The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Starting a new year at college can be difficult, and as the new semester starts to unfold it can become more and more intimidating to balance our mental health with our academics. While this can be a daunting task, it is doable; here are five things that can help you tackle this journey.
- Keeping a Gratitude Journal
Anyone can easily find things to be unhappy about or otherwise frustrated with when looking at the current stance we have on the pandemic, especially in schools. But that doesn’t mean we have to approach everything with a negative outlook. Keeping a journal on what I am grateful for and trying to add just a few things to it, big or small, every morning has been such a beneficial way to welcome contentment into my days.
2. Getting out of my room
On days when I just don’t have the urge to do any of the things that I know need to be done, it can be easy to isolate myself and hide in the darkness of my room. This isolation from the world is something that has been hard for me to overcome and is something that I still have issues with. For me, one of the biggest things that has helped me work towards overcoming this has been starting small. On days that you just don’t have it in you to go to the gym or for a run, start with an outdoor walk. When the thought of spending hours straight studying sounds dreadful, start with ten minutes of reading at the library.
3. Keeping up with my sleep schedule
As simple as this is, it is a very major key in maintaining my mental balance. When you’re constantly falling asleep hours after midnight and trying to wake up in time for your morning classes, it can put a huge amount of stress on your shoulders. Sleep is important and I think the age-old joke of college kids never getting any sleep actually rings a lot of truth for most of us. It’s a difficult habit to get into but when I started making a concentrated effort to get at least eight hours of sleep and wake up early enough to have time for myself, I found myself dreading waking up a lot less.
4. Giving Myself Small Rewards
School, in general, can be very exhausting. Starting school for the second year, and still feeling all this weight from the pandemic has done nothing but add to this fatigue. Doing something small for myself like getting my nails done or buying a coffee after tackling a daunting task has been incredibly helpful for me to stay motivated to focus on my schoolwork and my mental health.
It took so many people to convince me that even small forms of exercise can be helpful to both your mental and physical health. I was very stubborn about this idea, and it took me a little under a year of school before I finally caved in and started treating my body and mind with the exercise it deserves. Every morning I go on walks, usually at a scenic area like a park, and admire the nature around me. I recently started replacing my music on these walks with words of affirmation playlists and treated it more as a time to be alone with my thoughts and set my goals for the day rather than a chore like I used to see in most forms of exercise and day planning.