Being a student can be stressful. Trying to perform well in academics, have a social life and get enough sleep can be difficult to balance. Many students don’t worry too much about taking care of themselves until they begin to feel stressed out. However, following a few student physical and mental health tips can help when you get too overwhelmed.

Health and wellness in university may sound tricky, but it is possible to feel more balanced and relaxed. Here are a few ways to pursue total student wellness.

1. Try Meditation

The benefits of meditation are numerous, including stress relief and increased focus. The best part about meditation is that you can do it anywhere, at any time. Even taking five minutes before you start studying can help calm your mind so you can focus on the task at hand.

2. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

While having a drink or two with friends can be a good time, turning to drugs and alcohol because you are stressed is never a good idea. Social drinking can easily turn into dependency, and using drugs can make mental health issues worse. In fact, 20% of college students are classified as having an alcohol use disorder. If you are experiencing any problems with addiction, know that there are resources out there to help you.

3. Love Yourself

It may sound silly, but loving yourself essential. Many stressed students become increasingly self-critical. Struggles with academics or social life can lead to a negative outlook on life. Try saying positive affirmations in the mirror to remind yourself that you are a great person.

4. Get Active

Exercising is one of the best stress relievers out there. Simply going for a run or trying out a fun fitness class with friends can get your heart rate up and help you feel more relaxed and in control. Exercise is also a great way to let off steam after a stressful exam or a busy weekend full of extracurriculars.

5. Spend Time in Nature

Sometimes nature is the best medicine. Spending time outdoors may help you feel more calm and meditative, allowing your mind to relax instead of constantly worrying about upcoming tests or assignments. Fresh air is great for your health, and listening to the birds or looking at a body of water can be incredibly calming, especially during stressful periods at university.

6. Talk to Someone

When individuals are feeling stressed, they can get lost in their own heads. Combat this by talking to people, whether friends or family, about what you are going through. Sometimes just mentioning something out loud can make you feel better or help you find a solution to a complicated problem. If you are feeling especially stressed, it may be more helpful to speak with a professional who can help you find better ways to cope with stress and feel more in control of difficult situations.

7. Eat Nutritious Foods

An essential component to health and wellness for students is taking care of your body, both with exercise and diet. Eating nutritious foods is crucial. Surviving off sugar and caffeine can leave you feeling anxious, and consuming too many rich foods may upset your stomach or lead to unwanted weight gain. Nutrient-dense foods are important for keeping your mind healthy, so try incorporating healthy proteins and lots of fruit and vegetables into your diet when possible.

8. Get Enough Sleep

At university, sleep can sometimes feel like an optional activity. However, rest is essential to combat stress. Not getting enough sleep can lead to increased incidences of depression and anxiety, and can also hurt your academic performance. Try establishing a relaxing bedtime routine, turning off technology and avoiding all-nighters to make sure you are getting the rest you need.

9. Laugh

When you are stressed, it can feel like the world is falling in on you. In these moments, it is important to remember that everything difficult eventually will pass, and things are seldom as terrible as they may seem. Watching a comedic show, hanging out with friends or spending time with family can be an incredibly healing experience. Laughing is great medicine, and will help you to feel more relaxed and ready to handle the stresses of university with a positive attitude.

10. Help Others

Volunteering your time to help out in the community can help reduce stress by distracting yourself from your own problems to focus on other people. Feeling empathy can serve as a reminder that everyone deals with difficult things in their life. Consider volunteering at a local food bank or tutoring younger students. Spending time feeling connected to the people around you will help you feel less stressed.

Student Mental Health & Wellness Tips

Being at university can be a crazy time. Things are constantly changing, both in academics and your social life. Remember, health and wellness are essential to making sure your time at school is the best it can be, and that you stay healthy while learning and making new friends. Consider using these 10 student mental health tips the next time you feel stressed. Take a deep breath, laugh or walk in nature and remember that everything is going to be just fine.