Five Things You Can Do to Support Your Mental Health This Semester
“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.”
Most of us are starting a new semester soon or have already started, and with a new semester comes new challenges. A study by Headspace and the National Union of Students shows that 83% of tertiary students in Australia are stressed. While we support and promote looking after our physical health, shouldn’t we address our mental health with equal importance too?
Here are some tips to look after your mental health this upcoming semester!
Source: Matthew Henry
Yes! As hard as it might sound, you need to get proper sleep! Poor sleep has been linked to mental health issues including anxiety. Although it is tempting to stay up late at night to finish an assignment or read that last chapter for exam study, we have to make sleep a priority. (A tip of mine for getting better sleep is to make yourself a cup of peppermint or chamomile tea before bed – I personally love peppermint tea!)
2. Get organised
Source: Ella Jardim
As students, we tend to wear a lot of different hats. Take some time to jot down different commitments and priorities you may have such as your goals, upcoming classes, assignments, work meetings, etc. Having a visual representation of what your day or month is going to look like will help you a lot. It not only helps you stay on schedule but also saves you time trying to get yourself organised down the track!
3. Keep it moving
Source: kike vega
Exercising and keeping your endorphins stirring not only helps with staying fit, but also diverts your mind away from feeling anxious. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a lot of free online workout classes have been made available! Whether it’s early morning yoga or a dance session, keep your body moving. You’ll be surprised at how much it helps you.
4. Take time out
Source: Anthony Tran
A good way to maintain balance in life is by taking time out for yourself. As a student, your plate is full with deadlines and responsibilities, and sometimes it’s easy to forget about setting aside time to rest. So take some time out for yourself. Read, watch a movie, listen to a podcast or simply go out for a walk. Dedicating time for a bit of fun in your day apart from your busy schedule will help you to relax.
5. Mental health resources
Did you know you can access mental health support at your campus? Students may find it hard to locate resources to support their mental health, but it’s easier than you think. Almost every university has a student wellbeing department where you can book a counselling session. Another way to access support is by contacting your student health insurance (OSHC) provider and asking them what services are included in your cover.
There are also a lot of free online resources that students can access. For example, eHeadspace has helpful information to support you.
If you are feeling down or know someone who is, you can seek immediate support through hotlines such as:
Lifeline at 13 11 14
Beyond Blue at 1300 22 4636
Headspace at 1800 650 980
QLife at 1800 184 527, if you identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community
Title image source: Total Shape