Mental Health Awareness Week - May 15th-21st #ToHelpMyAnxiety15th May 2023
Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 is from 15th – 21st May and has a theme of anxiety. Anxiety is a normal human emotion that the majority of people experience throughout their lives, it is one of the most common mental health challenges many of us face. If manageable, anxiety can be a useful emotion that can help motivate and engage us with a task or activity. However, sometimes anxiety can get out of control and become a mental health problem; if you feel that this is something that is happening to you then contact your GP or reach out to some of the organisations that are there to help, we’ll include links and contact information throughout this blog.
Student life has often been portrayed in popular media as carefree and fun but it can be a really anxious time for many of us. Feelings of anxiety can be caused by many things, from exam stress and relationships to issues that are prominent at the moment such as the cost of living and climate crises. Anxiety is a very personal emotion, triggered by different things in each of us. Here we will recommend some reading for a few of the common causes of anxiety as well as some books to assist in coping with anxiety and support good Mental Health in general.
Exam stress is an obvious cause of anxiety for students and will affect many people at some time (I still have anxiety dreams about sitting an exam in a subject I’ve never studied years after I finished my degree!). Below are some books you may find helpful if you are currently experiencing worry around exams; your academic institution should also be able to offer advice and this piece by the Mental Health charity Mind has some great tips 14 ways to beat exam stress - Mind
The exam skills handbook : achieving peak performance
Feeling prepared and in a good position to achieve your best is a great way to alleviate some of the stress of exams. This book has easy to follow strategies and guidance for long-term planning and last-minute revision so will hopefully be helpful whatever stage you are at.More Details
50 ways to manage stress
A practical book to help students manage stress throughout their time at university. With lots of inspiring and supportive ideas to make stress-management part of your everyday routines.More Details
Concerns and worries about the environment are prevalent for lots of us at the moment and Climate Anxiety is increasingly being covered in the media. Being fearful about the environment and the impact we continue to have on our planet is something that unsurprisingly can affect younger people a great deal. If you are unsure about what Climate Anxiety is there are lots of interesting and informative articles like this one from Earth.Org What is Climate Anxiety? | Earth.Org
There is lots and lots of advice and opinion out there on what we can and should be doing to support the planet, some of which may only serve to deepen feelings of concern. The books I’ve selected below offer helpful and practical information and tips on what action individuals and groups can take to protect the environment. If you are feeling high levels of anxiety about the climate crisis then it may be best to seek out advice from trusted friends or professionals; as a starting point this article from Mental Health UK may be helpful What is ‘Climate Anxiety’, and what can you do about it? - Mental Health UK (mentalhealth-uk.org)
There is no Planet B : a handbook for the make or break years
Berners-Lee, Mike (Lancaster University)
This book looks at the big picture on environmental challenges we face and offers advice and thoughts on what we can do as individuals. Full of hope, this is an enjoyable and helpful read.More Details
A life on our planet : my witness statement and a vision for the future
With statistics and scientific information this is an informative, accessible and at times shocking read. An honest, cautious yet hopeful book from the wonderful David Attenborough.More Details
The current Cost of Living Crisis is a big cause of worry and anxiety for many people. Finances as a student can be challenging in a variety of ways; you may be responsible for budgeting for the first time or be focused on making your loan last through until the end of term. Or you may be thinking about when you are no longer in full-time education and how you will manage your money when you are working. There is lots of support out there for those struggling with financial concerns, from family and friends to organisations such as Citizens Advice and Mental Health charities. Mind have a useful piece on their website about Money and Mental Health Money and mental health - Mind
Stay financially healthy while you study : make the most of your student experience
This book offers practical advice and tips for managing your money and navigating the unique pressures and opportunities that come with student life. A quick read to ease financial stress and help you become confident with money.More Details
What they don't teach you about money : habits to get you unstuck and on the road to financial freedom
A straightforward and accessible guide to taking control of your money. With no confusing jargon, money myths debunked, tips to get money working for you and even a few laughs this is one to help you understand your relationship with money and build financial confidence.More Details
How we view ourselves and how we think others view us can be a cause of anxiety for some people. Feeling good about ourselves, whether that is how we look, our gender identity or how we manage our relationships or our lives can be an important element of taking care of our mental health and helping to keep worries at bay. Happiness and healthy self-esteem looks different for each of us and there are lots of great books available to support positivity, recommended here are just a few.
The secret to happy
Geordie Shore’s Vicki Pattison shares her experiences and wisdom about a variety of topics including overcoming heartbreak and managing her mental health. An uplifting guide to help you find your own kind of happiness.More Details
Body positive power
Crabbe, Megan Jayne
An inspiring and motivating read that reminds us that our worth isn’t defined by what size of clothing we wear. A book that celebrates being good enough just as you are.More Details
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck : A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
A blunt and hilarious guide to figuring out what is important to you and what you should stop caring about. A frank and honest book about how to stop worrying about the small stuff.More Details
There doesn’t need to be a specific cause for anxiety, sometimes we can feel overwhelmed and anxious about seemingly small things or may not even know why we feel so worried. There are books, articles and advice out there for every kind of mental health issue and the advice that is helpful will differ for everyone – your mental health and what causes you concern is individual so finding what works for you is important. Below are some of the books I’ve enjoyed and found useful at various times, there are lots of great advice and self-help books as well as Mental Health support out there if you feel you need it so take some time to find what works for you.
Notes on a nervous planet
From bestselling author Matt Haig this book looks at the ways modern life can stress us out and is relatable, accessible and filled with tips on what to do. Deeply personal and heartfelt this is a book that makes you feel you can cope a little better.More Details
Why has nobody told me this before?
Written by clinical psychologist and TikTok sensation Dr. Julie Smith this is full of bite-size wisdom about many of the things that impact our mental health every day from anxiety to low mood, finding motivation and dealing with criticism. Readers can quickly jump to the section that is relevant to them and find practical and easy solutions.More Details
Feel the fear and do it anyway
This is a real self-help classic that has been offering advice for over 30 years and is still relevant today. Lots of scenarios are explored and the advice will stay with you. An empowering read to help you with whatever life throws at you and keep you moving forward.More Details
Below are just a few websites that may prove helpful if you are currently struggling with your mental health or want to support someone with theirs.
We hope our selection of books will prompt you to take action for yourselves or for your friends and loved ones, and give you the best chance to stay mentally healthy.
Kate, Content Selection Team