This week on The Clinic, Michael and Steph talk about their experiences with troubles at home and share some advice on how to cope with them while at uni. Along with some guest’s stories and advice that the listeners sent in, this show offers support to help you cope with various situations: sick family members, falling out with friends and family and grieving over lost ones.
Here are some ways we found that helped us cope with issues at home:
1. Talk to people: Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk to the people around you and ask for advice. Talking about personal subjects might make you feel vulnerable, but it is good to have a close support system of people who can be there for you and give you an outsiders perspective.
2. Don’t feel guilty leaving people behind: When you move away from home, it is common to gain a new found independence and maturity. If you find you grow apart from your home friends, or realise that someone from home is treating you badly, it is perfectly okay to decide you no longer want them in your life.
3. Use university as a distraction: When things aren’t going well at home, throwing yourself into uni life and friendships can work as a good distraction to make you feel better. Ring home regularly to check up on things, but ultimately while you are at university try to keep life as normal as you can.
4. Call your parents: If you are having issues at home, be that family or friend related, don’t be afraid to call your family and talk it out. Ultimately they should care for you and want the best for you, and therefore will offer what they can to support you.
5. Take it one day at a time: While you are anxious about people at home you might feel absent-minded or helpless. It takes up a lot of energy to worry about something upsetting you, so take things easy. If you find it hard to concentrate on lectures, give yourself the afternoon off to rest. Don’t feel guilty about taking longer to re-charge.
6. Feel all the feelings: Give yourself time to process things. There will be different stages that you go through, so just let yourself go through the waves. If you need to be alone and cry, don’t hold it back. If you need to talk about it with someone, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Being upset is not a weakness, and talking about it takes courage. Your friends and family will respect that.
7. Don’t feel guilty: When something bad is happening to your family at home, it is easy to let yourself feel guilty for not being with them to help. Just know that doing your best at uni and regularly checking up on your family will be massively appreciated. Your family will be proud of you and will look forward to your phone calls.
8. Release your emotions through art: Art therapy is an incredibly useful thing when it comes to understanding powerful emotions, be that through music, painting, dance, baking etc. Doing something productive that you enjoy will channel all your strong feelings and help distract you, making you feel more at ease.
9. Take time out if needed: If you are finding work and lectures too much, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Email your personal tutor and tell them about your circumstances and they can ask lecturers to send you notes and recordings, or the can give you advice on how to get extenuating circumstances on your deadlines and exams. For further advice on this please go to the University website page here.
10. Time will heal your wounds: When something sad happens, especially regarding people we have known most our lives, it can be overwhelming because once happy memories become tinted with sadness (much like in the Disney film ‘Inside Out’). When this happens, just know that it won’t last forever, and all you can do is look after yourself and focus on the future. Eventually the sadness and anxiety will begin to fade away. If you are struggling with the loss of a loved one, the student intranet offers some great advice here.
Disclaimer: We are by no means professions, and are giving advice based on our own experiences and opinions on what we would do in these situations. If you feel affected by anything we talk about on our show, please seek extra help via the university’s services or counselling.
If you are struggling, please look into the support services that the university offers here.
“Ladies, We Need To Talk”
This week Gemma and Steph talked about struggling with the absence of a mother/daughter relationship at uni and how to cope with a situation where you would ordinarily turn to your mum. Whether that be going through a break up, finding your first boyfriend or starting your first day at a new job.
Your time at university is a period in your life filled with massive change. You’ll experience so many milestones and firsts at uni that it can seem terrifying, especially when you have to go through them away from home. No matter how old you are, there are some times when you just need your mum to give you a cuddle and let you know everything is going to be okay. But what do you do when you’re on the opposite side of the country from your mum at a time like this?
The first point of call would be to turn to your friends, they may not understand you like your mum does but they will most definitely try to. Living with people at university gives you the opportunity to build close relationships with your housemates who can then go on to be your support network here at uni and so leaning on them at a time like this can be a great place to look for advice. Go and speak to your housemates/friends them whats up and i’m sure they will do there best to help you out (even if they just give you a cuddle).
However, there are times when you do just need your mum. Times like this are when you just have to call her, Skype her or even try and arrange a visit if you really need it. There is absolutely no shame in calling your mum and asking for help because she will know you better than anyone. Set out time in your day to call your mum and have a proper catch up and don’t hold back, you’ll feel much better afterwards.
Read Gemma’s blog here:
Ladies, We Need To Talk