Self-care for Students: 7 ways to prioritize your Mental Health

As mental health awareness month approaches us, and you prepare for your studies, it can be a challenge to focus your energy and get the most out of your academic life. College life can be an exciting time, but it can also come with potential stressors like academic pressure, financial burdens, and homesickness.

It’s crucial to practice self-care for students to reduce stress, avoid burnout, and maintain overall health and well-being. By prioritizing self-care for yourself as a student, you can adapt to changes, build strong relationships, and recover from setbacks.

To help you take care of your mental well-being, consider these 7 top tips to prioritize self-care for students (you and those around you!)

Form a Routine

Establish a routine – and stick to it. Having a schedule has been shown to lower stress levels and help students feel more productive and focused. Consider planning to wake up, eat, study, and exercise around the same times every day. This will help give you a sense of control, lower your stress levels, and even improves focus.

Rest well

Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to symptoms of depression, but students who prioritize sleep are likely to see positive effects like improvements in academic performance, their ability to concentrate while studying, and less daytime sleepiness.

Stay Active

Regular exercise has many proven health benefits, such as making people happier, improving functional capacity, lowering the risk of diseases, and decreasing depression and anxiety. To truly make exercise feel like self-care for students, choose a form of exercise that you enjoy, whether it’s going for a walk or participating in an organized fitness class.

Eat Healthily

Eat nutritious meals. A well-balanced diet can help you think clearly and improve your attention span. In contrast, consuming lots of processed foods can lead to inflammation, which may contribute to mood disorders like anxiety and depression.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water. Proper hydration is crucial to healthy brain functioning. Without enough water, the brain can start to shut down, which can lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Practice mindfulness

Practice mindfulness, meditation, and gratitude. Mindfulness and meditation increase awareness of the present moment by focusing on thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Practicing gratitude helps improve relationships with others, experience more joy and pleasure, and even strengthen the immune system.

Clean up

Cleaning and decluttering can help you gain a sense of control, improve your mood, and reduce levels of anxiety. As a ProPrep student, creating a chore list can help hold you and your roommates accountable for maintaining a clean living space that can be a sanctuary during stressful times.

In conclusion, practicing self-care for students is crucial to maintain and enhancing their overall health and well-being. Remember, creating a self-care plan and seeking support from others when needed can also be helpful in maintaining good mental health. By incorporating these tips into their daily lives, college students can navigate the potential stressors of academic life and enjoy a fulfilling college experience.