Tips for Student Self Care and Health

By Ashley Paskill on September 15, 2017

College can be a lot of fun, but it can also be really stressful at times, which can have negative impacts on health. Students juggle so much, from personal relationships and part-time jobs to coursework and professional activities. Life can seem overwhelming at times, but it is important to practice self-care activities before you get so stressed out that it begins affecting your physical and mental health.

1.  Learn time management skills.

Learning how to manage your time is super critical. Keep a planner and a task list (your smartphone has both) to keep track of things you have to get done. Do not over-commit, which can negatively impact mental health. Doing a lot to work towards goals is good, but make sure you have time to relax, eat, and take care of yourself. Set a daily routine and stick to it. Fill your schedule with work, but also allot time to do things you enjoy. Also take steps to make sure your physical and mental health stay great.

2. Allow time for yourself and the things you love.

While work, school, and resume building are all important, if you do not have any time set aside for things you love, you will feel stressed out a lot more than you would otherwise. Having something to look forward to gives you something that is worthwhile to you and will give you the momentum to push towards the fun, which helps your mental health. Make an effort to meet up with friends and family or add something fun to your everyday schedule. Takes mental health days once or twice a semester, especially if you know you will not be docked for attendance. Do this sparingly.

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3. Ask professors for help if you are not doing as well as you would like.

Not doing as well as you would like in a class can seem daunting, especially if you typically get good grades. This kind of stress can negatively impact your mental health. While not every class you take is going to result in a great grade, there is still hope that you can pull it up. Arrange to meet with your professor to see where you went wrong and how you can improve. If you are struggling from the start, get help early on. Ask your professor about what to focus on and how to prepare for exams. Talk to students who took the class about their experiences and tips.

4. Decrease time at work.

College is stressful and most workplaces know this. Talk to your manager or human resource contact to see if you can decrease your hours at work while in school. Many places also have leaves of absences for college students so that you can stop working to focus on school and come back for breaks, knowing that your job is secure. Talk to your family for guidance about your concerns and to see what is best for you. Too much can affect your mental health, and academics are the top priority.

5. Seek help if something does not seem right.

Whether you have been sick for a month or something just does not feel right, physically or psychologically, take the time to get it checked out. Do not feel like it is a waste of time to take time to make sure you stay mentally and physically. It is better to find out that something is not as serious as it is to let it build into something that is. Do not be ashamed of being diagnosed with a mental illness and speak up if you feel like you have symptoms of one. Your health is with you forever, but your academics only last a few years (depending on your degree).

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