Treat yourself with the same kindness you would give to a loved one
University Mental Health Week is happening 10-17 October 2020 with World Mental Health Day on 10 October that aims to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.
Looking after your mental health and wellbeing helps us to stay resilient in the face of challenges. This year the theme is self-compassion.
Self-compassion is acknowledging when we are struggling and responding to ourselves with kindness and care. It’s a good reminder to treat yourself with the same care and kindness you would to your friends and family or someone you care deeply about.
When life is challenging, most of us tend to be very harsh or critical of ourselves. Although this may seem effective or ‘motivating’ in the short-term, self-criticism in the long-term often negatively impacts our mood, sense of self-worth, and confidence. On the other hand, practising self-compassion can help us:
- cope better with stress and anxiety
- enhance motivation
- stay resilient in the face of setbacks and failure
- approach challenges with curiosity and openness
- more effectively manage difficult feelings in general
When we are able to acknowledge that having struggles and making mistakes are a part of being human, this can radically change how we view difficulty and failure. When you’re less afraid of failing, you’re more likely to try again and learn from mistakes.
How to practise self-compassion
- It’s OK if practising self-compassion feels foreign or unnatural at first. Remember that self-compassion is a skill that can be developed and strengthened with practice over time.
- The easiest way to start is to consider: If someone you loved came to you in pain and shared with you the struggles they are having – what are some kind words you might say to them? What are some kind things you might do for them? Try saying these words and doing these things for yourself.
- There are many more ways to develop this worthwhile skill and experience the difference it can make in your life.
How to be kind to yourself webinar
Understand what self-compassion is (and is not!), and how this approach can enhance motivation and resilience. Learn practical ways you can show yourself a little kindness when you need it most.
1-2 PM Tuesday 6 October
Managing family and societal expectations webinar
'My family spent a small fortune to support my studies, so I have to make them proud.'
Does this sound familiar? We carry expectations from society, people around us, and ourselves. Although expectations can motivate us, they can also sometimes overwhelm us. Join this webinar to share your experiences and explore ways to effectively manage expectations.
2.30 - 3.30PM Wednesday 14 October
Health and support services
Maintaining a healthy life balance can be challenging, especially when juggling study, work and a social life. But remember you are not in this alone. Make sure you are aware of the support services on offer at the University. Access them throughout the year even if you're on a leave of absence, as long as you have a current student card you can still get the following support:
Need further support?
Within and outside the University, there are a range of health services designed to help anyone feeling down or needing support.
- If you are looking for someone to chat, you can visit a eheadspace centre or chat to someone from the Kids Helpline, Lifeline or Headspace.
- For resources and information on mental health and depression visit beyondblue.
- If you identify as LGBTI and want to speak with a trained counsellor, call Switchboard for free.