There are some moments in life where you may feel stressed, anxious or depressed, and those feelings might escalate at the end of term when your assessments are due.
As a part of Mental Health Month, our Counselling and Wellbeing Team have come up with some strategies that may help you cope during this time and beyond.
Keep reading to gain some great tips to succeed in your studies…
Enjoy Some Brain Food
Foods contain many natural ‘feel-good’ chemicals that can do wonders for both our body and mind.
The human body has two different brain systems: the limbic system and the cortex. The limbic system produces neurochemicals that tell your body what is good or bad for you. Four of those ‘feel-good’ chemicals are endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, which all play varying roles in how we are stimulated.
Chocolate, avocado, Brazil nuts and eggs are just some of the foods we can eat to help to boost the release of these chemicals and amp up those positive vibes.
Another famous brain food is the blueberry, known as one of the best brain foods due to its high levels of antioxidants. The blueberry contains anthocyanin, a compound that helps protect brain neurons linked to memory. According to a study, a diet rich in blueberries may improve short-term memory which is a handy helper during the end of term!
Catch some ZZZs
Research has shown that sleep deprivation can have a significant negative effect on your mood. Often sleep problems like insomnia occur as a symptom of a mental health issue but further studies have suggested sleep problems may raise the risk for, and even directly contribute to, the development of some psychiatric disorders.
By introducing some of the healthy sleep habits listed below, you are likely to improve your overall sleep quality which is found to reduce stress levels, improve memory, improve emotional regulation and our ability to concentrate.
Some great tips include:
Routine: Go to bed and wake at the same time (even on weekends) to encourage a healthy sleep schedule. Soon you will not need an alarm to wake-up.
8 Hours: Aim to capture eight hours of sleep per day.
Unwind: Switch off all screens an hour before going to bed. Reading a book, journaling, stretching, having a bath or listening to music is the perfect sleep preparation.
Watch Out: Avoid caffeine and nicotine in the afternoon and eating a large meal soon before bed.
Phone Settings: Change your phone and computer blue light settings. Blue light messes with your body’s ability to prepare for sleep because it blocks a hormone called melatonin that makes you sleepy.
Another great tip is to take regular naps. Taking a brief nap after studying, instead of participating in other activities, can significantly increase the retention of the information just learned. According to a new study at Saarland University, even a short sleep lasting 45 to 60 minutes produces a five-fold improvement in information retrieval from memory.
Dr Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience, recommends keeping naps short, a 10-20 minute nap is the most beneficial as it prevents sleep inertia (that groggy feeling after waking up).
So, do not feel guilty about taking an afternoon nap, as it can help you in your studies! Just try to nap before 3 pm, as any later may disrupt your night sleep.
Remember, we are here to help you! If those strategies do not work and you feel the need for some professional assistance reach out to Counselling and Wellbeing. CQUni Student Counsellors provide respectful and professional support in a caring and compassionate space for you to speak freely without judgment.
Contact us to make an appointment:
P: 07 4930 9456
Written by the CQUni Student Counselling and Wellbeing team.