5 Tips for Caring for Your Mid-Semester Mental Health and Wellbeing

Thursday, October 5, 2023 5 Tips for Caring for Your Mid-Semester Mental Health and Wellbeing

Student studies from a textbook

Written by Mariah Johnson, Counseling & Psychological Services outreach coordinator for suicide prevention.

Midterms can be a stressful time as you manage the many demands and responsibilities at this time of year. Balancing exams, projects, extracurricular activities, and more can make it difficult to prioritize time to focus on taking care of yourself. Here are some tips to focus on your mental health and well-being at this time of the academic year.

1. Prioritize Self-Care & Consider Emotional Needs

Take time to reflect on how you are feeling at this time of year. Students can experience an urgency to push through the semester, focusing simply on academics and deadlines, but this can lead to burn out and increased stress. Take breaks, prioritize self-care activities, pay attention to your physical health, and set aside time to do things you enjoy.

2. Identify Supportive Individuals in Your Life & Advocate for Support

This time of year can make you feel isolated as you balance time studying, time in class, or being actively engaged with other responsibilities. Think about who in your life provides you with support and consider how you can advocate for help. Do you need to schedule time to study or engage in a hobby with a friend, words of encouragement from a loved one, or someone to hold you accountable to complete tasks? There are ample ways to advocate for support, so be flexible and think about what you need.

3. Focus on Building a Consistent Routine & Set Boundaries as Needed

It can be helpful to go back to basics to consider what a helpful routine this time of year could look like. Scheduling time to study or to focus on specific classes while also scheduling time for self-care activities and breaks are important areas to identify balance. Consistency within your schedule can decrease feelings of anxiety about how to fit in areas of well-being and can create a routine that feels reliable and predictable. Be sure to set boundaries with your schedule, social engagement, and with others as needed to protect your time, mental energy, and emotional capacity.

4. Prioritize Physical Health

Never underestimate the power of movement, getting proper nutrition and prioritizing rest and how these areas help increase stress management and improve mood. Find ways to incorporate movement, such as walks or playing a sport you enjoy. Be sure to focus on eating nutritious and regular meals. Prioritize a consistent sleep schedule that allows you to get the rest you need to function your best.

5. Consider Using Available UNL Resources

UNL has great resources on campus that can be valuable to students. From academic support to mental health services, it is important that you assess different areas of well-being and seek additional support from which you could potentially benefit. A few options to consider include:

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