Studying and relaxing; surely the two things don’t go in the same sentence. Do they?

Studying should always be enjoyable (then again, we would say that!). If you’re a student with us at Fircroft, you’ll undoubtedly be working hard and having a whale of a time. That’s not to say you won’t find it stressful, there may be situations that you are in that are completely outside of your comfort zone. As long as you find your way back to enjoying your studies, that’s the main thing.

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) theme for this month is Mental Health Awareness. Managing your mental health while studying is incredibly important. We want you to love your time with us, and for you to progress and grow. Remaining cool under pressure and enjoying the experience is important for your success. Plus, and I know we keep saying it, we want you to enjoy your time at Fircroft College.

5 tip for managing your mental health while studying

Let’s take a look at how you can manage your studies and your mental health.

1. Take time out to breathe. It seems simple, but 3 minutes of deep breathing and focus can be a great way to clear your mind and make sense of your studies. Take a moment to sit in a chair, or on the floor. Close your eyes. Listen to the sounds around you. Concentrate on your breath. Do this for around 3 minutes and feel the calm envelop you. If you need some help with this, there are some great apps (Headspace or Calm are really useful, and very popular) that you can use to help you feel calm, collected and ready to tackle the day

2. Go for a walk in the gardens. Getting outside and back to nature is the perfect stress buster. We can’t guarantee the weather (when is summer coming by the way?!), but we can guarantee that our beautiful grounds are the perfect setting for you to de-stress. Take a deep breath (another one - breathing is important apparently) and breathe in the clean air; smell the flowers and walk around. A walk around the gardens, or simply sitting on a bench in the open air, allows you to shake the day off you and go back to the classroom with new focus

3. Write down your thoughts and feelings. Creative writing is a fantastic outlet for getting out those frustrations. Turn your feelings into prose; a short poem, a story, whatever you feel helps you get those words out of your head and down on to paper. You can draw, doodle, or do a mind map. Clearing your mind this way helps you make sense of what is causing your stress. Just get it out! Everyone has an inner writer; unleash yours.

4. Talk to someone. Talk to your classmates and explain how you’re feeling. Getting it out in the open is a great way to combat any negative thoughts. We have a supportive environment here at Fircroft College, and we encourage everyone to chat through their problems. Head to the common room, grab a drink and talk to your mates. It may sound a bit naff, but a problem shared really is a problem halved. Everyone here has a different life experience, and by sharing these experiences we all learn how to cope, or simply listen. Using your existing networks is equally as important, whether this be professional, social or personal.

5. Use Student Services. If you have concerns, and feel that you need to speak to speak to someone impartial and seek further support, do not hesitate to contact Student Services. Remember, we’re here to help.

These strategies might not be suitable for everyone. If you feel that these aren’t suitable for you, or you’re not comfortable with doing them, please do use discretion.

What other advice would you like to share?