Studying is one of the most rewarding things we can do in this life (at any stage), but it can also deplete our health. Exam deadlines, holding down a job, and trying to meet personal commitments are common and natural reasons to feel overwhelmed. As a student, it is particularly important to take care of yourself physically and mentally.
Let’s be clear: It is absolutely OK to invest in your career through study, just as it is absolutely okay to invest in your health and wellbeing in order to fully enjoy the future you’re working towards. In fact, it’s more than OK; it’s essential.
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. As a result, you’re more productive, agile, resilient, and creative.
If you prioritise your health and wellbeing, your colleagues, family, and friends will benefit as well.
Staying healthy when studying isn’t impossible. Here are a few tips for achieving it.
1. Find someone to talk to
It is true that a problem shared is a problem halved. You can relieve pressure and stress by talking about how you feel. You may seek out a friend, family member, tutor, or mentor you can count on to listen to your challenges and offer advice you can trust whatever the situation may be.
2. Make sleep a priority
When it comes to health and wellbeing, getting a good night’s sleep needs to be your top priority. Sleep deprivation can seriously damage your body, brain, and microbiome (gut health) and adversely affect your mood and well-being.
Establishing a regular sleep schedule will significantly benefit you. Also, make sure your bedroom is free of anything that could interfere with your sleep quality, such sources of light, sounds, and mobile phones. Limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption after midday and avoiding eating or exercising within two hours before you go to bed will help you sleep better as well.
3. Be active
Exercising releases endorphins, which boost your mood and increase your concentration level to help you crush those exams. As soon as you wake up, do twenty minutes of light exercise, such as walking, yoga, or Pilates, and your mood will improve.
4. Make sure you eat well
Nutrition influences your mood. Ensure you eat at regular times and follow a balanced and nutritious diet. Your will boost your mood, you will have more energy, and you will also be able to concentrate better. Avoid foods that spike your blood sugar levels, such as sugary or fried foods and choose slow-release energy sources instead.
5. Focus on your priorities
Mindfulness meditation does not require any religious or spiritual beliefs. It is simply about being in the moment. Meditating mindfully helps to relieve feelings of stress and pressure, not only when you meditate, but throughout your day.
Check out Headspace for simple guided meditations.
6. Take a break
We need to take time to stop, otherwise we risk burning out. Instead of slaving away at your desk for long periods, consider using the Pomodoro technique and take regular breaks.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have, rather than against it. Using this method, you break your workday into 25-minute sections separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as pomodoros. Even these five minutes of rest can help you stay focused and be more productive.
7. Don't overextend yourself
Consider the balance between your studies, work and personal responsibilities carefully. In this way, you will keep yourself from saying ‘yes’ to too many things and from overcommitting.
Taking care of your mind, body and spirit will help you to be healthier, which will translate well into successful studying.