Thriving in academic life: health and wellness tips for students

As students, we often find ourselves juggling many responsibilities, from attending classes, studying for exams and working in a lab to managing extracurricular activities and maintaining a social life. However, it’s easy to overlook our own health and well-being. Prioritizing self-care is essential for not only surviving but thriving in academic life. As a person who has first-hand experience with these issues, here are some health and wellness tips that helped me whenever I felt overwhelmed by academic work.

Having good sleep

Adequate sleep is crucial for cognitive function, memory, and overall well-being. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night by establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and trying to minimise exposure to screens before bedtime. But, we all know it’s easier said than done. That’s why I suggest starting with small steps to improve your sleep habits. For instance, consider establishing a regular sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine. Personally, I’ve found success by setting a “sleep focus mode” for my phone, which disables notifications and silences my phone after 10:30 PM. This simple trick has made a significant difference for me, especially since I check my phone after every notification, during the day out of habit.

Staying active

Regular physical activity is not only beneficial for physical health but also for mental well-being. Find activities that you enjoy, whether it’s going for a run, practising yoga, or joining a sports team. As someone who prefers low-intensity activities, I’ve found that practising yoga not only helps me stay physically fit but also leaves me feeling deeply relaxed and at ease. If you like high-intensity activities, you can try the gym on the campus (it is free for students) and check out the activities through Wondr app. There are many sports activities organised by KI like team sports (basketball, volleyball, fussball) and also workout classes. You can also book rooms, equipped with yoga mats.

Practicing meditation

Stress-reduction techniques like deep breathing and mindfulness meditation have been very helpful for me whenever I’ve felt overwhelmed. I’ve found great support through mindfulness apps such as Headspace, Aware, and Downdog Meditation (which, last I checked, offered free access for students :’) ). I highly recommend exploring meditation, mindfulness activities, or any other hobbies that offer a mental break when academic pressures become too intense. Taking moments for yourself to reset and recharge can make a significant difference in managing stress and maintaining a balance.

Connecting with others

Maintaining open communication with your family, friends, lab-mates, or course-mates is essential, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by academic work. Remember, you’re not alone in experiencing these challenges, everyone goes through hard times. Surround yourself with positive influences who uplift and motivate you to succeed. I tend to isolate myself when I feel overwhelmed, but speaking from experience I never saw it work. Being isolated usually makes me more and more anxious. Despite the temptation to isolate yourself, definitely try your best to connect with people, and discuss your issues and feelings with them.

Lastly, if you feel like you are trapped and you cannot help yourself, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. KI has a great service for individual student support. I hope this blog was helpful for you to change your habits for a well-balanced student life. If you have any questions on this topic, you can reach me via e-mail or drop a comment.

See you in the next blog!

Yagmur - Molecular Techniques in Life Science

Yagmur - Molecular Techniques in Life Science

My name is Yağmur, and I am from Turkey. I am a student on the Master’s Programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Science. Living in Sweden and studying at KI started as a dream, yet here I am (my life motto “everything is possible” still holds until further notice). In my free time, I like watching movies and listening to music from all around the world. I enjoy sharing my experiences in life. So, if everyone is ready, welcome to my blog and let’s begin the journey…


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