Student Diary 12 | Self Care & Mental Health (tips for students & non-students)
Hi there philomaths!
Philomath is a person who loves learning and studying.
I hope you are having an awesome October! I wanted to dedicate this post to self-care and mental health because it can be very difficult to focus on your personal well-being when your schedule is filled with essays, quizzes, exams, study groups, classroom time, reading assignments, group projects, and so forth. If you are not a student, it is still difficult to focus on your personal well-being when struggling financially or in some other way.
Mental health has become an issue within the last year or so and is apparently still continuing. It’s good to be goal-oriented and motivated, but a little TLC is necessary (and even vital). I cover certain aspects related to students; however, I feel that most of these tips can overlap and work for non-students as well.
Down below are some tips on how you can focus on yourself during hectic semester (or work) times. I have separated these tips into two categories—self-care and mental health.
Let’s get started!
Use Breaks for Self-Care Opportunities
If you are a student, you can’t study (or work) 24 hours a day or even 12 hours a day (straight). You’ll need to break at some point and rest your mind. I have tried continuously studying myself, but I have reached burnout which is going to happen to you as well if this type of studying (or working) continues. You need to give your eyes a rest from the laptop and phone screens, and spend a few moments doing something you love. Some suggestions are below:
- Listen to music
- Take a walk (to gain some movement. I’m sure you know sitting down all day is quite unhealthy).
- Draw (or Paint)
- Have a homemade “spa” session.
- Enjoy cooking an elaborate meal
- Write a poem
- Write a blog post
- Take a Road Trip
- If you’re near the mountains, hike.
- If you’re at the beach, spend some time on the beach to relax.
- Read a book you want to read
- Read a self-help book
- Work a Side Hustle an hour or two every other day or week
Sleep is for everyone! This is probably obvious and one of the most mentioned tips for a variety of aspects, but I honestly feel like it goes in one ear and out the other for most because it seems like the light is always green for most people and the only time when yellow or red pops up is when you’re feeling sick or something drastic happens that slows you down. As with most things in life, don’t wait for the “perfect” moment to take care of yourself. Now is the best time to give your well-being attention. I think I mentioned this in a previous post, but I plan on dedicating an entire post (maybe two) on this topic because it is that important. This is a good topic for transitioning into mental health because sleep covers both. (I will elaborate more in the post dedicated to sleep).
Consider Your Mental Health in ALL Aspects of School
- Degree of Choice/Switch Majors
For the most part, everyone has to take a certain amount of science and math courses. In this case, it’s required so just grab all the tools you need and accept the challenge. You’ll get through it. However, if you are you in a specific degree such as the medical field and you are having trouble with nursing school or biology classes, for example, then I recommend switching majors. Don’t stress yourself out trying to stay on the same path if it’s significantly affecting your mental (and physical) health.
- Other Alternatives
If you are finding yourself in a tough and stressful situation at school regardless of your degree, then I strongly recommend switching universities/colleges. I’m pretty sure you can do this at any time during your degree, but you will have to check with other university or college options that you are considering to see which courses will transfer and how easy or difficult the process may be for your circumstance.
Another alternative is to drop out all-together. Obviously, I strongly recommend the previous option. But, if school is exponentially stressing you out, then drop out and come back at a later date. College may be hard for you to handle at 18, but you may find it easier at 20. It’s fine to postpone your education. However, I recommend not postponing this forever. Essentially, always keep your mental health (and personal well-being) in mind and keep exercising your mind as well.
Don’t let your stress become so overwhelming that it becomes a serious matter, and don’t let pressure from peers or family do the same. Of course, I’m not a “licensed professional,” so I do recommend seeking someone within this realm if you need it. If you’re opposed to this option, another alternative would be to discuss issues you’re having with family, friends, or a mentor you trust.
I hope this post resonated with you even if you’re not in school, and I hope you gained something from this post! Any plans or goals for this October? How would you suggest incorporating self-care sessions? Do you have any self-care or mental health suggestions?