You know those weeks where you’ve got a million things to do? So you plan out each day into half-hour time slots to allow for perfectly balanced days of work, Uni and brain-breaks to fully maximise your time? Well, this week was supposed to be one of those weeks, but it didn’t really go that way. Instead what has happened is spending a whole lot of time stressing about how much I have to do and not a lot of actually doing it.
This time of semester always gets me by the guts and pulls. Hard. Some people like to say ‘Uni students don’t do any work’ or ‘what do you have to complain about? It’s Uni…’ and they’ve got a point. University is a certain kind of lifestyle that allows a lot of freedom and room to do what you want. But it’s tough and a huge learning process. Considering I’m in my final semester, maybe I should have this whole studying-thing down pack… oh, how I wish that were true.
I’m the kind of person who gets migraines, quite a lot of them. Stress and anxiety are some of the triggers for thsse annoying brain pains, so inherently this time of the semester is a whirlwind. Trying to keep the stress and anxiety at bay while still getting as much assignment work done as possible is my main aim, but obviously this doesn’t work all the time. In fact, I’m avoiding my work so much that I’m even writing this blog post, though hopefully it’s useful for at least someone.
Given this past week has been Mental Health Week and we’re all heading into the final month of the semester, I thought I’d share some of my tips for keeping you productive, happy and healthy while at Uni.
I don’t mean you have to be a gym junkie and be able to lift your body weight, but take some time for yourself and get the blood flowing. Take advantage of the facilities at Murdoch University and join a social sports team or pop in on yoga class once or twice a week (my personal favourite). No, it’s not just for flexible ballet dancer-types if that’s what you’re thinking, you’d be surprised at the mixed array of people who participate (#notspon). Whatever you’re into, do it because your mind and body will thank you.
2. Eat and drink healthy
I would never claim that I’m a “healthy eater” but oh boy I wish I was. At the very least, in times of high stress, remember to eat regularly and (semi)healthily. Living on a strict diet of 2-minute noodles and instant coffee is not desirable – trust me.
3. Plan and prioritise
Use a diary (snag a free one from the Guild). Keep everything in one place so nothing gets forgotten, whether that’s in a paper diary or an app. Keep track of what’s coming up in the weeks ahead, what shifts you have at work and family/social events you’re meant to be attending. If an event isn’t important to you and you really need to knuckle down and keep working on a research project, say you can’t go. Don’t be afraid of saying you can’t do things if you’ve prioritised something (like writing an essay) over a night out with your friends. They will understand, especially at the tail end of the semester.
4. Give yourself a break
None of us are perfect, and sometimes things are not going to go the way you’d have liked. Try not to beat yourself up about whatever it is, as long as you tried (thank you, Mum, for those words of wisdom).
So there it is, the advice I wish I would take every single day! If you’re struggling with mental health stuff, hit up Health Services here.
Be kind to yourself, you wonderful humans.