The Looming Winter Lockdown Means Mental Health Trouble for Millions of Graduates Across the UK, But Hopefully These Tips Can Help You Find Some Happiness
Let’s not beat around the bush here: lockdown has been awful for everyone’s mental health. But graduates have been hit especially hard with disappointment and heartbreak. The winter lockdown isn’t going to be any kinder to our mental health, but hopefully these tips help.
Lots of our hopes for a surge in recruitment were ruined when the government announced an extended lockdown. But everyone seems to be ignoring the mental health crisis that comes with staying inside, alone and afraid in the winter months. We aren’t.
Unemployment, cancelled graduation and loneliness don’t mix well. But despite an extended winter lockdown and our dashed plans for the future, hopefully we can all find some hope and happiness with these mental health tips.
Mental Health Tips for Graduates in an Extended Winter Lockdown
1 – Recognise it
We’ve all heard the saying ‘it’s okay not to be okay‘ and it sounds so corny but it’s true. I’m not going to tell you how to feel but we’re living through a global pandemic – it would be a little weird to be perfectly fine.
Admitting that you feel down can be really hard for some of us. I’ve found that the men in my life struggle with it the most because they think they have to be fine. But emotions aren’t just for women. Men can feel down and still be just as strong, capable and masculine as they were before.
You can’t address an issue without looking it square in the face. So tell me: how do you feel?
2 – Take a Break
We’ve already told you how important it is to take a break from the job hunt – but we’re saying it again! Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, the grind for a job is awful right now. It’s okay to feel tired, down and uninspired.
Take a decent break for a few weeks every now and then. You’re really not going to miss out on your dream job – and if you do, another one will pop up when you’re back in the swing of things.
Speaking of taking a break, are you working a customer service role while looking for your dream job? Do you need some time off?
Even if you’ve run out of holiday time, you can still get some time off from your job for your mental health. Just book in to see your doctor and explain how you feel. They can write a note to your workplace and order some time off.
It might only be a couple of weeks, but it could make a big difference.
3 – Reach Out
Try to reach out to a friend or family member every day. It can seem like a chore at first, but this is practically guaranteed to make you feel better.
I know it sounds obvious, but having a proper conversation with someone can make you feel less alone. And odds are, the person on the other end of the phone is probably feeling quite lonely too.
If you don’t feel like you can reach out to anyone, please speak to the NHS. This link should help you figure out who to call.
4 – Do Something
The job hunt can be a bit of a boring tick-box chore. Doing it every day for months on end is bound to cause burnout. The best remedy I can think of is to do something creative.
We all know that person who picked up a ridiculous hobby last lockdown – crocheting, embroidery or knitting – but have you thought about giving it a go? Even just grabbing a pen and some paper can be the gateway drug to a lifetime doodling habit.
Having something creative to do every day can be amazing for your mental health. You never know, it could be fun too.
5 – Turn it off
Turn off the news. Close Twitter. Stop looking at Facebook.
You’re not going to miss anything big that your mum won’t tell you about anyway.
Constantly reading updates and watching the news isn’t going to do anything except make you anxious. Turn it off.
6 – Plan for the Future
A nice way to feel hopeful about life is to think about the future. I know that making a plan might feel pointless right now – our plans have already been dashed once this year – but having one can be really inspiring.
It doesn’t have to be a strict yearly life plan, but figuring out where you want to be and how to get there can be a quick way to feel hopeful again.
If your plan for the future involves a job in tech or media, sign up to DigitalGrads. We’re still constantly getting new entry level jobs come in despite the extended lockdown, so when you’re ready give us a chance.
Graduates have it tough but we really hope that you make it through the winter lockdown with these mental health tips. See you on the other side!