Tomorrow is University Mental Health Day. This is a national day to raise awareness of mental health in students and to offer support and information for those going through a mental health problem. Did you know that as many as 1 in every 4 people experience some kind of mental health issue in any given year?

Being at university can be a very stressful experience, and sometimes, the best thing to do is just put things on hold and go and de-stress. There are lots of ways of de-stressing, and lots of cheap ways of doing this in Southampton.

Southampton is full of green areas, so exploring them can be a great way to relax, all for free! Whether you’re taking a walk across the Common or exploring one of the many parks that are around, there’s a lot of different places to go. It is also well known that getting out in the fresh air can really improve your mood, and if you’re feeling particularly energetic, turning this exploration into a jog or run will release even more endorphins which will contribute to being even happier!

Another way of de-stressing for free is exploring some of the sites in the city centre. Beyond the realms of West Quay, Southampton has a lot of history. Whether you want to follow the stone walls around town, or explore some of the other bits of history, such as anything related to the Titanic setting sail, it’s another great way of getting out of your house, de-stressing, and learning about local culture!

You can also attend a Student Minds Positive Minds course. Student Minds is the national student-focussed mental health organisation, and there is a branch here in Southampton. They have lots of courses available that can help you to de-stress by understanding what it is that is causing you the stress. They also put on group sessions where you can go and talk through your issues, thus relieving you of any stress you may have.

Finally, within the union you could try out one of the many societies or student groups that we have. Not only do these offer you something entirely different to do, they can often provide a way of meeting new people, gaining new skills, and can make you feel relaxed.

You can find a full list on the Union website, so take a look and see if there’s anything that you could go to, there really is something for everyone!

Don’t forget about our Advice Centre if you would prefer to talk to someone. We have trained counsellors that can give you FREE and impartial advice and support about a whole range of issues. You can contact the Centre to find out more here.