Reset Your Mental Health: 5 Changes to Make Right Now
We all know how it goes: The semester starts off well. You stay on top of all of your assignments. You’re convinced this is the semester you’ll finish with zero stress. Life couldn’t get any better.
Then midterms approach and you hit rock bottom. Assignments are manageable on their own, but add on exams and papers, and your stress shoots through the roof. Sound familiar? Fear not! I have five tips that can help you put a pause on your stress (and maybe even get rid of it). Take a deep breath and read on.
Create or revamp your morning routine.
Following a morning routine allows me to clear my head and focus on everything I have to do during the day. Yours might include cooking breakfast, sunrise yoga, or even just making up your bed. Everyone’s probably looks different, and that’s okay!
Already have a consistent morning routine, but it’s getting hard to maintain? Mix it up! Find a new breakfast item, try a different workout routine, or take up journaling. Make it something you can look forward to when your alarm goes off in the morning.
Plan your meals.
Eating habits can change drastically with stress, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When you plan out your meals for the week, you can guarantee that the food you are putting in your body will nourish you. Need help with meal prep? We’ve got you covered.
Take some breaks.
Scheduling 10–30 minutes where you can breathe easily and do something fun can work wonders for your health. You could spend your break watching a fun YouTube video, taking a walk, meditating, etc. It’ll help you refocus on the work in front of you and approach difficult problems with a fresh perspective.
Get some sleep and study smarter.
Studies show that depriving yourself from sleep causes you to retain less information. Everything you learn while pulling an all-nighter goes into short-term memory instead of long-term (where it needs go to for that test). I’ve learned this the hard way, so save yourself by learning how to study smarter and shorter.
Remember what I said earlier about taking breaks? Add some to your study routine! If you’re studying for a long chunk of time, I recommend using the Pomodoro method. This method uses 30-minute increments to break up work. You work for 25 minutes, take a five minute break, and repeat as necessary. There are plenty of apps and YouTube videos dedicated to this method, so try them out and see what works for you.
Stress can wear down every aspect of your health, so give yourself some TLC. Did you just finish all of your work this week? Blow off some steam with a a hike at Chewacla or a game of basketball with your friends at The Rec. Prefer to be away from the world? Start a new show on Netflix or practice a hobby that brings you joy.
Self-care is incredibly important for your mental health, so know your body and know when to give yourself a little pick-me-up. Let us know what stress-relieving ideas you have on social media @AuburnCampusRec!
And, as always…
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Elizabeth W.