It’s that time of the year again when you’re either starting (or going back to) university or college. Once you’ve moved yourself in, met your flatmates and course mates, settled down it’s easy to forget about your health. I remember when I started my degree I didn’t put going to the doctors and signing up to the doctors on the first thing for me to do but it’s so important. This year Canesten have launched a new campaign called ‘Stay Fresh Freshers’ which is all about reducing the stigma around intimate health and get students to looking after their intimate health better while they’re at university. This can also be applied to any aspect of your life so here are 5 things we need to talk about more.
1. Mental Health
According to Mind, 1 in 4 of young people in the UK have suicidal thoughts or are dealing with a mental health issue. I think this is so important to recognise, especially when you are living on your own for the first time. University isn’t always the easiest of places and with deadlines, long hours, reading, socialising it’s so easy to ware yourself out. Despite having a great time doing my degree, I also suffered from anxiety and this made my deadlines a struggle to complete at times. I had counselling during the third year of my degree and it really helped me balance things out, stress less and also figure out ways to reduce my feelings of anxiety. It’s so important to seek the help you need, whether it’s talking to your university wellbeing department, doctor or even just finding the right information online to help you. I found that CBT really worked quite well for me and continues to do so.
2. Intimate Health
I think intimate health is a bit of a taboo subject in the blogging world but it’s something everyone deals with. While you’re at university it’s so important to be regularly tested for STI’s as so many STI’s now you don’t actually show any symptoms to recognise them yourself (despite a lot of the time they can be treated so easily with a pill/antibiotics). This year, Canesten have launched a campaign called ‘Stay Fresh, Freshers!’ which is all about promoting awareness and get rid of the embarrassment when it comes to your intimate health whether it be an STI or Cystitis which affects up to 40% of women. I’ve had it in the past and it’s not the most pleasant of things but it can easily be treated. When it comes to home treatments (in case you don’t want to go to the doctors) CanesOasis helps reduce pain and stinging but if your symptoms feel severe, always go and see a doctor. CanesOasis is a two day course for symptoms of Cystitis which is so easy to use (you just dissolve the powder with water and drink it) and it's available from all good supermarkets and pharmacies.
3. Eating well
Okay so I think we’re all guilty of having cheesy chips on the way home from a night out and regretting it in the morning and while you’re at university it’s so hard to ‘eat well’. I was a lot better when it came to my third year though! I loved using Lean In 15, Clean Eating Alice and The Lean Machines to experiment with cooking. One thing I would recommend if you’re on a budget though and still want to eat healthy is frozen vegetables (they’re literally a life saver!)
4. Having 'Me' Time
When you’re studying all day and working so hard at university and balancing cooking, cleaning and social life it’s hard to set aside some time for yourself. Whether it’s reading a book, your favourite blog (obvs mine!), watching your favourite TV show or just having a pamper evening, it’s so important to take that time to yourself. One of my favourite things I did during my time at university to have some time to myself was to set aside one evening a week when I had a pamper session. I’d use a hair mask, face mask, paint my nails the full works and I felt SO much better for doing so.
5. Sexual Health
While you’re at university your situation might change, you might go from a long-term relationship to being single, you could be dating but it’s so important to find the right contraception to take. I first went on the pill about 2 and a half years ago and it took me a while to find the right pill for me. I’ve thought about the implant (as that seems to be an easier option) but due to taking pills everyday anyway, I’ve gone for the pill. It’s so important that you get yourself regularly checked and to make sure you have no scares. I found the service at my university so easy and the doctors always saw on the same day (or the day after), which really helped when I had a busy schedule.
Have you got any tips? How did you look after yourself as a student? How are you looking after yourself as a student? I think it’s really important to talk about these things and thank you Canesten for helping me do so.