Positive mental health awareness has become a bit of a buzz-phrase recently, but it’s one that matters. It’s great that people are talking more about the importance of mental wellness, making it ok for you to talk about it too – and to focus on the little things you can do to improve your mental health.
The past year has been a whirlwind of change and stress, so it’s not surprising that many students are burning out. Here are a few tips that you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle to keep your mental health in check.
Student tips for positive mental health
1. Prep your week on Sunday
That feeling of being organised and on top of your to-do list is wonderful for your mental health. Planning your week in advance helps you to be realistic about your goals and expectations, and takes the stress out of ‘just winging it’ every day.
2. Prep your meals in advance
There are many benefits to meal planning. Firstly, it removes the stress of having to decide what’s for dinner every night. It saves you time, especially if you chop and refrigerate ingredients ahead of time. Plus, you’re more likely to make healthier choices and eat nutritious food if you plan your meals every week. Healthy food = healthy body = healthy mind.
That’s not to say we’re against the odd spontaneous take out pizza! But make it the exception rather than the rule.
3. Exercise the stress away
It’s well researched and proven science that exercise releases endorphins to make you feel good, making it a great ‘cure’ for the blues. Make time to move your body and you’ll see and feel the benefits. If you’re into sports or running, do that. But even something as simple as taking the dog for a walk is a great way to boost your mood.
4. Get social!
All work and no play? That’s no way to live. You need to connect with your friends and loved ones. At the moment, with the Covid Crisis, you probably can’t socialise in person as much as you would like to. You can still connect over video call though, or meet up for a socially distanced, masks-on cup of coffee at an outdoor venue.
5. Schedule in doing nothing
Yes, you read that right. You really don’t need to be 100% productive 100% of the time. You need and deserve some downtime every week. Reading a book, watching a series, taking a nap – these are all important activities that help your brain and body recharge and recover.
And lastly, if your mental health is truly suffering and it no longer feels like ‘just feeling down’ – seek help. Speak to your family, doctor, student counsellor or someone that you trust to help you find solutions and get you back on track!