As many students pursue higher education, they forget that they need their minds to achieve academic excellence. For a long time, many students have associated overworking with overachieving, not knowing that this belief system endangers their mental health.
So while hard work will contribute to your success, don’t forget to take breaks because your brain needs time to rest. If your brain is always working, it eventually crashes as a way of protecting itself from any mental damage. So when you push hard because you need to meet deadlines and you feel a mental freeze, don’t attempt to snap out of it. Instead, give your brain some time to reboot.
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By doing the following things, you ensure that you maintain an effective and proper mental health regime. A student who has a stress-free mind is more likely to achieve academic success than one who is always working. This is because when your brain is well-rested, you can tap into your full potential, but when a brain is tired, you can only manage average performance. This is also why meditation helps with studying.
Even on the busiest week, ensure you remember to take your mind off things long enough to restore normal function. Incuding healthy habits in your school routine protects you from anxiety, depression and many other mental health challenges college students are currently facing. What’s more, when your mind is healthy, your heart will be in a good place, and your physical health will also thrive.
This article will highlight five habits you can adopt to maintain your mental health.
1. Set Realistic Objectives
The main reason why many college students struggle with mental health challenges is they set the stakes too high. While there is nothing wrong with aiming higher, it’s such a thing as aiming too high. As an achiever, learn to set realistic objectives that don’t push you too far outside your comfort zones.
Every time you’re setting new goals for yourself, be very honest about your capabilities, so you don’t set yourself up for failure. Realistic objectives successfully instil purpose into your life so that you have a reason to wake up every morning. But when the goals are too big, your mornings will be stressful because you’ll feel overwhelmed by how much you have to achieve. As a result, you’ll either push yourself too hard or feel paralyzed and unable to do anything.
It is possible to lead a meaningful life even if your goals do not match those of the people you aspire to. You need to understand that it took slow but steady progress for them to get where they are, and you too can see this growth if you start with what you can manage.
You cannot jump the gun by overworking yourself because your brain is not a machine that can go on without a break. In fact, even machines need to be rebooted once in a while to protect them from overheating and crushing. So be realistic with yourself and understand that your best can be good enough if you’re appreciative and positive.
2. Develop a Support System
The phrase “no one is an island” might sound cliché, but it rings true, especially for students because you cannot succeed in college if you don’t ask for help. Even as a self-sufficient student, you should be willing to admit when you could use a helping hand. For that reason, make sure you develop a support system you can fall back on when your cup is running dry.
Look for a group of like-minded students you can talk to about academic and personal issues without fear of judgement. Your support system will not pick you up when you fall but also hold you accountable for all your actions. For instance, if you set a goal for yourself, they will make sure you do everything to keep your promise.
As part of a support system, remember you’re also obligated to show up for your friends. You should help them keep good mental health because everyone in the unit should be concerned when one person isn’t well.
3. Minimize Screen Time
The digital native who was born into the era of smartphones and social media don’t know a reality that doesn’t include spending hours browsing the internet and scrolling through their media feeds. In fact, quite a number of students are so addicted to social media that can’t seem to put their phone down. If you’re always on social media, even when you’re attending a lecture, it might be time to evaluate how much screen time you get in a day. From there, minimize the time you spend on your phone, as this greatly interferes with your mental health.
4. Change Up Your Routine
Growth happens when you challenge yourself, so when your days start to feel monotonous, that’s your cue to change things up. Exposing yourself to new things encourages cognitive expansion, which is good for your mental health. Strive for a routine that energizes and gives you the motivation to keep pushing towards your goals.
5. Manage Your Stress
Contrary to popular opinion, stress is not something that takes over your life, and there is nothing you can do but wait it out. It’s possible to manage your stress if you understand your triggers and how to avoid them. What’s more, when you’re in the thick of it, you can use gratitude and a positive outlook on life to work through the challenging emotions.
More students need to understand that to achieve steady progress; they need to learn more about their limits so as not to push themselves over the line. For instance, if you can only study for two hours, attempting to study for three or four hours would be detrimental to your mental health. The same attention you give your studies should be accorded to your mental wellness if you are to enjoy a seamless educational life in college.
This article was submitted by a guest blogger. You can read about the author in the post above. If you would like to submit an article, please write for us (sponsored guest posts).
Paul Harrison, Editor, THE DAILY MEDITATION.