Healthy Study Habits for Students
The following tips are some ideas that have been found to be important to maintain and improve your mental and emotional health. There are five main areas to keep in mind: Social, Physical, Cognitive, Emotional and Motivation.
We know that people who are connected to others tend to have better mental health. These are some strategies that can be helpful:
- Stay in touch with friends and family – particularly in those early weeks of coming to university.
- Make contact with other people in your course or who live in your hall.
- Suggest possible activities such as having a coffee together or going for a walk at lunchtime and allow yourself to accept offers of activities that others suggest.
- Remember to speak to someone from student support services (or your student counseling center) for help if you are feeling socially isolated.
Caring for your body helps your mind to work better:
- Get into a good sleep routine
- Make sure you get regular exercise
- Eat a good diet
- Attend to illness as soon as you notice yourself not feeling well
- Avoid activities that you know are problematic or that could become a problem such as gambling, excessive use of alcohol, using drugs and letting the internet or computer games steal time from you.
- If there is a problem speak to someone at your student counseling center or your doctor.
Strong emotions will always arise at some times during our lives. Having ways to help manage these so we can think as clearly as possible is a good idea. These are some strategies that can be helpful:
- Learn breathing exercises, meditation or being in the present (mindfulness). Nearly all our anxiety is about something in the past or future.
- Use distractions such as going for a walk, listening to music or (if you are stuck in a lecture) count the bricks on the wall! Or you may find ‘channeling’ your feelings helpful e.g. if you are angry about something go for a run or sing loudly or try writing your feelings down.
- Notice the good times!
- If you continue to be distressed, seek out the help of a professional or a friend.