My name is Darinka, I am the founder of To-Dari List and have a Studygram account by the same name. I give study tips and advice on maintaining mental health, in order to help students all around the world live up to their full potential. In this article, I will walk you through fourteen habits that are beneficial for both the physical and mental well-being of students – but, in all honesty, these tips can be useful to anyone.
Arguably the best way to expand your mind. Every book is a journey, and you can gain new knowledge as well as new perspectives on life. It helps to understand yourself and the people around you – reading a lot basically equips you with a guide to handling all human situations, crises and relationships. You will feel enlightened and connected, when you see that somewhere, someone already faced the same issues that you are struggling with.
2.Learning a language
I know, at the end of a long study day, studying more for fun sounds like the very last thing you want to do, but hear me out. Language learning is a different kind of studying, and it has many benefits – among them, practicing studying and testing methods, as well as keeping your brain active. As cliché as it sounds, I do recommend using Duolingo, since keeping your streak up – that is, for how many days in a row you have been using the app – can provide you all the motivation you can possibly need to take up a new language that you are interested in. The best thing about learning languages is that it is really personalized: you can choose whichever language you like – and there must be at least one that interests you!
3.Learning new skills on YouTube or Skillshare
YouTube, our best friend, is usually regarded as something fun that helps you relax. However, since you can find experts of every field giving tips on topics they have been learning about for years or decades, it is not difficult to realize that such platforms also serve as incredible collections of knowledge. The internet is like the biggest library, filled with books on all the topics you can possibly be interested in. I recommend setting aside twenty to thirty minutes every day to learn a new skill, something you genuinely want to learn about, and not only you will be more as a person, but you will also have fun while you are at it. Think of languages and skills as building blocks that make you into a better, more interesting person. Also, feel free to use these platforms for language-learning as well!
4.Taking typing tests
This is something that literally only takes a single minute out of your day, but in the long run, you can benefit so much from it. Google the website of 10fastfingers – and that is it! You can check your typing speed – that is, how many words you can write down in sixty seconds – in any language you wish to. The words will be automatically generated, you just have to type fast, which is a really useful skill, and can also work as an amazing warm-up before starting a study session.
5.Reading the news
Being well acquainted with events currently happening in the world is super important and useful, just think about your simple everyday conversations. Of course, you have to be careful when it comes to choosing which websites you read – if you can, check out various sources on the same issue to gain as accurate knowledge as possible. To keep yourself accountable, you can for instance subscribe to the New York Times Morning Briefing. It is for free, and you only need to provide your e-mail address. You can choose which areas of the world you are particularly interested in, and then Times will send you an e-mail with the latest news and many other things every morning.
Good for both physical and mental well-being. It is really relaxing to have a nice full-body stretch in the morning, evening, or in the middle of your day, in one of your study breaks. You stretch out your muscles, so they will not get stiff because of sitting all day. It gets your blood flowing, therefore it is beneficial for your health. You will also have a few minutes to yourself to reset a little bit. If possible, try doing this outdoors, as the experience will be even more relaxing that way.
Very similar to stretching, but certainly more physically demanding, and more time consuming, but it can be personalized to your liking. It can be anything – walking, running, swimming, cycling, dancing, weightlifting, etc. You will feel more powerful, more confident, ready to face the challenges during your day. Squeezing in any kind of movement into your day can have amazing benefits on your mental health.
There is something incredibly empowering about affirmations. If you dedicate only a few minutes every morning or every evening, to deliberately think positive thoughts and get into an optimistic, healthy mindset, you can actually change your life. Little things add up, and if you do create a habit out of this, your outlook on life will change drastically. I encourage you to think positively about yourself, your goals and abilities, because it is really easy to let perfectionism take over and make us view ourselves in an unrealistic way. It is imperative to be self-confident and believe in our future success.
I truly believe this is the best way to reflect on past events and analyse our own emotions. By writing and giving ourselves time to process our feelings, we can gain very important knowledge about ourselves and our values. This is how we learn from our mistakes and appreciate our progress. Take only a few minutes to write down the things that happened to you today, good or bad, and see how they made you feel. Knowing ourselves is one of the keys to success.
Meditation is certainly not the easiest thing to do, yet it is really beneficial. I encourage you to try it! Start small, only with a few minutes: sit down in a quiet, comfortable place and pay attention to nothing but your breathing! It will help to stay calm, de-stress and get back into a healthy mindset. It will teach you about balance and discipline, as well.
This is definitely not for everyone, but if you are religious, try ending your days with a prayer, or if your religion defines when to pray, follow those guidelines. Express gratitude! If you are not religious, a great way to do this is to write a list of things you are grateful for when you are journaling.
Creative energies need an outlet. Let it be painting, editing, writing, singing, dancing, drawing, decorating or makeup: try to give yourself some time every week to use your energies to create something new and beautiful: expressing yourself in such a way will have an amazing effect on your mental health! You can also try colouring, as it is indeed therapeutic. Creating something tangible is relaxing, as well as it makes you feel confident and powerful.
13.Spending time outdoors
I find it incredibly important to go outside every day. You can do this in any of your study breaks: just go outside and walk around for a while; or, if the weather is awesome, feel free to even study outside. This is something that really depends on the weather and, of course, how much time you have. However, even when you are really busy, take those few minutes off, because it is really refreshing – perfect for a quick midday-reset. Get some fresh air, some sunlight, reconnect with nature, calm your mind – just listen and watch carefully. Be present!
14.Spending time with family, friends, pets
A great way to replenish and cultivate your relationships. Spend time with your loved ones! They will be happy, and you will be happy! Spend some quality time together, talk about everything and anything you want to. Reconnecting with people and knowing you are not alone, because you have those who support you, is really helpful when it comes to mental health.
+1: I encourage you to keep a daily habit tracker of all the things you would like to do every day, for it will keep you accountable.
There is no paid advertisement in this article, all opinions are my own, as none of the websites or platforms mentioned has sponsored me.
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