Top tips for student wellbeing
- Sleeping well: Getting enough sleep each night is essential to be your best both for work and for your study life. Many don’t realise that a good night of sleep can be the key to managing stress, improving mood and concentration. An average of 7-9 hrs is recommended. Go for a positive sleep environment and keep a regular schedule.
- Eating Well and exercise: Eating well can give you more mental and physical energy to take on your studies. For exercise it’s best to do about 30 mins of moderate physical exercise around 5 days a week. Its all about striking a balance.
- Mindfulness: There is a lot of recent evidence that mindfulness can help you to remain calm. It revolves around being in the present and looking at self-awareness. It is an effective way of combating stress and anxiety with benefits including sustaining your attention, focusing more on study and everyday tasks. There are some great apps out there on your phone which can make it easier to form part of your everyday.
- Managing Stress: It is normal to feel stress from time to time, and we know we all face life’s challenges. Consistently high levels of stress however can lead to exhaustion and burnout. This can make us more irritable, anxious, restless and make it difficult to sleep and juggle all our daily tasks – especially study. Ensure when you are starting to feel stressed to reach out to your support network and look at balancing.
- Spend time planning and organising: Set yourself goals for your study and a schedule to ensure you are prioritising some study consistently within your week. Also in your calendar ensure time for relaxing, exercise and socialising alongside your studies.
- A weekly routine will assist to manage everything and create a “habit”.
- Set reasonable goals: Make sure you are realistic about what you can achieve in the time you allocate yourself. It is better to break the assignments down into small parts (e.g. complete 5 questions a week) than it is to set 2 hrs of study time at home a week which you don’t ever get to complete. Give yourself a reward for completing work and checking off tasks as you complete can also give you a sense of satisfaction and achievement. Furthermore identify and write down your personal goals – this can help shift focus on motivation to finish and keep things in balance.
- Focus on one thing at a time: Research shows us that multitasking is a myth. Try to avoid constant switching back and forth between tasks as you can lose depth of engagement and absorption of the material. Look at ways you can put the skills you are learning into practice within the workplace to further concrete your understanding of a unit.
- Find where works for you: Ensure you choose a supportive time and environment for study. You want this time to be the most productive for you. Find what works – is it a desk at home, in the library, before or after work ? Don’t forget our student nights where a trainer is available from 9am till 7pm every Tuesday which might be the perfect night for your study.
- Take breaks as needed: To increase productivity, try working for 20 mins at a time before taking a quick 5 minute break before recommencing. Just be careful you don’t become side-tracked and procrastinate away from coming back to your work.
Wellbeing at work
Wellbeing certainly plays a huge role not only in your personal life but in your work with children, families and colleagues. As educators we have a big responsibility and daily tasks can be complex. On a daily basis, we balance mental, physical and emotional loads often from all different directions. At times you may really struggle with this and feel a bit burnt out. It is important to consider your own wellbeing and understand the elements that can influence this. It is a collaborative approach so ensure that you flag a colleague or supervisor when you are feeling an in-balance in your workplace. Make use of reflective practice to establish patterns of checking in with your feelings and thoughts.
Below are some further resources and places to get more help if you are feeling you are struggling with mental health or wellbeing.
- 5 Ways to Wellbeing: https://5waystowellbeing.org.au/
- Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
- Black Dog Institute: https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
- Head to Health: https://headtohealth.gov.au
- Heads up: https://www.headsup.org.au/your-mental-health/taking-care-of-yourself-and-staying-well
- Mindspot: Online assessment and treatment for anxiety and depression: https://mindspot.org.au/
- My Compass: Self help tool for mental health: https://www.mycompass.org.au/
- Smiling mind: Free app for mindfulness skills: https://www.smilingmind.com.au/
- Work Wellbeing: https://beyou.edu.au/fact-sheets/wellbeing
Where to go for more help
- Your GP or health professional
- See if your service has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Beyond blue support service – Call or chat online
- Eheadspace – provides free online and telephone support and counselling to young people 12 – 25 and their families and friends. https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/ 1800 650 890
- QLife – QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. 1800 184 527 https://qlife.org.au/
- SANE – Australia Information, guidance and referrals for mental health 1800 187 263 https://www.sane.org/
- Suicide Call Back Service – provide free counselling for suicide prevention & mental health via telephone, online & video for anyone affected by suicidal thoughts, 24/7. Free call 1300 659 467