Look after your mental health
Mental Health is something that affects everybody. Everyone has mental health. Mental Health is a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively & is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Taking care of your mental health is probably not the first thing you think of when you're a student. Coursework, exams, socialising and finances all take priority, but make sure you do look after yourself.
Stress is an integral part of college life and let’s face it not all stress is bad. It can be a motivating tool to get you to finish those assignments you’ve been avoiding or to knuckle down and study for an upcoming exam. Stress can however be dangerous and harmful to your body and mind if you don’t control it. The following are some useful tips on how to manage stress and to get the most out of your college experience!
While fast food and junk food are cheap, convenient, and plentiful, they don’t set you up to do your best. Fuelling yourself with nutritious foods can boost your immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight and help you feel better about yourself. Eating well will increase your physical, mental, and emotional stamina. Be sure to keep your fridge stocked with fresh fruits and veggies, and high-protein snacks, and be sure that your main meals are healthy and balanced.
Get Enough Sleep
Students are notorious for not getting enough sleep, mainly due to busy schedules, late nights out, or late night cramming. Everything from the immune system to the ability to learn and remember information will be negatively affected. To stay healthy, it’s important to commit to getting as close to a full 8 hours sleep as you can. It’s never a good idea doing all-nighters before an exam, your brain won’t be working at its best and you will be feeling
terribly sick the next day. Power naps are very useful and can really help rejuvenate your body before heading out/ study session.
One of the healthiest ways to blow off steam is to get regular exercise into your day! Exercise not only improves your health and reduces stress caused by unfitness, it also relaxes tense muscles and helps you to sleep. Exercise also causes the release of endorphins into your blood stream. These give you a feeling of happiness and positively affect your overall sense of well-being.
Socialise without alcohol
Socialising is extremely beneficial to you because meeting new people and exploring new places can be great fun. This doesn't always have to involve alcohol either. Although you may think a drink will help you forget your worries, it can actually do the opposite; alcohol is not a stimulant, it is a depressant drug. Consume alcohol in moderation but don't use it as an escape from worries or mental health concerns.
With realistic goals, you will have something concrete to work towards and the light at the end of the tunnel can be seen. Set many smaller goals, like steps toward the large goal. It’s a good idea at the start of the year to set goals in terms of what average you would like to receive by Christmas and overall. This will help you stay motivated and focused throughout the semester.
When your experiencing stress you’re often not thinking as clearly as you could be. A quick way to calm down is to practice breathing exercises. These can be done virtually anywhere to relieve stress in minutes, and are especially effective for reducing anxiety before or even during exams, as well as during other times when stress feels overwhelming.
Spend time laughing
Having a laugh is always a good way to improve your mood. Spending time with friends & family can make you feel good about yourself & life in general. An easy way to do this is to join a society here in CIT, you're bound to find something you like!
Visualizations can help you calm down and detach from what’s stressing you. You can also use visualizations to prepare for presentations, to stress less and score higher in exams by vividly seeing yourself performing just as you’d like to. To quote the secret “what you think about you bring about”!
Your mental health is influenced by your surroundings, so try to make your living space somewhere you want to be. Put photos on your wall, make your room comforting. Managing your money is really important too, debt & financial difficulties are very stressful. Living well doesn't mean spending loads. Being with friends & taking care of yourself can be done within a budget.
Remember the Good
It can be easy to let the bad things overshadow your day & forget the little things that make you smile, especially when times are tough. Try to get into the habit of ending your day on a positive. Before you go to bed, write down the good things that have happened to make you smile.
The CIT Counselling Service is a free and confidential counselling service. The team of Professional Counsellors are here to help & support you to deal with any personal issues that cause stress & upset as you journey through college. It is open between 8.30am and 5pm Mon-Fri and is located on the