School can be stressful. “For real?” you say in surprise, “I’d never noticed!”
Juuust kidding. I think we’re probably all well acquainted with that feeling of drowning in homework, assessments, exams and due dates (all on top of extracurricular’s, work, a social life and making time for the important things like pizza).
I’m very sorry, so to help y’all out I’ve compiled this list of the top tips for looking after your mental health and keeping your brain from turning to jelly this school year!
1. Look after your body please and thank-you. I know that exercise can be lame and 2 minute noodles are beyond tempting but I think we can all acknowledge the slippery slope of self-loathing gross foods and long couch potato sessions can send you down.
Alternatives to actual hard-core gym workouts
(I’ve never been inside a gym in my life oops) because honestly what even is exercise:
- go for a walk, even if it’s just out into your front yard (just get moving and breathe some fresh air)
- have an impromptu dance party
- go for a jog
- try out a workout video if that’s your thang
- play a sport
- check out this website for more ideas and motivation
Easy peasy ways to eat a lil bit healthier:
- try taking more fruit and less sugary snacks to school
- make sure that you drink more water than anything else in a day (if you hate water you get used to it eventually I pinky promise)
- if you feel like the meals you have at home are all less nutritious than they could be, have a chat with whoever cooks in your fam and try to work out a bit of a meal plan
2. Make a list of personal, non-academic goals. Sometimes the best thing to do when school’s making you feel burnt out and a bit dead inside is to take a step back and evaluate life as a whole. I know certain classes can become all-consuming, but setting some goals in other areas of life a) reminds you that school isn’t the most important thing EVER (even though it feels like it is) b) gives you something to work towards in your downtime instead of constantly indulging in your guilty pleasures that make you feel worse about yourself, and c) helps you function better – it’s much easier to focus on homework when you’ve had some quality time to yourself first or the promise of some after you’re finished.
3. Talk to someone/keep some form of journal. It’s very cool and very helpful to talk about the things stressing you out and getting you down because not only do you get it off your chest but also someone can look in from the outside and offer advice or solutions you might not of thought of.
Also, it buys time to procrastinate actually doing the things you should be. Some people are less verbal than others though (which is totally understandable) so a journal might be the thing for you. I know I like to do a bit of both.
4. Music is an absolutely A+ coping mechanism. Often music is just what I need to take a moment to calm down. You’re never so short on time that you can’t do something like listen to your favourite album and just breathe. There’s always time for that.
5. Tap into what you’re good at. Don’t we all feel better after we do something we love and/or are good at? Take a minute to pursue a hobby, remind yourself of your accomplishments or just repeat some affirmations to yourself. You are beautiful and valid and so full of potential and so often we focus on the negative, so for the sake of your health try to bring out the best in yourself. I promise that you’re still okay, even if you totally bomb this assessment. That being said, you’re a legend and can probably ace it. I believe in you! 🙂
This year, my focus is to not let school completely overwhelm me. To do my best, but not miss out on the things in life I value, like hugs from baby cousins, smoothies with friends, walks on a sunny day or reading a good book.
Let me know in the comments what YOU do to avoid a mental breakdown mid-school year!