college or a test I’ve been dreading, another thing gets added to the pile, and another then another. It feels like I’m running on a treadmill and it’s impossible to reach the other side, and just one slip up and I’ll be so behind in everything.

I’m struggling with my coursework for history and geography because I just don’t have the time or motivation to do it. I’ve had to rewrite my geography coursework hypothesises several times because I keep setting myself unrealistic goals and I’m fed up of trawling the internet for hours on end trying to find relevant research. I can’t even write the actual courseowkr because I overthink it so much my writing just waffles on and doesn’t make sense. I feel like because we are drilled to learn to write academically for exams, I can’t write simply or freely anymore and I need my parents to translate and decode what little I have done towards coursework into something that actually makes sense. My personal statement is done and sent off now thank goodness, but only after my dad and I spent four hours picking it apart and rewriting it on Tuesday because I just couldn’t do it myself.

The amount of times I’ve had to stop myself bursting into tears in college is racking up and now it feels as if my friends are walking on eggshells around me afternoon had a breakdown on the bus a few weeks ago. 

All this stress is probably contributing to my feelings of loneliness and I know I have to tackle one to beat the other. I don’t really know how I can do that but I hope I find the motivation to try. It’s my birthday in just over two weeks and I’m already getting anxious about having friends round. I really hope I’m not feeling like this then.

Like I said, this probably sounds really jumbled and I’m sorry for the negativity. If there’s one thing I love most about this community is that you don’t judge people for having bad days or for needing to let their feelings out – I really appreciate how supportive bloggers are. 

On a slightly different note, I do have some exciting blogging plans for the coming season…so stay tuned for that! 

//8 ways to have a positive new attitude!//

Hello! Feels like it’s been a long time since I last wrote on here, but that’s because I’ve had such a jam-packed few days with deadlines flying at me from every direction but such is life. Anyway, today I wanted to share with you some tips for how you can have a positive new attitude.

I think it’s safe to say since starting Year 13, I’ve sort of been in a rutt when it comes to mental health, and I think a lot of you will relate when I say sometimes when we’ve got piles of work to do and hundreds of obligations and to-do lists, taking care of our mental health is not a top priority. But, over the past few weeks I’ve realised that mental health absolutely should be a bigger priority in my life. So, I’ve taken the decision to make some changes to my life and mindset, to hopefully take better care of myself and make sure I’m as happy as I can be.

1. Communication is KEY

As a naturally shy person, I’ve also been lacking on the communication front. But recently I’ve decided that I don’t want to be the person who sits there silently, holding back their opinions for fear of judgement as I have important opinions to share and you do too. If you’re sat their thinking, no one cares what you think then you’re wrong because you don’t know how people are going to react to what you have to say unless you take the leap and say it. I’m not saying you should be in polite and say anything on your mind, but you should definitely be scared to voice your opinion in class discussions, to ask the teacher for help, to talk to those people who you’re like sort-of-friends-with-but-do-they-really-lile-me-because-we’ve-only-talked-like-once because trust me, the worst thing that can happen is that someone decides not to reply to you which is their loss. Honestly, for the last few weeks I’ve made every effort to communicate with people around me as much as possible. I’ve joked around with my friends, I approached my teachers, I talked to people I don’t usually talk to, I met new people simply because I was engaged in conversation with my friends and other people decided to come and join in too, without knowing us. It was great. I felt so included and so, so much more confident as I kept reminding myself that it’s just talking and I talk to people every day so I don’t need to make a big deal out of it. Finding the confidence to be less shy and quiet is hard though, so if you need a little bit of help with this like I do, when you’re in class or in big groups of people, just try to focus on talking to one person at a time and pretend the others and their and that they don’t think twice about what you’re saying – or the fact you’re talking – because 9 times out of 10 they don’t.

2. Smiling makes you happy. FACT.

Okay I don’t know all the ~science-y~ stuff behind it, but I do know that we associate smiling with feeling happy and positive emotions. Therefore, I try to smile as much as possible to help me get into a better mindset. It probably sounds really cheesy, but honestly starting of each morning my smiling at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself you’re going to have a good day is a great way to start off the day. I don’t know about you butI often feel like my natural face is quite glum-looking and often I think this makes me less approachable as apposed to someone who smiles a lot, so I try to be as smile-y as possible at college to make me feel happier but also make myself appear happier so I feel more confident in myself and socialising.

3. Music makes the soul sing.

My sister has this quote on her bedroom door, and it’s so true. Sometimes I can get so caught up in work, I realise I haven’t listened to the radio or music on my phone for weeks, which is not good! When I listen to music, I genuinely feel a lot happier, relaxed and at ease. It’s something to take your mind off life, and you can let go a bit and sing along.to your favourite tunes. I’m not saying you should listen to music all the time because it might lose it’s effectiveness, but maybe next time your feeling a bit low, stick the radio on or trawl through Spotify, or even have music playing in the background when your studying.

4. Take life one day at a time.

I’ve always found this advice cliché and brushed it off as one of those things people say that doesn’t actually work, but really I’ve found it to be quite useful. By sort of compartmentalising days, it helps me to make sure each day is a little more positive than the previous. For example, if you have a bad day, that’s okay, but try to wake up with the mindset that tomorrow is a new day and you can live it out as if yesterday hadn’t happened, if that makes sense. Basically don’t let bad days blur into bad weeks or months.

5. Write out your thoughts.

When I was younger I used to use diaries to decode my thoughts and emotions, and find a way forward, but somewhere in my teenage years I decided to stop doing this and try to bottle things up, which is not good. I recently started bullet journalling, and I’ve found it to be a really helpful tool to get me to open up and write about my feelings, which I totally wasn’t expecting. Having a space where I can physically write things down allows me to declutter my mind, and I feel like my thoughts have somewhere to belong as my bullet journal is sort of documenting my journey through life. Obviously writing stuff down doesn’t have the same effect as talking to people about issues, but sometimes you don’t want to share everything that’s bothering you, and doing exercises like this can help to remind you that you are strong and have control over your emotions without having to rely on others for help.

6. Positive reminders are underrated.

Somehow through trawling through the internet last week, I discovered Shine Text, which is basically a “bot” that sends you positive reminds and strategies to meet a goal (which you set e.g. building confidence) every morning via message. You can either subscribe via text or Facebook messenger, and honestly it has made such a difference to my mental health already. I’ve learnt so much about how to better look after myself, and so many coping strategies, it’s great! Aside from that, it’s really nice to have little positive reminders each morning, as sometimes you’re too tired or stress to remind yourself to think positively. I’d highly recommend!

7. Give yourself something to look forward to each week.

Since starting year 13 I’ve been really working hard at making sure I have something planned each week that I can look forward to. That way, it’s easier to focus on something nice that will be happening that  week and give yourself something to look forward to, and puts you in the mindset of rewarding yourself as you start to think “if I do this homework and that revision etc, I can do treat myself”. A few things I’ve done so far have been going shopping with friends, going to galleries and even just grabbing a coffee. This is also a really good tip as it makes sure you schedule in a time each week to relax and take your mind of things.

8. Celebrate your achievements, however small!

It’s so easy to overlook our successes, especially in school when your main focus is getting grades so everything else feels irrelevant,but the more you start to take notice and be proud of the little things you’ve overcome, the better you will feel. Sometimes it can be challenging to feel positive all the time but you should definitely make an effort to think about and recognise little positive things you do each day to give them value. 
Well that’s all I can think of for now, but if you have any tips to share, please do so below! I’ll hopefully be posting more frequently now I’ve adjusted to my new timetable and the year 13 workload, so until the next time, goodbye!