Mental health tips for female students

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Health Assured team

31 January 2023

Many factors can impact women’s mental health. And as a student, you might be familiar with some of them. 

Periods can have various side effects relating to mood and energy levels, and many people also find that contraception can interfere with their mental state.

Other factors that can affect women’s health include pregnancy, cervical cancer, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)—just to name a few. Some of the statistics on women’s health show that:

  • Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety than men.
  • Over a quarter (26%) of young women aged between 16–24 years old report having a common mental health problem in any given week.
  • One in five women compared with one in eight men have a mental disorder.

From the statistics, we can see that females are at a greater risk of mental health conditions. So we must take steps to protect mental health. Approaching the situation proactively can help you keep your wellbeing in check. So we’ve put together our top mental health tips for female students below.

Meditation & yoga

Research shows that both meditation and yoga can have healing benefits for mental health. Both meditation and yoga have breathing at their core, and this can have incredibly calming effects.

Yoga combines movement with mindful breathing and encourages you to focus on your body, which can be a fantastic tool to help you connect with yourself and calm down any bodily symptoms you might be experiencing. You’ll also be moving your muscles, which will release mood-boosting chemicals. Because of this, yoga can be as effective as medication for treating depression.

Meditation comes in different forms, but the essence is to be present and focus on your breathing. This focus can be extremely helpful when you’re experiencing anxiety in the moment. Anxiety triggers the fight or flight response, which causes your heart rate to intensify and your breathing to become rapid and shallow. Engaging in conscious breathing exercises will allow your heart rate to slow down and your breathing to return to normal.  

Find your support circle

Having a good support circle around you and ensuring you engage daily with social connections is essential to maintaining good mental health. Try to broaden your circle by studying with classmates, joining sports clubs or attending events on campus. If you aren’t a sociable person, don’t worry. The key is quality, not quantity. You want to have a good circle of people around you, who you can rely on in times of need and open up with about your emotions.

Try something new

If you’re feeling down or stuck in a rut, one of the best things you can do is try something new. Trying something new opens your eyes to a different environment, helps you interact with new people and open your mind to new ideas. Research shows that this feeling of novelty can bring about positive emotions and reduce negative ones.

Cut back on social media 

Increased social media usage can affect your life in many ways, from disturbing your sleep pattern to increased risk of loneliness, self-harm and feeling inadequate about your life or appearance.  

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help

The ups and downs of life take their toll on all of us from time to time. But you don’t have to go through hard times alone. Reach out to your college or university to see what support is available.

If you have a Student Assistance Programme with Health Assured, you can call our helpline at any time. Our counsellors are here to support you every step of the way. Find your helpline number in the My Healthy Advantage App or online portal.

Women's Mental Health

Watch this special podcast episode dedicated to women's mental health. Our head of Clinical Support, Kayleigh Frost, speaks to counsellor Victoria Harrison about the specific issues and barriers that women face when it comes to talking about and getting help for their mental health both in and out the workplace.

How can you support your female students with mental health?

Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provides guidance on mental health in the workplace. We can help you create a safe, productive workspace that supports all students.

We can also support neurodiverse employees with any problems they might be facing in their professional or professional lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.

If you have any questions, call us on 0800 206 2532

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