It’s fairly common knowledge that college and university students are under a lot of stress – it’s less common to know that 19.2% of students suffer from some form of mental illness (Stallman). Due to exam season creating added stress for all students, it’s especially important to make sure you’re taking care of your mental health. Here are a few things you should make sure to do to make this time of the year (slightly) more bearable:
Make sure to take your medication
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If you’re taking an antidepressant, anti-anxiety medication, mood-stabilizer, or any other kind of medication for mental illness, make sure you remember to take it as prescribed. If you’re pulling all-nighters or cramming to finish final assignments, it can be easy to forget to take medication, so make sure you create a system that will help you remember. You could try keeping your medication on you so you have it no matter where you’re studying and/or setting alarms that remind you when to take it.
2) Don’t skip appointments
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If you’re seeing a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, or counsellor, it can be tempting to cancel appointments in order to create more study time. Unless you absolutely have to cancel an appointment, you should try your best to continue going regularly. Even if it takes time out of your study schedule, it can help in the long run by alleviating tensions caused by exams, allowing you to vent, and reminding you that you’re putting yourself first.
4) Take time for yourself
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This is where self-care comes in. Make sure you set aside at least a few minutes each day for yourself. Chances are, you’ll feel much better and have more confidence and energy for tackling difficult course materials.
Stallman, Helen M. “Psychological distress in university students: A comparison with general population data.” Australian Psychologist, 2010.