Studying in the middle of a pandemic is extremely challenging for many. If you’re a college student and you’re struggling to maintain both your emotional wellbeing and your GPA, here are some simple mental health tips that might help you.
1. Stay active
This is especially important now that online school has us sitting down in front of a screen for hours on end, even more so than before. Staying active can be as simple as doing some stretching exercises after you wake up and before you go to bed, going on walks or taking the stairs. It’s a known fact that exercise is as good for your mental health as for your physical health, and it can really help you stay calm and focused on your tasks.
2. Learn relaxation techniques
If your assignments are piling up and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, you might want to take a step back and focus on calming your mind. Look into stress management tools like deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, yoga, art therapy or mindfulness meditation. And if you feel like stress is taking over your life, don’t be afraid to reach out for help from your loved ones or from a professional.
3. Eat well
You can’t focus and perform well academically if your brain and body aren’t getting adequate fuel. Make sure you’re eating at regular times, getting enough vitamins, including fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet and last but not least, staying hydrated. Sometimes, when it feels like you’re in a slump, a quick healthy snack and a large glass of water is all it takes to get you back on track!
4. Get creative
Creating something you’re proud of is a surefire way of boosting your self-esteem and mood! Dabble into creative hobbies like photography, journaling, scrapbooking, painting, drawing, writing, music, or DIY projects. Even if you don’t consider yourself the most artistically inclined person, a creative outlet can do wonders for your mental health.
5. Keep in touch with your loved ones
It’s important to maintain your close relationships during such isolating times. Even when you can’t go out with your friends, family or significant other, a text or video call can go a long way in lifting your mood. Self-isolation isn’t good for anyone, not even for fellow introverts – to maintain your mental health, you need to feel loved and connected!
6. Take breaks from studying
And I mean real breaks – stressing over your unfinished assignments every time you take some time off isn’t the point. Put your class notes aside while you unwind with your comfort movie or new favorite book, and don’t feel ashamed for needing breaks and free time. Although many have started making a lifestyle out of running on zero sleep and five coffees as a college student, that’s an extremely unhealthy mindset and ultimately it’s much better for your mental health to take well-deserved breaks and, most importantly, to rest.