As dead week and final exams approach us before the holiday break, it is important to monitor your mental health in order to perform your best. By studying and checking on your own sanity, you will be able to retain information better, be more motivated to study, and overall, just feel better during a stressful time. Here are 10 ways that studying your own mental health will help you get better grades than simply reading from a textbook.
1. By forcing yourself to get more sleep, you will be able to feel more energized for the day
Studies show that better sleeping schedules and habits help for better college performance, leading to better grades. Without sleep, you will be running on no fumes — much like how a car needs gas to run, your body needs sleep in order to function correctly. When your body is feeling fatigued, listen to it, and GO TO SLEEP.
2. When you're hungry, listen to your body and eat some protein
Protein isn't just to bulk up — it's for depression as well. See, protein and healthy foods are good for boosting your serotonin, which will help you feel less depressed and more energized. If you feel your body wanting more protein, or you're just feeling a little more down than usual, try eating better quality foods, and eat some protein.
3. Study, but take breaks
Great job — you're studying for the econ final! However, don't over study too much. Studies show that cramming is really bad for your mental health, and that relaxation before those pesky exams is the way to go. By cramming, you're literally forcing your brain into overload, and our brains can only handle so much information. Of course, study as best as you can,but once you feel tired or like you can't handle any more, take a break. Your mental health isn't worth the high grade.
4. Take a mental health day
It's okay to take a day to yourself. If you're feeling overwhelmed, overly tired, or feel something is wrong, take the day to self-care. Mental health days are becoming more normalized, which helps college students simmer down. Take the day to sleep in, pamper yourself, and relax. Missing a day or two won't hurt you in the long run — in fact, it will benefit you for your future well being.
5. See your school counselor or therapistGiphy
By checking in with your school's counselor or a therapist, you are releasing any lingering negative feelings, and learning ways to control them during a busy time. Going to a professional, rather than keeping it to yourself, is always advised, as they will help navigate you to success. Personally, ever since I have started going to my therapist, I have felt more motivated, energized, and happier.
6. If you catch yourself not concentrating in class, you're probably overwhelmed
If you catch yourself daydreaming, you may actually be overwhelmed. By not focusing, you are having too many thoughts in your head — which can lead to some bad study habits. Try working out, talking situations out, or even sleeping a little longer — that way, you can retain information better in a healthier way.
7. If you're having frequent panic attacks, it's time to cut something
Panic attacks are no fun, and are common in college-aged students. If you're having frequent ones, it's time to cut something from your life. Whether that be taking a quarter off or resigning from your campus club, you need to focus on yourself in order to be your very best and healthy self.
8. If you're failing classes in your major, it's okay to switch
If you're studying and studying and keep failing in your classes, it's okay to change your major or even defer from college for a while. Don't force yourself to stay in something you don't like or feel defeated by — do what you think is best. I am not saying to give up on your dreams because you're not understanding the curriculum, however, your mental health needs to come first always.
9. During the breaks, try to go on a mini-vacay
Longing to escape? Go on a mini-vacay. This is your body's way of telling you you need a rest and to get out of town for a while. It doesn't need to be anything extravagant, however even just going home, leaving the town for a while, or even flying out to your dream location may help your well-being. Do what you need to do feel well-rested and ready to hit the books again!
10. Remember: If your body says no, it means no
Listen to yourself — subconsciously, you know what's best for you. It's okay to say no to hanging out with friends, joining that club, or even taking that extra shift at work. You and your sanity come before any class or grade. You got this!
Happy studying! We're almost there, guys!