As tensions rise across the U.K with the ever-shifting political climate, possibilities for tuition fee increases and all that is problematic with the US right now , the rise of decreasing mental health in this country and the west is developing further and further than its already fervent existence. 1 in 4 people in the UK have had or will experience a mental health issue (Mind.com), inclusive of depression, anxiety, and intense phobias, disorders and illnesses.
Working in parallel with personal therapy, medication (depending on personal beliefs) and counselling, there are many aspects within the food and culinary world that can be of extensive help to forming a positive outlook on the world and oneself. Mental health issues can render you to feel exceedingly isolated from the world around you, and especially at uni, with the stress of deadlines, exams, revision, working, extra-curricular activities, a social surrounding, all while attempting to remember to take time for yourself, is overwhelming for so many of us.
To help aid this isolation across London, taking into consideration the extremely high level of pollution in the city, it is also important to realise how much impact we can have in helping our environment while simultaneously relieving the many tension of student city lifestyle. Mental health charity, Mind.org.uk run eco-therapy projects throughout London that you can get involved in. Partaking in gardening is proven to help relieve personal tensions and anxieties, what more could we want at stressful times like this!
In addition to these workshops and classes, there are also many ways in which we can give us positive change through nature and cooking. Taking the age-old practice of watching and following along a cooking television can help you find a skill/hobby, while feeling engaged and important, relieving the silent nature that cooking can have; even playing music while cooking can lift the spirits a little! It is also proven that having plants around the house, even if it’s a a plant like cactus that doesn’t need too much maintenance, is beneficial to mental health and feelings of productivity and positivity.
Taking small steps are still steps in the bigger picture of positive mental health, and each person’s journey is different, so find your positivity in different ways, explore the nature around you and see for yourself if it works. You can find so many positive changes and ways to not feel so isolated or alone. Find other ways to get involved in positive mental health changes on minds website, www.mind.org.uk.
Plus there are many services on campus that is a little closer to home and much more tailored to the university experience. www.qmul.ac.uk/counsellingservices
(Remember: No problem is too small. Whether it’s essay stress, family stress, financial worry, or simply problems with your flatmates, there is always someone to talk to and get help from.)