Mental Health Month Wrap-up
02 Nov 2021
Top tips for wellbeing when studying remotely
Juggling remote study, work, family and social commitments is a challenge at the best of times – but throw in a global pandemic and all that ‘juggling’ can start to feel like a full-on circus!
With so much going on, it’s easy to prioritise everything but yourself. October was mental health month and a great reminder that taking care of yourself isn’t selfish – it’s essential.
Here are 3 smart steps you can take to look after your wellbeing as a student.
1. Eat well, exercise, sleep, repeat
Yes we know, we know – everyone reminds you to make healthy food choices, get plenty of exercise and a good night’s sleep. But there’s a reason you keep hearing that advice – it works!
Investing in your physical health has flow on benefits for your mental health. It doesn’t mean kale for every meal and a 10 kilometre run before your exams. Build some exercise into your day that you enjoy and get those feel-good endorphins pumping.
Set aside time on Sunday for meal planning and preparation for the week ahead so there’s nutritious food within reach when you need it.
And while it might be tempting to pull an all-nighter to finish that assignment, a good study plan will help you manage your time more effectively, without the last minute panic. Our Learning Skills Advisor, Julia, is available to help you with this and registered students can book a free appointment with Julia here.
2. Give energy to the things that make you feel GOOD!
Some people find their zen on the ride-on lawn mower. For others its fishing, throwing a ball to your dog or watching re-runs of cheesy American sitcoms. Whatever your happy place is, go there more often!
CUC Far West Alumna and Psychologist Alex Forner told our Degrees Closer podcast that it’s important to make time for the things that help you connect with yourself. (For her, it’s cleaning!) She recommends asking yourself ‘What activities do I do where I feel really good after I’ve finished them, and I feel like I’ve had a bit of a mental break?’ and try to do those things more often.
3. Know that it’s ok NOT to be busy all the time
We all know someone who boasts about how busy they are (you might be that person yourself). Alex says this ‘urgency culture’ puts us into a state of mind where we think everything must be done NOW, and that’s not doing your wellbeing any favours.
“Being busy is normalised. Sometimes it’s even celebrated. We need to take a step back and realise we’re human beings, we’re social beings, we’re meant to connect with other people. We’re not meant to connect with being busy.”
Ditch the guilt and give yourself permission to switch off when you need to.
And remember… we’re here for you!
CUC North West is a welcoming, supportive learning space where you can connect with other students who know exactly what it’s like studying remotely from a regional community. Cathy, our CUC North West Centre Manager is mental health first aid trained and here to help you – whether it’s sharing tips on managing your study load, referring you to support services, or just checking in with you over a cup of coffee.
For more great resources and advice on managing your mental health and supporting others, check out these sites:
headtohealth.gov.au – Mental health info, resources and details for online & phone support, all in one place
headspace.org.au – Full of resources from our national youth mental health foundation.
beyondblue.org.au – For great information and support for depression, anxiety and suicide prevention.
thedesk.org.au – Developed by the University of Queensland specifically for tertiary students, there are free online modules, tools, quizzes, and advice to help you improve your wellbeing and study more effectively.