This post is written by a member of the Debut Student Publisher Network. Read on for Beth’s tips on how to cheer up your housemates:
University is hard. Leaving university is hard. Both finding a grad job then actually having a grad job is hard.
You know what else is hard? Washing up. Somehow dragging yourself round a supermarket for a food shop. Maintaining good grades, exercising and eating well, all whilst keeping your room clean and remembering to water your plants/ring your parents/reply to emails… I’m overwhelmed just listing all of this stuff out.
If you feel like you’ve been struggling, look around. You’re probably living in a house full of people going through exactly the same. Even if you’re managing this week, odds are that someone is falling behind. Just under eight out of ten students (78%) have experienced mental health issues in the last year, according to an NUS survey last winter. The first step is self-care, and the next is speaking about it, and looking after others. So whether you think your flatmate is having a bad day, a bad week, or a bad few months (it happens, it’ll be ok) here are some small things you can do to cheer up your housemates.
Sometimes it’s just good to take a break and spend some quality, casual time together. So grab some popcorn, (or the baked goods you might have made) and find a film on Netflix. Spend a few hours laughing (or crying if it’s a sad one) and take some well earned time off.
Bake your troubles away
The Great British Bake Off might have ended 😭, but you can still take inspo from Mary Berry and bake something for your housemates, or even get them to help! Fairy cakes soothe the soul, and brownies lift moods instantly – it’s a fact.
Walk it off
Exercise is often over-looked as a mood booster (running certainly doesn’t make me happy, just sweaty and distressed) but light exercise such as a nice walk around the park will release feel good endorphins. Or take it to the next level and try out some Youtube exercise videos for a laugh. This 30 day Yoga Challenge is brilliantly calming and can be done in the comfort of your lounge.
Maybe go a step further and check out some cool, quirky sports societies together? Quidditch seems like a great way to get your housemate bonding time on.
Buy them a treat
A lot of these ideas seem to involve food, but eating well can be so important to elevate your mood. So you could buy your housemate a salad to cheer them up…but perhaps something indulgent that they really love might work even better. A share bar of Galaxy does wonders. As does a bunch of flowers. Gypsophila or Carnations are cheap, last a while, and will make your friend smile every day as they bloom.
Help them with chores
If life is getting difficult, small tasks can start to build up and seem impossible to complete. Though you can’t read a uni book for someone or write their essay, you can help with the little things. The surprise when someone has done your washing up is surely one of the best feelings in the world, plus it will make the entire kitchen look cleaner. Win win!
One word: Tea
When in doubt make tea. Or two cups of tea. That, coupled with a lending ear could help anybody. Letting someone talk about their problems can do wonders to improve their outlook. There’s something comforting about a hot drink, especially in the winter, that I strongly believe can lessen if not solve most minor panics.
And when all fails, drink
It’s not healthy, and definitely not always a good idea. However as much as you can try to be productive and sort out your problems, sometimes the attitude of I’m going to go out and have an amazing time with my pals can help. This can especially be needed if your housemate is stuck in their own head and is getting bogged down with a workload. Studying can wait till morning, so dance the night away.
What else are housemates for?
Feature Image © Comedy Central