How to Maintain a Balanced Mindset in College - Good Food Made Simple

How to Maintain a Balanced Mindset in College

Aug 19, 2019
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With a new semester almost upon us, it is time to talk about mental health. Specifically, identifying ways to maintain a balanced mindset during the academic year. College life is multi-faceted and there is always a lot to keep track of. Thankfully, there are ways to focus on mental health while at school. Our key tips are to stay focused while avoiding overworking or feeling overwhelmed.

Stay Organized

One of the handiest things to do in college is to keep a planner, calendar or some sort of list. With various tasks and dates to keep track of, your planner will probably be your best friend! Staying organized is key to avoid overworking yourself and staying on top of deadlines. If you have never used a planner before, we recommend making a conscious habit to update it daily. How you use your planner will depend on your personal organizational style. For example, some people benefit from colour coding certain dates and tasks. Others prefer using symbols to organize their tasks. Planners and calendars can also be kept digitally, which allows for easier access via phone or computer. Whatever method you choose, we recommend keeping track of anything and everything you feel is important.

You can also use your planner to track non-academic habits such as meals, water intake and exercise. Keeping track of lifestyle/fitness habits is just as important as tracking academic or work tasks. You can find free templates online or inspiration to start your own tracking pages. Staying organized in both your personal and work life is crucial to maintain a balanced mindset. In fact, having work-life balance helps reduce stress, burnout and other mental obstacles. By physically keeping track of various tasks and duties, you will avoid overloading your brain with mental reminders. That way, you can focus on more enjoyable tasks such as going out with friends.

Down Time

While it is important to get ahead of work, it is equally important to schedule time for yourself. Being able to relax and rejuvenate is a major step to maintaining a balanced mental state. A few of our favourite “me time” activities include yoga, meditation or simply staying in and watching a movie. Whatever way you choose to relax, make sure you pencil into your schedule! There are so many health benefits to relaxation such as lowering blood pressure and improving your mood.

Sometimes it feels like you need to keep up and stay ahead but that can often lead to burnout. There is already a lot of pressure in academia to be studious and diligent at all times. While those are good habits to get into, it can leave students feeling overworked. As a result, stress levels rise and students’ self-care is non-existent. We are firm believers that self-care and self-love should always come first! After all, you only have one shot at life, might as well live it how you want.

If you are more of a type A person and staying busy is your version of down time, there are ways to practice self-care and stay busy. For instance, grab and partner or friend and choose an activity that will get you moving. Staying active is a great down time alternative for those who want to keep moving and stay busy.

Another one of our favourite productive self-care activities is meal prepping for the week! Meal prepping is a great way to get away from your desk or computer and into the kitchen. If you love to cook, this is a perfect way to de-stress and try out new recipes. Even if you do not like to cook, you have to eat somehow, right? While we like to keep our meal simple, we enjoy the time it takes to plan meals and get a little solo time away from work and school. It might seem strange that meal prepping can help maintain a balanced mindset, but we believe any form of down time is critical to sustain mental balance.

Find Your Groove

This might be one of the most important tips to achieving a balanced mindset in college. It is so important to not compare yourself to other students because once you do, it is really hard to quit that mentality. Everyone’s workload and capacity is different – you need to understand your limits. At times, it can be tempting to up your workload and take on as many tasks as you can.

Overcommitting and overloading your schedule is one of the most dangerous habits to adopt. We definitely discourage that – it will stress you out, lead to burn out and ruin your balanced mindset. In fact, more often than not employers and professors understand students limit themselves and focus on mental health. If you have to turn down an opportunity to stay balanced and healthy, it is not the end of the world and people will understand.

We recommend changing your mentality. Tell yourself it’s acceptable to limit yourself – do not agree to a workload you cannot handle! Pushing yourself past your limits and overworking does nothing good for your health. There is nothing more important than recognising your limits and working at your own pace. Remind yourself that college is not a competition and your achievements are valid. You should celebrate your success instead of comparing them to others’. Once you adopt this mentality, you will be one step closer to maintaining a balanced mindset.

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