As a university student, there are two dreadful times of the semester: midterms and finals. You have 5 papers due, 5 exams and no where near enough time or energy. On top of this- you’re dealing with some form of mental illness. Unfortunately, mental illness is a silent sickness that no one can see and often goes without the validation it deserves. So, how do you cope with stress during this time? I’ve put together a list of things that might help!
1. Write it all down!
I know things pile up quickly and remembering what to do and when to do it is half the battle! Take some pressure off yourself and make note of all of the tasks you’re faced with – no matter how big or small. Personally, I keep everything in my iCal but I know that agendas, notebooks and phone apps can be really helpful too.
Without a good night sleep, its difficult to function properly throughout the day and be as productive as you can be. Sleep will keep you healthy, both physically and mentally. Heres the problem – sometimes stress can get so high that falling asleep is difficult. Can’t sleep? Try diaphragmatic breathing techniques or a natural supplement like melatonin.
3. Check-in with support systems
All university and college institutes have access to mental health care. Go on your schools website and find out who you can talk to about managing stress alongside mental illness. In addition to this, go see your professor! What seems to get lost in our perceptions of our teachers is the comforting fact that they are human too. This means that some of them know what its like to deal with mental illness and they are often willing to help in any way they can.
4. Nourish your body
It’s so easy to eat unhealthily – isn’t that a bummer? While I enjoy the occasional Big Mac just as much as any one else, its important to nourish your body – especially when it is under high stress. This means eat three meals a day (yes, that means breakfast too)! This will keep you running.
5. Take a load off!
Most importantly, remember that you’re doing your best. Living with mental illness in itself is an amazing accomplishment and your health and wellbeing should come before anything else. At the end of the day, do what you need to do for you.