Self-Care Tips for Busy Students

Schoolwork is important, but so is your mental health

The life of a student can get pretty busy. You are balancing assignments, papers, labs, and exams from all your classes, and sometimes it seems like everything piles up at once. Usually your academics are your first priority—after all, that’s why you’re in school in the first place.

But for some people, the academic burden can become overwhelming at times.

If you are feeling the heat of the academic pressure, you might find yourself skipping meals, missing sleep, or canceling social plans in order to study more. This kind of stress can start to wear on you. This is why it’s important to be aware of your self-care habits. After all, if you yourself are not healthy, how can you expect to succeed at school?

For best results, try these self-care tips before the stress level starts rising, and make them a part of your lifestyle.

Get adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise
Sleeping well, eating healthfully, and exercising regularly are the three top health tips for both your mental and your physical health. Staying up too late, eating poorly, or skipping exercise will eventually catch up with you. It’s better to make it a habit to make healthy choices.

Take a break
Studying for hours on end is not only stressful, but it isn’t even that productive. Give your brain and your body a rest by taking short breaks every 30 to 60 minutes of studying. These little breathers can go a long way to relieving stress.

Our mobile phones allow us to be constantly “on” and always available. Sometimes it’s nice to simply turn off your phone for few hours and be the boss of your own time.

Spend time outside
Many of us spend a lot of time indoors, and when you’re a student, most of your school assignments will require you to be indoors, on a computer, in a library, or in a classroom. Getting outdoors and breathing in the fresh air can be very rejuvenating. Try to take a walk in a wooded area or even just around the block.

Time alone
School can be a fun and social time of your life. If you have a roommate or a large circle of friends, you may find that you are nearly always with other peers. Sometimes it helps to carve out a little alone time, just to be with your own thoughts. It can help you recharge your batteries and get refocused.

Build a support system of friends
Getting to know other people at your school is an important part of getting the most out of your education. It’s not only fun to make friends with other people at your school, but they can also be super helpful if you’re experiencing stress. They can be a great shoulder to lean on.

Find something to identify with
Some people find that getting involved in an activity, club, or sport is a great way to feel connected and engaged in school. If you find something to identify with, you’ll always have something to look forward to, even when the academic pressure is high.

Forgive yourself
School is not supposed to be easy. You are there to learn, and sometimes it takes longer to learn than you had hoped. You might feel disappointed in yourself if you get a bad grade or forget an important assignment. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, and part of learning is learning from your mistakes. Forgiving yourself will be a relief. Forgiving yourself will put you in a more positive frame of mind for the next challenge ahead.

Ask for help
If you are struggling in school, feeling anxiety, getting depressed, wanting to give up, or just feeling overwhelmed, you should ask for help. No one should have to face these challenges alone. Find out what student services your school offers. Talk to friends and family members about your concerns. There’s no shame in seeking professional help. Your mental health is your top priority, and others want to help!

We hope these self-care tips can become habits that you integrate into your everyday routines. After all, there’s nothing more important than your physical and mental health. With a good self-care routine, you will be ready to tackle the academic challenges that come your way.


The Branford Hall Career Institute writes a weekly blog that includes health and wellness tips, student advice, and career exploration information. Find out more about us by contacting us online.