Being ill can often become a disruption to your day-to-day life. Whether you have a chronic condition, or you’ve just come down with a common cold, it can be easy to miss out on university when you’re under the weather. If you’re ill with a mental health condition, it can be especially easy to miss out on lectures, seminars, labs or workshops. I’ve been in and out of hospital since the start of the year, so I’d like to share my coping guide with you all!
1. Communication is Key
+ If you do need to miss anything university related, tell a relevant member of staff. This year I’ve had an incredible level of support from the English department, who have kept in contact with me whilst I’ve undergone a pretty horrible time with my illness. You’ll avoid being sent attendance letters and failing any pieces of coursework if your tutors, leaders and advisors understand what’s happening with your health. On the other hand, speak to your doctors/consultants about your university commitments and they can help you with doctors notes if you need to apply for extenuating circumstances down the line.
+ Looking after yourself is incredibly important when you’re ill! I’m a big believer that eating good will make you feel good, so diet is an important one for a wide range of physical ailments. If your illness is mental health related, then there’s a huge amount of online resources detailing ways you can self-care beyond hot bubble baths, fresh bed sheets and creature comforts like a mug of tea and a book. Although, these are some textbook ideas on how to start improving the way you’re feeling. Again, if it’s physical like a cold, self-care even extends to menial things, such as drinking lots of fluids and resting.
3. Finding the Right Support
+ Whether it’s from university staff or family members, the right support can really get you through the worst of things and help you negotiate university work. It can be your housemate making you soup or your boyfriend taking you to a hospital appointment; anything that helps you to feel better and get you back on the road to recovery is super important. In turn, the support around you will really help you to find a way to fit university in around your health; this semester I’ve had the help of my course leaders, my boyfriend and my family in getting to and from university. It’s also been my friends who have helped motivated me to get the work done when I’ve been feeling less than good in myself!