Healthy Mind, Successful Studies!Webmaster
By Dr Steffi Tan
Embarking on an academic journey can be both rewarding and challenging. As you delve into the rigours of research and your academic study, it’s crucial to prioritise your mental well-being. Here are some practical ways to keep your mind healthy while you’re studying.
- Set Realistic Goals
Start by setting goals you can actually reach. Break down your project into smaller tasks and celebrate your progress along the way. Doing things this way helps you to feel more sure of yourself and not so stressed. It makes writing easier to handle. For instance, if you want to write regularly for your project, it’s better to write for 15 minutes every day instead of trying to write a whole chapter in 1 day.
- Create a Routine
Have a writing routine that considers your energy level and commitments. Allocate specific times for writing, breaks and taking time for your wellness. If you are consistent, you will gain a sense of control and experience less stress, enabling you to face your academic work with clarity. Even having a specific space to work on your project helps. Some prefer their workplace while others prefer their kitchen table. With familiarity in routine, you will have more mental space freed up to focus on your main academic tasks.
- Prioritise Physical Exercise
Integrate physical activity into your daily routine. Studying a lot can make your body feel not so great, like getting backaches or feeling tight in your muscles. Regular exercise helps fix these problems by making your body more flexible and your muscles stronger as well as help with the aches and pains that can come from sitting and studying for a long time.
- Seek Social Support
When you study a lot, you might start to feel alone because many learning things are done by yourself, like reading research or understanding difficult papers. To fix this, try making friends not only with people who study the same things but also with others who like sports or activities you enjoy. Talking to different people can help you see things in new ways and make your learning better.
- Celebrate Progress, Not Perfection
Winston Churchill once said, “Perfection is the enemy of progress”. Shift your perspective away from striving for perfection and towards embracing progress. Your work doesn’t need to be perfect right from the beginning. Each draft is a step closer to the final product, even if you don’t use everything you had written before. It is the process of going through these drafts that will improve your work.
If you use some or all of these ideas, you might find your academic journey becoming more fulfilling, balanced and rewarding. At every step of the way, put your mental well-being as no.1. You need to look at the bigger picture – your academic journey is just one part of your life, so do not let it overwhelm you. Furthermore, success can come in different ways.
Wishing you every success and great well-being on your journey!
* A lecturer at a private university in Johor, Dr Steffi Tan recently completed her Doctor of Education.