How I Take Care of My Mental Health as a Student – by Bethany Collyer

someone writing in a notebook

As a student you will be aware of how much university life can take its toll on your mental health. But you will also be aware that there are ways to manage your mental health. In this blog, I am going to be sharing the ways in which I take care of my mental health in a typical week of university. 

At the start of a typical University week, I can often get overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks I need to complete, and classes I need to attend. To reduce this overwhelming feeling, I like to take a step back to calm myself down. Then start filling out my planner for the week, putting classes in my calendar and writing out my tasks in priority order with all the details I need to complete them. Doing this really helps me breakdown everything I need to do and seeing it all in one place with a plan helps me feel in control of everything.

In a typical day the constant pinging of emails can also make me stressed out. To prevent this sensation from taking over my life, I like to turn my notifications off when I am trying to focus or enjoy my free time. I have set up a ‘focus’ on my iPhone to make this easier so peace and quiet is only a click away.

I have also created an email system which reduces the stressfulness of my inbox. I move all my emails into folders at the end of the day, so every day I have an empty inbox. This makes looking at my unread emails a lot less overwhelming.

When I have important assignments coming up, I can also get really stressed and overwhelmed too. I can also feel very unsuccessful when I haven’t ticked anything off my to do list despite working all day long. This feeling can very easily spiral into a chain of negative self-thoughts. Since assignments are always big tasks, I like to break them down into more manageable sub tasks – gathering research materials, finding a line of argument and so on. This allows me to feel productive even if I haven’t completed the big task (let’s face it, you cannot effectively complete an assignment in one sitting).

At the end of a busy day, I like to take a step away from university. I like to set boundaries for myself, so my life isn’t consumed by university and all its stresses, so I turn off all my notifications and walk away from my laptop at the same time every day. I also like to extend these boundaries to the weekend. This break every weekend allows me to be refreshed for the week ahead and helps me to avoid a mental burnout.

Hopefully you can take some inspiration from my own practices to help reduce the impact university can have on your mental health. If you need more wellbeing support, you can access more information on the Essentials Counselling and Wellbeing pages.

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