Pursuing a degree or certification is an exciting time to learn new skills and prepare for a new career. But adding college classes to your plate can be stressful. Programs that are eligible for G3 tuition assistance tend to have a mix of both in-class instruction and hands-on skills demonstrations (which also come with their own layer of testing for certification purposes). If balancing college life with other responsibilities in your life such as work, bills, family and friends seems overwhelming, you’re not alone.
Here are some tips for taking care of your mental health and setting yourself up for personal success this semester and beyond.
Create a Routine
Sticking to a consistent routine may sound like a daunting task to some, but it will pay off in the long run. With such a busy schedule, carving out an hour each day for study time, an afternoon walk or writing in your journal will give you structure and help you keep things organized. Find one day a week, possibly a Sunday evening, where you review your schedule and tasks for the coming week so nothing catches you off guard.
Prioritize Your Physical Health
You may think pulling an all-nighter to prepare for your finals will earn you that A, but pushing your body to the limit is never a good idea. Make sure you’re fueling your body with healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, and getting sufficient sleep and exercise. There’s no question that our physical and mental health are linked, so depriving yourself of rest and nutrients can make you feel even more anxious and run down.
Make Time for You
Virginia’s Community College’s students are diverse. Many have jobs outside of schoolwork (sometimes more than one), and have family members that depend on them. Protect your mental health by finding time to unplug and disconnect. Whether that’s a morning hike, a movie night with your friends, or a few minutes of mindfulness before you start your day, having time that’s yours is important.
In addition to academic success, Virginia’s Community Colleges care about students’ emotional and psychical well-being. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your campus’ student services, Office of Wellness and Mental Health for referral services for other resources, such as mental health providers.