5 Ways to Support Your Mental Health When Returning to School

Rear View shot of a young man walking to increase mental health as he returns to school.
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Returning to school can be overwhelming. School life may mean heavy academic workloads, busy daily schedules, and strict deadlines. This pressure of academic demands can easily create stress and negatively affect your mental health as a student.

This article walks you through five effective ways of supporting mental health in school. These solutions will help you return to school prepared to handle the mental pressure. As a result, you will boost productivity in your academic world and life in general.  

1. Manage Your Time Well 

Ineffective time management can have adverse effects on your mental health, causing depression, anxiety, and stress. Poor time management causes stress due to insufficient time to deal with your academics and life obligations.  

Poor time management can also make you anxious. For example, you will always struggle with deadlines and unmet academic demands if you don’t manage your time well, which can easily make you anxious.  

Managing your time well is mentally healthy. A 2018 research article says that proper time management improves a person’s general well-being and relieves negative emotions. According to the study, proper time management reduces depression and anxiety. The reason is that you get ample time to attend to your daily academic and life obligations conveniently.   

How Do You Manage Your Time for Better Mental Health?  

You can use different techniques to manage your time well and support your mental health. The following methods will give you control over your time.  

Set Daily Academic Goals 

Write down what you wish to achieve academically on a daily basis. Then, set clear deadlines for each academic task. Completing these daily educational goals gives you a sense of accomplishment that improves your mental health.  

Setting daily goals ensures you break heavy academic workloads into small chunks that are easy to manage. As a result, you avoid the mental burnout of handling huge academic workloads at once.  

Prioritize Your School-Life Obligations 

You should prioritize your academic and life obligations. Doing so ensures you differentiate between what’s urgent and what’s important. It also helps you identify activities you can abandon to free more time for essential school-life obligations.  

You can ask yourself the following questions to prioritize your school-life obligations:  

  • What’s the most essential and urgent obligation? This obligation should be your top priority. 
  • What’s important but not urgent? You can schedule this activity or obligation for later.  
  • What’s urgent but not essential? Give this obligation the least time and attention.  
  • What’s neither urgent nor essential? You should eliminate these tasks or obligations.  

Prioritizing your school-life activities eliminates unimportant tasks that waste your mental energy and time. As a result, you only focus on productive activities, reducing mental stress and burnout.  

2. Leverage Mental Health Services   

Male college student meeting with campus counselor to discuss mental health issues. Mental health services improve your psychological, emotional, and social well-being. You can leverage these services to improve how you feel, think, and handle specific situations. These psychological services boost mental health awareness such that you learn how to interact with others, manage stress, and make better choices in life.  

Some of the best mental health services you can leverage include yoga and counseling. Yoga is a mind-body fitness that combines muscular activity and a mindful focus on self-awareness, control of internal body energy, and breath. Research says that regular yoga practices reduce depression, stress, and anxiety as well as increase the overall quality of life. Thus, join a yoga club near you to boost your mental health. If there’s none nearby, you can subscribe to an online yoga class.  

Alternatively, you leverage counseling sessions to promote positive mental health. Life brings us difficult moments sometimes, especially when you have to deal with school, relationships, financial issues, and other obligations simultaneously. 

With counseling, you get a third-party perspective of handling complicated school-life issues, helping you avoid getting mentally overwhelmed. Many institutions have counseling departments to help students with personal and academic difficulties.  

3. Engage in Physical Exercises 

Exercises play a crucial role in our social, physical, and mental well-being. According to a study on the National Library of Medicine website, physical exercises reduce depression, negative mood, and anxiety.  

Physical exercises increase the circulation of blood in the brain and, as a result, reduce stress and impact your mental health positively. Other benefits of physical exercises on mental health include reduced distraction and increased social interaction as well as self-efficacy. Physical activity also improves how you feel about yourself, enabling you to deal with stress and the hardships of life.  

How often should you engage in physical exercise to improve your mental health? According to research, participating in low-intensity aerobic exercise for 30 minutes three to five days a week is an excellent way to increase positive moods. These aerobic exercises include (but are not limited to):  

  • Jogging 
  • Walking 
  • Gardening 
  • Dancing 
  • Lastly, swimming 

Engaging in physical exercise is not limited to going to the gym or doing sports. In fact, you have dozens of ways to be physically active. Identify a physical activity suitable for your situation, and let’s get physical.  

4. Get Enough Sleep to Boost Your Mental Health  

Mental health and sleep are two sides of the same coin. Depriving yourself of sleep adversely affects your mental health and psychological state. Research reveals that poor sleep quality has adverse mental effects. For example, insufficient sleep increases stress, reduces the quality of life, and induces emotional distress. In other cases, sleep disruption causes:  

  • Mood disorders 
  • Memory and performance deficit 
  • Somatic problems like abdominal pains and headaches 

You need enough sleep to maintain better mental health in your school-life obligations. Managing your time well (see no. 1) will help you set aside enough sleep time, even if you have a heavy academic workload. As an adult, you should sleep at least seven hours to enhance optimal mental health.  

5. Interact With Other Students 

School life can make you so busy that you interact less with other students, resulting in mental health problems.  Research reveals that the quality and quantity of a person’s social relationships affect their psychological and physical health. If you interact more with people, you support your mental health.  

We Care About the Mental Health of Our Students 

At Southern Careers Institute (SCI), we strive to give students an enabling environment to help them feel comfortable. Contact us today for more information about our training programs. You can also visit our campuses for any inquiries.  

This article was published on: 05/24/22 1:46 AM

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