Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Six habits that encourage good mental health at uni

1. Exercise
30 minutes of daily exercise is recommended. As exercising releases endorphins, it’s great for your mood and your overall wellbeing, plus it's a welcome break from sitting in lectures and seminars.

2. Drink water
Water is essential for good mental health. It can be easy to forget to drink water when you’re wrapped up in essay stress, but regularly drinking glasses of water improves concentration and decreases your stress levels by thoroughly hydrating you. Each time you sit down at your desk, make sure you have a glass of water to hand.

3. Sufficient sleep
Late night library sessions and TV series binging take their toll. When you’re overly tired, your concentration levels crash. It is important to regulate your sleep pattern – try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, and to sleep and wake at the same time each day.

4. Break down your work
Do you have a difficult essay to write, a heavy text to analyse before your seminar, or some revision for a tricky exam? You can often feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start.

Try sitting down at your desk each Sunday afternoon to plan out what you aim to complete each day of the following week. This will help you feel organised and calmer about your workload. If you want to talk to someone about how to manage your time, or just for general guidance, look for a study advice team at your library, or speak to the study community on campus.

5. Socialise
Meeting up with a close friend at least once a day can boost your mood. Make time for the people who make you feel happy, and you know you can have a laugh with, even if it’s just for an hour.

6. Get outside
In exam season, students tend to stay in their rooms immersed in revision, so schedule half an hour each day for getting outside and breathing fresh air. It will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to get back to your desk for round two!

Plants and flowers have been proven to help maintain good mental health by reducing stress and creating a calmer environment. For these reasons, I’d suggest also bringing nature into your room. Find some cheap house plants – they're easy to look after, as they don't require watering that often!

For more advice from students, join the student community at Campus Society.

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