We’re all aware of the advantages that education can bring. Raising your income, improving your knowledge, building and developing soft skills, as well as broadening your career prospects are just a few benefits that you can receive along the way. However, to get the most out of your education, it’s crucial that you practice self-care and prioritize your physical and mental health.
Whether you’ve enrolled at a traditional college or university, or you have signed up to an online course, juggling your day to day commitments alongside your studies can be difficult. No matter what you’re studying, or for how long, here are a few things you can do to maintain your physical and mental health as a student.
Prioritize Your Sleep
As a student, it’s crucial that you’re getting enough sleep each night. If you have lectures and seminars to attend the following morning, it’s important that you’re full of energy and drive to help you get the most out of your education. If you struggle with your sleep, you may feel rundown and groggy, which can have a huge impact on your studies.
Thankfully, there are plenty of tips that you can take on board to help ensure you get some much-needed shuteye. Whether it’s by having a soak in the bath before you get into bed, steering clear of caffeine, reducing daytime naps, or avoiding alcohol, there are various things that you can do to help get your body clock back on track.
Keeping yourself fit and healthy throughout your education is essential. If your course requires you to do lots of reading, it’s important that you give yourself regular breaks and get outdoors for some fresh air. We’re all aware of the benefits of exercise for our physical and mental health. Not only can health and fitness reduce your risk of heart disease, it can boost your mood and leave you feeling more positive and upbeat about your studies.
If you don’t feel confident to head to your local gym, there are lots of exercises that you can do in your living room, meaning you can reap the benefits of fitness from the comfort of your own home. Try and allocate at least 30 minutes per day for exercise. If you lead a busy lifestyle, trying to incorporate regular exercise into your regime may be difficult. However, creating a fitness schedule and sticking to it from the beginning can help you tone up and help manage your body’s blood sugar and insulin levels.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Regular exercise and a healthy diet go hand in hand. Even if you’re hitting the gym every night, if you aren’t consuming the right foods, you won’t be getting the full benefits. Students are faced with a heavy load of coursework, exams, and long lectures, meaning you will be forgiven if you reach for sugary treats and processed foods to get you through. However, adopting a more organic way of life and ditching the junk food for something healthier can help boost your physical and mental health for the better.
Students need fuel for energy, so make sure that you incorporate plenty of foods packed with protein which can leave you feeling fuller for longer. Also, you should be eating lots of fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re getting the vitamins and nutrients you need. It can be hard to ban junk food outright, so instead of saying a final goodbye to them, try and reduce the amount you consume. We’re all allowed a treat from time to time, so give yourself a night in the week to gorge on the foods you love as this will give you something to look forward to.
Time Take for Yourself
No matter what course you’re studying, it’s important that you give yourself plenty of breaks in between learning. If you’ve had to fork out a ton of money on your education, it’s only natural that you will want to get good value for money, however, doing nothing else but studying can take its toll on your health.
We all need an escape from time to time, so whether it be taking up a hobby you’ve always wanted to do, calling up a friend, or even going for a casual walk around your neighborhood, having some time away from your coursework can do wonders for your physical and mental health. If you have lots of revision to do for an exam, or you have a deadline coming up, you will feel far more productive after you’ve had a break.
Learn the Risks of Substance Abuse
If you are a college student, you may feel pressure to experiment with alcohol and drugs. If you are on college campus, you may find yourself surrounded by those who binge drink or use marijuana, therefore, it’s crucial that you’re aware of the real risks and dangers that are linked with drug use. While students may believe that marijuana in particular causes no real harm, there are several risks that you need to take into account, especially when it comes to your mental health. To ensure you keep on top of your studies, you should monitor your behavior as well as the amount of alcohol you consume and how regularly.
Know About Sexual Health and Safety
When talking about health and wellbeing as a student, sexual health needs to be addressed too. As a student, you should practice safe sex and be aware of the methods of birth control and protection, as well as how to access STI screenings. Also, students should be open about consent and safety in intimate relationships. Unfortunately, sexual assault is common on a college campus and can cause trauma and other issues for those who have become a victim of it, so if you have been assaulted, make sure that you seek medical and professional help immediately.
Pick the Right Course
When going back into education, it’s crucial that you select a course that you feel comfortable with. Committing yourself to learning can take its toll, so you will need to find a course that will benefit you in the long run. Whether you’re hoping to boost your salary, open new doors, or give you transferable skills, you should take your time researching into course specifications, and job prospects. If you aren’t happy with your choice, it’s likely that you won’t put your full efforts into your degree, meaning you may not come out with the grades you envisaged.
If you are wanting to study a masters, you may wish to consider going down the online route. Instead of having to worry about attending lectures and seminars, you are able to learn from the comfort of your own home. For those wanting to become a social worker, for example, you can study for your MSW online at schools such as Florida State University.
Speak to Your Loved Ones
Having the love and support from your close friends and family can be a huge help when studying for a degree. Knowing you have people there who care for you can help you stay on track with your course and give you the motivation to carry on with your studies. Regardless of the course you are on, it’s likely that you will face barriers from time to time, so if things get too much, having a shoulder to cry on or somebody to talk to can put your mind at ease and help you stay calm. Many of your nearest and dearest may have been students themselves at some point, so they will be able to share useful tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of student life.
If you have lots of lectures and seminars to attend, it’s likely that you will be on the go from the moment you wake up until you sleep, therefore, drinking plenty of water throughout the day is advised. When in a lecture, you will need to concentrate on what is being said, so in order to retain as much information as possible, make sure that you keep yourself hydrated. If you’re the type of person who relies on energy drinks to get you through the day, you may not be aware of the negative effects it can be having on your physical and mental health. While you may get a burst of energy to begin with, you will start to feel low and rundown before you know it, therefore, it’s advised to stick with water.
Drinking plenty of water can also help regulate body temperature, keep your joints lubricated, deliver nutrients to cells, as well as boost your cognition, sleep quality, and mood. To ensure you’re drinking enough fluids throughout the day, make sure that you pack a water bottle with you that you can refill between lessons. If you can’t give up your sugar fix right away, try your best to reduce how much you drink.
Find the Right Balance
To get the most out of your education, it’s important that you keep yourself organized and on track. If you have other commitments to fit around your studies, finding the right balance is key. Giving yourself plenty of time to solely focus on your work is crucial, so you may benefit from drawing up a study schedule which can help you manage your time more effectively.
For those who have full time jobs or children to look after, finding opportunities to study can be challenging, therefore, getting the support from your loved ones can be a huge help, meaning they can step in to help with household tasks or looking after the kids while you cram in some revision or complete coursework that’s due in.
Get Support from Your Tutors
Whether you’re studying online or on campus, having the support from your tutors and professors is just as important. If you’re stuck on a module or need some reassurance, knowing you have a professional to speak to can help you stay on track with your course. Most traditional colleges, universities, and online schools have people who are there to provide support and guidance for students, so if you have any questions or need clarification on something, make sure that you address your thoughts and concerns right away.
Seek Medical Help
Many of us suffer bouts of anxiety from time to time, however, for some, the symptoms can interfere with day to day life. As a student, it’s important that you’re in the right frame of mind, otherwise you may take your eye off the ball and not do as well as you anticipated. Students are placed under a lot of stress, so you may want to consider speaking to your doctor or another healthcare professional if you are struggling.
The pressures of student life, doing well in exams, and being financially stable throughout can be overwhelming, so don’t hesitate to contact your doctor, who will be able to give you guidance and support, as well as administer medication should you need it. You should never suffer in silence, no matter how big or small you think your problem is. You may also benefit from seeing a school counselor who can help you throughout your degree and make sure you have the right tools and techniques in place to thrive in your studies.
There are various obstacles and challenges that students will face throughout their education. Trying to juggle employment, family life, and studying can be overwhelming at times, so it’s important that you give yourself regular breaks, get enough sleep, and follow a balanced diet packed with vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.
Remember, if at any point you find yourself struggling, there is always somebody there to help. Whether it’s a family member, close friend, a tutor, or a healthcare professional, it’s important that you share your worries and concerns because, as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved, helping to take the weight off your shoulders and clear your head.