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Ways To Protect Your Mental Health This Semester 

New year, new semester and new ways to take care of your mental health

This time of year, in particular, can be challenging for lots of people, especially with it being a new year, a new decade, and a new semester. Everybody has mental health, and as the deadlines start approaching once again it’s important to keep a check on your mental health and well-being. While the topic of what can improve mental health is highly subjective, I thought I’d share 7 ways with which you can try and protect your mental well-being this semester.  

#1 Surround yourself with good people

Balancing your social life with your studies is always tricky, but it’s super important to make time to see people who positively impact your happiness and well-being. Give yourself a break, and if you’re up to it then try to have something to look forward to with those that you care about.  

#2 Take care of your body. 

We’re often too quick to neglect our bodies when our mental health worsens, but keeping check of your physical health can sometimes improve your mental health. While this is easier said than done, try and eat nutritious meals, drink plenty of water, exercise when you can, get into a routine and try to get as much sleep as possible.

fruit smoothie in glass with metal straw Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

#3 Manage your stress. 

Recognising what can trigger your stress is important when trying to maintain a good mental health. While stress is often unavoidable, especially with the workload given to us throughout the semester, try to break everything down into smaller and more manageable tasks. Plan ahead, and remember to give yourself plenty of breaks. (I highly recommend dancing to your favourite playlist).  

#4 Set realistic goals. 

There’s nothing wrong with aiming high, but it’s important to not over-schedule during the semester. University in general offers a fast-paced lifestyle and so it becomes a necessity to make some time for yourself. It’s okay to push yourself, but make sure you check in with your mental well-being and remember it’s perfectly okay to cancel or rearrange if you’re not up to something.  

#5 Take a break from social media. 

You might not think that this would impact your mental health as much as it actually does, but social media can definitely be detrimental to your self-esteem and mental well-being if used frequently or without caution. I know it’s a challenge, but sometimes disappearing from the internet for a few days can really encourage you to focus on yourself.  

#6 Clean and organise the space around you

I always find that decluttering my room, doing a bit of reorganising, and throwing things away that I don’t use is so therapeutic. Usually if the environment around you is chaotic, it can aggravate your internal thoughts. So set some time to one side and create a space you feel more relaxed in.  

#7 Talk to somebody. 

This is without a doubt one of the most important things that you can do. It’s so easy to convince ourselves that we’re a burden, that our internal thoughts aren’t worthy of attention, or we’re just being overly dramatic or sensitive, but there is absolutely no shame in asking somebody for support when you’re feeling low or stressed. Talk to friends/family, somebody at University i.e a tutor you trust, or reach out and contact your GP. You’re not alone.