Mental Health Tips for the New Year

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Whether it’s the assignments that are due, the social situations that you’re in, or your personal life, the new year always makes things feel as if everything is coming at you from all directions. Your mental health should always be the number one priority, but during the school year, it can fall to the backburner. Here are some tips to keep you calm and healthy for the new year.

Tip #1: Take Advantage of Your School’s Resources

Most schools have a counselling center right on the campus. The best part is, it’s built right into your tuition. Check to see if your school offers group therapy sessions, individual counselling sessions and crisis services. It may seem intimidating at first, but those resources are there to help.

Tip #2: Keep an Agenda

There are different methods for everyone when it comes to organizing your day, month or year. Some like to break it down, hour by hour, while some people like to brain dump everything they have to do. Regardless of how you use it, agendas are a great way to organize your to-do list to keep you on schedule and in control.

Personally, having a well-planned agenda makes me less anxious about the future and allows me to plan out my schedule so I know when my assignments are due and when I should start essays and projects.

Remember to not overload yourself. Only set a realistic amount of goals for each day and make sure to schedule in time to relax and sleep. You can’t do your best when you’re running on three hours of sleep and never have a break.

Bonus Tip: If you have trouble sleeping at night because you’re thinking of everything you have to do, get out of bed, find a pen, and write it down. You don’t have to schedule it into your agenda, all you need to do is write it on a piece of paper.

Tip #3: Meditate

My school offers free meditation classes, but I also use the Headspace app. You don’t need to “ohm” and you don’t have to sit on a yoga mat in your Instagrammable workout clothes. You can literally meditate anywhere. Meditation trained me to clear my always busy mind and remember to breathe deeply throughout the day. It’s great to do right after waking up and before going to bed to start and end your day with a clear head. Try meditating before an exam so you don’t go in stressed.

Tip #4: Clean

Having a clean and tidy space can help you organize your thoughts and make you feel happier. Especially if you are a highly visual person, seeing clutter may distract you. Doing something as small as making your bed can make your whole room feel cleaner. When you make cleaning a part of your everyday routine, it will help to avoid being overwhelmed by a huge clean-up job at the end of the week, when you don’t have time, leading to unnecessary stress.

Tip #5: Know Yourself

The biggest thing about taking care of your mental health requires you to know your own body. Some days you may feel like you absolutely must go to class or other commitments, but it might be better for you to take a mental health day. It’s hard, but it’s important to know when things aren’t okay and when to seek help. Make sure to leave time during the week to be by yourself without having to do anything and relax.

Try some of these tips, but find what works to keep you healthy and stick with it. School is important, but nothing is more important in the long run than taking care of your mental health and your happiness.

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