Feeling overwhelmed at the close of a college semester is common and especially understandable considering a year-long global pandemic altered the world as we all knew it.
That is why mental health experts suggest students pay particular attention to themselves during this hectic time by nurturing their minds and bodies.
Dr. Mary Ann Covey, director of Counseling & Psychological Services at Texas A&M University, said it would be easy to try and push through finals without slowing down and taking care of yourself, but doing the latter will bring better results.
“Given that this semester, and really entire year, has felt so long, it is important for you to give yourself some structure to finish the semester strong,” Covey said. “Organize your studies in ways that allows you the sleep that you need and the breaks that allow you to keep your focus.”
Some suggestions from experts:
- Do something you enjoy every day for 15 to 20 minutes. Listen to a podcast or music, talk to a friend, go for a walk or do whatever allows you to destress.
- Select what you eat from a variety of food groups and limit junk food.
- Organize your study space in a way that works best and makes sense to you.
- Plan to get a good night (or day) of sleep, which means seven to eight hours (studies show that if you don’t get enough sleep, your brain won’t be able to pull from memory what you learned).
- Limit time on social media and streaming services.
- Realize it’s OK to say no to things. Set clear boundaries with you family and friends.
- Try to accomplish small daily goals without putting pressure on yourself.
- Flush negative thoughts.
- Meditate, pray or partake in a different spiritual practice if it’s something you enjoy.
A Few Resources
To learn tips about different coping skills and wellness habits, view these workshops in which you can self-enroll through the student portal.
Texas A&M also has an after-hours mental health service, HelpLine, for students to call to talk about fear, stress and anxiety. Student volunteers can talk with callers about academic worries, feelings of loneliness, relationship issues and more.
If students feel they could benefit from speaking to a professional, CAPS is offering single-session appointments through the end of the semester. To schedule an appointment and meet with a counselor, visit CAPS’ services webpage.