With long days (or nights!) spent hunched over your computer, staring at a screen, studying can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Looking after yourself when you’re pressed for time can be challenging, but it’s vitally important for maintaining your studies and your long-term health. Check out these helpful tips for staying healthy while studying.
Structure your days
Structuring your time when you’re stuck at home is the first step to taking control of your wellbeing. Sticking to a basic routine will help you manage stress, stay productive and keep up healthy habits.
Make sure you’re waking up and going to sleep at the same time each day, follow regular meal times, and try to maintain an exercise routine (even a quick walk around the block can be beneficial!). Plan out a realistic study schedule that includes regular breaks and deadlines for tasks.
Sometimes, healthy eating while you’re studying can feel impossible, but filling up on nutritious food will keep your body and brain in optimal shape. Make sure you’re eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as lean protein and whole grains throughout the day. Trying out new, healthy recipes is a fantastic way to spend study breaks and improve your wellbeing.
Get regular exercise
Staying active will help you feel fit and focused while studying. With plenty of exercise classes available online, you can try a range of workouts, from aerobics to Pilates. Otherwise, Parkrun is a great outdoor option, letting you join 5km runs every Saturday morning in a location near you.
If you’re struggling to maintain a workout routine, reach out to a friend for support in making and sticking to fitness goals.
Get enough sleep
Getting seven to nine hours of high-quality sleep each night is essential for memory, concentration and stress management; elements that can make or break your academic performance. Regulate your sleep cycle by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, staying away from devices two hours before bed and sleeping in a darkened room.
Stay connected (virtually, if you have to)
Keeping up a social life from the safety of your home has never been easier, and is an important part of your wellbeing. If you can’t see friends in person, make time for virtual hangouts on platforms such as Skype and Google Hangouts. Other ideas include Netflix Party and online gaming.
Start a yoga or meditation practice
If studying in isolation has you feeling overwhelmed and unfocused, a meditation or yoga practice is a great way to calm your mind and get on track. To manage stress and ground yourself in the present moment, take a free guided yoga class online or check out meditation apps such as Insight Timer or Headspace.
Look after your eyes
As universities move courses online, many students are adjusting to the realities of working in front of a screen. While online learning is an excellent way to maintain your studies, eye strain can be a frustrating side effect.
Combat damage to your eyes by positioning your screen one arm’s length away from you, blinking regularly, and taking breaks from devices. You can reduce glare by keeping your screen away from lights and windows or fitting an anti-glare screen over your display.
Prioritise your mental health
With more hours spent indoors, you may be feeling more isolated. Make sure to find time for your mental health by engaging in activities such as journaling and mindfulness practices. Take notice of any signs of anxiety and depression, and don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help. Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.