Taking care of your mental wellbeing while studying | World Mental Health Day
Studying as an adult brings a unique set of challenges and opportunities. You're not just a student; you might be a parent, a professional, a partner, or all of the above. Juggling multiple responsibilities while pursuing academic goals can be both exhilarating and daunting. And amidst all this, it’s crucial to prioritise your mental wellbeing. In light of World Mental Health Day, let's explore strategies to ensure your mental health thrives during your academic journey.
1. Acknowledge the Unique Challenges: As an adult student, your life experience offers valuable perspectives and resilience in many situations. Yet, it's also accompanied by responsibilities like work commitments, familial duties, or financial obligations. Acknowledging the unique challenges you face allows you to tackle them proactively rather than feeling overwhelmed.
2. Establish a Routine: Structure can be a sanity-saver. Setting aside dedicated study times, breaks, and relaxation periods can bring a sense of order to what might otherwise feel like chaos. Remember, it’s not about cramming every moment with activity but ensuring that every activity has its moment.
3. Seek Support: You’re not alone in this journey. Universities often offer counselling services, support groups, or mentorship programs specifically tailored for adult students. Beyond institutional support, don’t hesitate to lean on friends, family, or fellow students. Sharing your challenges and successes can make the journey more manageable and rewarding.
4. Set Realistic Expectations: Perfection is not the goal; progress is. While it's admirable to aim for top grades or master every topic, remember that learning is a process. Celebrate small achievements and be kind to yourself on off days.
5. Prioritize Self-care: Burnout is real, especially when you’re wearing many hats. Ensure you’re dedicating time to activities you love, whether that's reading a book, taking a walk, practising meditation, or simply catching up on sleep.
6. Stay Physically Active: The mind-body connection is powerful. Physical activity, even if it's just a brief daily walk, can boost mood, reduce stress, and improve cognitive function.
7. Limit Negative Influences: Whether it's limiting exposure to distressing news or distancing yourself from negativity on social media, curate your environment. Surround yourself with positive influences and information that uplifts and supports your wellbeing.
8. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness and meditation have been shown to reduce stress and increase mental clarity. Even a few minutes a day can make a difference.
9. Reflect on Your Motivation: On tough days, remind yourself why you embarked on this academic journey. Whether it's personal growth, professional advancement, or setting an example for your kids, your 'why' can reignite your passion and commitment.
Your mental wellbeing is just as crucial as the grades you earn or the knowledge you acquire. This World Mental Health Day, commit to taking proactive steps in caring for your mental health. Your future self, equipped with knowledge and a sound mind, will thank you for it.