Hiking tips

Taking care of your mental health: 14 tips for Penn State students | Way of life

Now that we’re already halfway through the semester, it’s time to be mindful of our mental health and take care of ourselves.

I’ve compiled a list (in no particular order) of tips students can refer to when they feel too overwhelmed with homework.

Sleep as much as you can

No matter how much work you have and what everyone else is planning to do, you need to sleep.

I’m a firm believer that if you don’t have the energy for a task right now, you won’t do it later in the day – so take a nap or go to bed early and do the task later.

Maintain a good and healthy diet

Food is fuel. If you’re feeling down or low on energy, whip up your favorite meal and fill yourself up with everything your body needs.

Pasta, especially Gigi Hadid’s Spicy Vodka Pasta, is my all-time favorite.

Don’t overload your schedule

College pressure is intense. Although you want to maintain a healthy state of mind, you are also forced to believe that you must complete five tasks at once.

This is a common misconception.

It’s OK to have a day in the week when you do nothing. Try to work on things in increments so your schedule doesn’t get hectic.

Watch a movie or TV show

The best stress reliever is to withdraw from the thing that is stressing you out in the first place.

I find that rewatching heartwarming movies and TV shows always allows me to relax and start fresh when it’s time to get back to work.

Personally, I re-watched “The Witcher” on Netflix for the third time.

To be active

Whether it’s taking a walk to get food or hitting the gym, being outdoors in itself is great for your mind and body.

The Penn State Arboretum is a great place to relax and walk around campus, especially now that the seasons are changing.

Create a reward system

The best feeling in the world is when you manage to cross something off your diary or calendar.

So reward yourself for accomplishing that task, no matter how big or small. Have a candy or take a 15 minute break.

Maintain a schedule

When you feel overwhelmed with your homework, another great solution is to organize your semester in some way.

Students study at the Pattee and Paterno Library on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 in University Park, Pennsylvania.

This can be a physical calendar or a Google calendar, whichever works best for you.

Find a cute place to study

My biggest challenge as a freshman was finding a good place to study where I didn’t feel overwhelmed. It could be a downtown cafe, the library, or even your dorm or apartment.

I recently went to the Elixr library or cafe in downtown State College.

Set up the environment so that it provides a welcoming and motivating space to do your business.

Create a study playlist

I’ve created two playlists in the past not only for walking to class, but also for studying. Music can be used as relaxing and motivating. Find yourself a playlist that suits you or create your own.

The best playlists to listen to are those that include upbeat songs or have relaxing melodies.

Schedule a self-care day at least once a week

Once a week, schedule a day where you can relax and de-stress.

I always find those days to be Sundays, when my roommates and I clean up and prepare for the week ahead.

Always have something to look forward to

Besides rewarding yourself, have something to look forward to each day.

It will keep you in good spirits for the day as you will be looking forward to something exciting for the whole day.

To clean!

Stress cleansing is amazing.

Not only do you clean up your living space, but it also clears the mind because you are so focused on the task at hand.

Surround yourself with good people

Create a healthy circle of friends. Check out Penn State’s student-run clubs on OrgCentral or strike up a conversation with your neighbor.

Surrounding yourself with good people brings more positivity into your life.

Use your support network

This is the most important tip.

If you are having difficulty, reach out to the person you feel comfortable talking to. It’s always good to talk things over so you can collaborate on solutions, but it’s also okay to just rant and express your feelings.

If you cannot contact a friend or family member, Penn State Counseling and Psychology Services is an open resource for any Penn State student who needs mental health services.


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