Many advocate for mental wellness since depression and anxiety are at an all-time high. Students still in their formative years are susceptible to this because of stress from assignments to peer pressure. These young adults must take care of their mental health, primarily since they use much brain power for school work. If this aspect is neglected, it is common to see poor performance or a dip in grades.
Unfortunately, anxiety skyrockets during finals week, when paper writing deadlines pile up, assignments are given one after the other, and exams are on the horizon. It’s not like students can neglect their assignments and utter: “I’ll pay someone to do my homework for me!” All of these can take a toll on mental health.
While many know that prescription meds and therapy sessions treat mental illness, fewer people know that lifestyle changes can boost the mind. These are small changes that even students can make quickly on their own without professional intervention. Check out the four lifestyle changes students can make to improve their mental fortitude.
1. Take Care of the Body
The body is a person’s temple, and students must remember to take good care of it. Unfortunately, many young adults have a lot of bad habits from staying up too late, whether gaming or partying. They aren’t the most responsible regarding their nutrition choices, often eating fast food and takeout rather than home-cooked nutritious meals. And since it’s easy for young people to feel invincible, they’re also eager to test their limits regarding alcohol and other substances.
Unfortunately, these bad habits affect mental health because there has always been a mind-body connection. After all, as the famous adage says: “when you look good, you feel good!”; and this speaks more than about vanity. When people take care of their physical health, it can have a significant positive influence on their mental health. Hence, it would be helpful if students take note of the following:
- Fuel their brains with nutritious meals instead of eating junk food with empty calories and poor nutritional value
- Avoid literal brain fog by letting go of smoking or vaping because these bad habits will impede mental clarity with oxygen deprivation and destroy the lungs
- Make it a point to get sufficient sleep because sleep deprivation contributes to a high rate of depression, especially for university attendees
- Take time for exercise because it releases endorphins or happy hormones, which could improve mood and help hone focus
- Drink at least eight glasses of water (more if it’s hot with excessive sweating) because dehydration promotes depression and anxiety by impeding the brain’s serotonin production
2. Establish Good Study Habits
One of the primary reasons students feel anxious and depressed is the lack of good study habits. What happens when assignments pile up? Individuals tend to panic and feel overwhelmed about deadlines and tests. When students feel stressed, they waste a lot of mental energy worrying and barely make progress on their work.
Instead, students must learn good study habits for their peace of mind. Having a routine with effective study skills means they don’t have to pay extra for an essay writing service to finish a research paper or a standard essay. Good study skills also increase self-esteem, competence, and confidence. More importantly, efficient study habits equate to cutting hours spent buried in work and leaving more time for other endeavors, helping curate work-life balance, which is good for mental health.
How does one establish a good study routine? Check out the following tips:
- Find a good, comfy place with minimal distractions
- Set out a specific time each week and pencil it into a calendar
- Space out study sessions to get proper break time
- Set study goals for each session for better productivity
- Learn the art of taking notes to study more effectively
- Make practice tests and reviewers for study time
- Figure out which topics are better spent alone or studying with a group
3. Seek Good Company
Research attests that people surrounded by strong family ties and good social connections are generally healthier than those isolated and without support. Those concerned about their mental health need the company of peers who can exert a good influence. As the saying goes: “you are the company you keep.” Hence, students must be discerning and mindful of the peers they welcome into their life because a friend with a drinking or drug habit can have adverse consequences.
Instead, students must seek out individuals with the same goals and vision about the future to protect their mental health. Helpful relatives, friends, mentors, and life coaches will provide mental clarity and no distractions. Those who want to be more proactive in finding like-minded people can do so by doing the following:
- Attending hobby clubs
- Taking new classes
- Seeking out a support group
4. Learn to Manage Stress
One of the things students must learn is that stress is a part of life because life is not perfect. That’s why challenges are bound to crop up no matter what endeavor, so students need to practice having good coping skills to address any trials that come their way. Learning how to divert stress to retain sanity in this imperfect, fast-paced world is crucial. Fortunately, many strategies can help people de-stress, such as:
- Taking a nature walk
- Doing Tai Chi or yoga
- Engaging in regular exercise
- Playing with pets
- Writing in a journal
- Going to the spa
- Getting a massage
- Seeing a funny movie
It is essential to learn how to quiet down the mind as it alleviates anxiety and pressure. Doing simple meditation by paying attention to the breath for five minutes can do wonders for mental clarity as it calms the spirit. Finally, it’s also vital for students to smile and see humor no matter how difficult things get. Laughter is the best medicine for mental health because it reduces stress, boosts immunity, alleviates pain, and relaxes both body and mind.