Mental Health is something that affects each and every one of us at some point in our lives. Our mental Health is something that we need to look after and ensure that we take time out for ourselves. Stressful and unexpected situations can occur at any time, so it is important to be able to talk to those you trust and find a way of coping when these issues arise.

Accept Yourself

Don't be afraid to accept yourself for what you are. Nobody's perfect, we all have our good points and bad points. Many different things including personality, background, race, gender, religion and sexuality make us who we are. Everyone has something to offer and everyone is entitled to respect.

Get Involved

Try to meet more people, build a network of friends and get involved in activities. It makes all the difference in maintaining good mental health. Join a club, socialise more often, do a course - there are many options if you look around.

Keep Active

Try to incorporate regular exercise into your daily or weekly routine - even a 30 minute walk makes a surprising difference. It's most effective on the very days when you don't feel your best so try to make the effort even when you don't feel like it. Group activities are great because everyone helps to motivate each other.

Eat Healthily

A healthy diet will not only help the way you feel, but also the way you think. Try to eat regularly and aim to eat a balanced diet every day. Good food is essential for your mind and body to work properly.(www.safefood.eu) (www.indi.ie).

Keep in Contact

As we are busy getting on with our lives we may forget to stay in touch with our friends. Good friends will always be there for each other and we should make the effort to maintain contact. We don't have to cope on our own all the time.

Relax

Try to make time to relax. Fit things into your day that help you unwind like listening to music, reading, watching TV or treating yourself to a luxurious bubble-bath. Find something that you enjoy that works for you. In a busy workday even 10 minutes of downtime away from your desk can help you manage stress better.

Do Something Creative

All kinds of creative things can help when you are feeling anxious or low. Activities or hobbies like writing, painting, cooking and gardening can absorb your attention so much that you forget all other negative thoughts. Experiment until you find something that suits you.

Don't Binge Drink

Drinking alcohol to deal with problems will only make things worse. It is best to drink only in moderation and to avoid binge-drinking. Overdoing it can damage your health and won't help deal with the cause of your worries. Just the opposite - excess alcohol can increase anxiety and lead to depression.

Talk About It

Anyone can feel isolated and overwhelmed by problems. Talking about it always helps. Even though sometimes we may feel so bad we don't want to bother friends or family, just remember that they care and would want to help. If you feel unable to talk to those close to you, then you can call a helpline such as the Samaritans - 1850 60 90 90.

Ask For Help

If you were feeling physically sick you would see a doctor - and the same applies to mental health. Don't think that just because a mental health issue can't be seen it doesn't count, or that you are wasting the Doctor's time. It's OK to accept you may not always be able to cope. Mental health issues are much more common than you might think, even among people who may seem strong. We all need help from time to time.

Depression

We all may experience short-lived feelings of sadness in response to disappointments in everyday life. Depression as an illness is more severe and not short lived. It may be associated with negative thoughts such as suicidal ideals, which require urgent treatment. Depressive illnesses affects 1 in 4 of us at any one time.

What Causes Depression?

Depression is frequently preceded by setbacks in life, such as bereavement, relationship, or financial difficulties, problems at work or medical illness. An inherited tendency towards depression is also a major factor.

How To Recognise Depression

If 5 or more of the following symptoms are present for more than 2 weeks, it is probably a depressive episode:

  • Feeling - depressed, sad, anxious or bored
  • Energy - tired, fatigued, everything in effort, slowed movements
  • Sleep - waking during the night or too early in the morning, oversleeping or trouble getting to sleep
  • Thinking - slow thinking, poor concentration, forgetful or indecisive
  • Interest - loss of interest in food, work, sex and life seems dull
  • Value - reduced sense of self-worth, low self-esteem or guilt
  • Aches - headaches, chest or other pains or palpation's without a physical basis
  • Live - not wanting to live, suicidal thoughts or thinking of death

If you, or someone you know may need any mental health services you can contact your Welfare Officer, Lisa on 066-7144137/083-1122737 or any mental health organisation.

Contact:

Aware, 72 lower lesson st, 01-6617211, Helpline: 1890 303 302, aware.ie
Samaritans, 112 Marlborough St, 01-8727700, Helpline: 1850 60 90 90 www.samaritans.ie
Lisa Dolan - Vice President Welfare, 066-7144137 - welfare@ittraleesu.ie

Stress Management

Stress comes about when there are so many demands and just not enough resources to deal with them all effectively. Stress in small amounts can be a positive thing and many people use it to drive them. However, if it becomes overwhelming it can have serious negative consequences for your physical and mental well-being. Tips for dealing with Stress:

Exercise regularly - This will keep you healthy, and more importantly will help you release those mighty mouse hormones called endorphins all around your body making you feel all happy inside.
Learn to say 'no' - you've got enough on your plate. People will have to accept that everyone needs time to themselves.
Prioritise - When you've done this, you can better manage your time and fit in most of the things you need to do in your week and not feel too stretched. Remember to plan for recreation too, and not to let study take over your life.
Mind yourself All - Nighters and dosing up on coffee and Red Bull, while inevitable, isn't good for you. Be sure to eat properly and sleep well before an exam to make sure you're on top form.
Let it go (Let it goooooo!!!! -sorry!) - This applies to exams and life in general. You'll almost always do better than you think you will.
Have someone you can talk to/rant at - It can be really helpful to get someone else's perspective on things and get things off your chest.
Laugh - Being too serious is bad for your health. Look what happened to Father Stone..
Be optimistic - Positive things happen to positive people.
Talk to us - If you feel you're struggling drop into Lisa your Welfare Officer.

How to handle exam stress at peak time:

  • It's a cliche, but try not to leave everything until the last minute. You'll thank yourself for it.
  • Take breaks, plan your time, and plan your revision.
  • Don't panic. Exams will come and go. Just do your best.
  • Familiarise yourself with past exam papers in good time. You'll be far more comfortable with an exam paper when you understand and recognise the format, know how much time to spend on each question, and so on.
  • It's often a good idea to study in groups with your friends. This way you will probably realise that you're not as badly set as you think, and hanging out with friends is also an excellent pre-exam stress relief. Everyone learns from experience, is that one of the best things you can do is to get a good night's sleep before your exam, i.e. at least four hours, if not eight. This will help you keep alert during the test, and aid your brain in processing the bits you have learned.
  • Think carefully about what you eat and drink before your exam. Eat Weetabix and bananas on the morning of the exam, for a slow and steady release of carbs to keep you on your toes for the day. Avoid toast as this will only provide a short-term boost and will cause a mini-sugar crash.

If you, or someone you know may need any mental health services you can contact your Welfare Officer, Lisa on 066-7144137/083-1122737 or any mental health organisation.

Again, keep reminding yourself, they're only exams!

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About the ITTSU

We are made up of three full time officers and six part time officers, who will serve a term of 12 months. All officers have been elected by the students of the Institute.

This means that we have gone through many of the same experiences you all will go through so you should feel comfortable to come to us with any query at all and hopefully we can make your experience here in Tralee as enjoyable as possible.

IT, Tralee Students' Union are proud members of the USI (Union of Students in Ireland)

Do you want more info? Give Us a Call

If for some reason you cannot seem to contact us online or you are not on campus please call the union on one of the below numbers or feel free to drop into any of the offices.

066-7144138 | 066-7144137

IT Tralee Student's Union