Studying is one of the most rewarding things you can do (at any stage of life), but sometimes it can take a toll on our health. With exam deadlines, holding down a job and trying to maintain personal commitments, it’s common (and only natural) to feel overwhelmed. This blog will explain the importance of looking after your wellbeing and how you can stay healthy when you’re studying.
First of all, let’s be clear, it’s absolutely ok to invest in your career through studying and it’s also absolutely ok to invest in your health and wellbeing. In fact, it’s more than OK; it’s essential.
Remember; you can’t pour from an empty cup.
When your health is in a good place your happiness is in a good place too. Resulting in you being more productive, agile, resilient and creative.
Your colleagues, family and friends will also benefit from you prioritising your health and wellbeing.
Staying healthy when you study isn’t out of reach. It’s entirely achievable and here’s how you can do it.
The saying: ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is true. Sharing and talking through how you feel can help to relieve feelings of stress and pressure. It might be a friend, family member, a course tutor or mentor. Whoever it is they will always be there to listen and give you advice you can trust.
If there is one thing you should prioritise above all else when it comes to health and wellbeing, it’s getting a good night’s sleep. Too little sleep can devastate your body, brain and microbiome (gut health). Low mood and depression are connected with lack of good quality sleep. Establish a regular sleeping pattern and you will benefit massively. At the same time make sure you protect your bedroom from anything that could damage your sleep quality e.g. mobile phones. Avoiding caffeine after midday and limiting your alcohol consumption will assist with more restful sleeping too.
When you exercise your body produces endorphins and it is these happy hormones that improve your mood and also your levels of concentration (perfect for when you are studying). Start your day with 20-minutes of light exercise e.g. walking or Pilates and you’ll boost your mood as soon as you wake up.
You are what you eat; food influences your mood. Make sure you eat at regular times and eat a balanced and nutritious diet. By doing so your mood will improve, you will have more energy and you’ll be able to concentrate better too. Go for slow energy-release foods rather than ones that result in your blood sugar spiking e.g. sweets and crisps.
Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation that requires no religious or spiritual belief. It is simply the ability to be fully present in the moment. Mindfulness meditations helps to relieve feelings of stress and pressure, not just when you mediate but the whole time. Check out Headspace for simple guided meditations.
We all need to take time to stop otherwise we run the risk of burning out. Instead of working for long stretches and burning yourself out, aim to get away from your desk on a regular basis using the Pomodoro technique, just five minutes of downtime can help keep you calm.
Plan your time carefully, ensuring a realistic split between studying, working and your homelife. This will stop you from saying, ‘yes’, to too many things and overcommitting yourself.