Studying for a nursing degree in mental health can be challenging, exciting, and draining. Students must look after their well-being during this time, as it can be easy to bury themselves in their studies. Both physical and mental health can be tested during this intense concentration, and eating, sleeping, and showering can fall by the wayside. In a field like psychiatric mental health, nursing students know how diet, exercise, breaks, and other good habits can positively affect the brain and body. Still, self-care can take a serious dive during exam time or throughout the first year of college. Nursing students in this field can take care of themselves in several ways, including practicing regular self-care, developing a support network, staying organized, practicing mindfulness, staying connected with family and friends, eating well, and being assertive in asking for what they want need.
Getting adequate sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night and establish a consistent sleep routine. Set aside time each day for activities that help you relax, de-stress, and rejuvenate.
It is important to take breaks. Studying for extended periods can lead to burnout and exhaustion. Take frequent breaks to stretch, move around, and refocus your mind. Eating healthy foods can help to fuel your body and brain and improve concentration and energy levels. Plan and prepare nutritious meals and snacks and avoid caffeine and sugary drinks. Physical activity can help to reduce stress and improve mental health. Incorporate movement into your daily routine by taking walks, joining a fitness class, or participating in a team sport.
Another way to unwind and reduce stress is by engaging in enjoyable activities that provide mental and emotional balance. Find a hobby that you enjoy and make time for it regularly. If there is something you enjoyed doing before, like playing a team sport or a musical instrument, then pick them up again.
It is important to connect with others whenever possible. Prioritize spending time with friends and family or joining a club to meet new people. Studying can be isolating if not done in a group, so building positive social connections has a powerful impact on mental health.
Students in nursing understand the importance of seeking help from different resources. If you feel overwhelmed or are experiencing mental health challenges, don’t hesitate to seek support from a mental health professional. Your school likely has counseling or therapy services available to students.
Nursing students studying to be PMC-Psych Mental Health NP are realizing the goal of becoming valued and necessary medical community members. Accredited schools such as Spring Arbor University offer a dynamic curriculum with a flexible schedule that helps reduce the stress of studying for a degree.
Incorporating self-care practices into your daily routine can help you manage stress, maintain your overall well-being, and be successful as a nursing student. It’s important to care for yourself to provide quality care to others.
Develop a support network.
Having supportive relationships with friends, family, peers, and mentors can be invaluable in helping you manage the various stressors of nursing school. Consider joining a student nursing association or study group where you can connect with others who are going through the same experiences. Developing relationships with your nursing classmates is a great way to find study buddies, people to vent to or confide in, and people who understand the common challenges of nursing school.
Another great way to develop a support network is to attend school events and activities to connect with fellow students, faculty members, and nursing professionals. Joining nursing organizations like student nurse associations or professional nursing organizations help you network with other nursing students and established nurses and offer professional development opportunities.
Social media can also be used to connect and collaborate with other nurses and nursing students. Joining online communities or groups that cater to nursing provides valuable resources and support. Seeking a mentor is another great way to develop a relationship with a nursing instructor or clinical supervisor. This person can answer questions, offer guidance, and provide emotional support when needed.
Never be afraid to use the school counseling services when you need them. That is what they are there for. These services can be very beneficial in helping nursing students address stress, anxiety, and other psychological challenges.
By connecting with classmates, attending school events, joining nursing organizations, using social media, seeking mentorship, and utilizing counseling services, nursing students can develop a strong support network that provides help and assistance throughout their nursing education program.
Effective time management and organizational skills help reduce stress and anxiety. Be sure to prioritize your duties, set realistic goals, and use a planner or calendar to manage your schedule. Using a planner to schedule classes, clinical rotations, study sessions, and other school-related activities will help you stay on top of assignments and deadlines and avoid last-minute cramming.
Prioritize tasks by importance and deadline. Focus on completing the most critical missions, then work down the list. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and help prevent procrastination. Set aside specific weekly times to study for upcoming exams, read assigned materials, or complete assignments. This will help you manage your time and give you a structure for your study sessions.
Always keep your workspace organized and clean. A neat and orderly workspace can help you stay focused and productive. Keep your desk or study space clean and clutter-free to help minimize distractions. It is also helpful to use technology to stay organized. Tools like digital calendars, note-taking apps, or study apps can help you stay on track and reduce the amount of paper clutter.
By staying organized, nursing students can maintain their mental health by minimizing stress levels, improving efficiency, and managing their workload.
Being mindful involves being present and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment. You can practice mindfulness by engaging in meditation, doing deep breathing exercises, or simply taking a few minutes to focus on your senses and surroundings.
Mindfulness can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and improving mental clarity, which can be especially helpful for nursing students. One way to reduce stress is to take frequent breaks every hour or so and use these breaks to practice mindfulness techniques like deep breathing, stretching, or meditation.
Take a few minutes before beginning to study to take deep breaths while focusing on the sensations of the breath. This practice can help calm the mind and encourage focus. Another technique is to take mindful notes during class and focus on being present and engaged at the moment, concentrating on the information that is being presented.
Engage all your senses while studying by noticing sensations like sight, touch, smell, or sound. While looking, resist the urge to multitask. Instead, focus on one task at a time, observing sensations in the body and mind and returning the reason to focus when it wanders. Incorporating mindful movement practices into your daily routine, like Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qigong, is also a good idea.
By practicing mindfulness, nursing students can help reduce stress and anxiety, enhance mental clarity, and increase productivity while studying. Incorporating mindfulness techniques into your routine can increase focus, better memory retention, and create a more peaceful, calmer atmosphere.
Feeling connected to others is important for our mental health. While studying, isolating yourself and becoming consumed with coursework can be easy. Stay connected with friends and family, even scheduling a quick phone call or video chat. Connecting with others helps nursing students stay motivated, avoid isolation, and maintain academic success.
Study groups are an excellent way to stay connected with classmates while benefiting from their academic strengths. These groups can help keep you accountable for studying and provide social interaction. Participating in classroom discussions or group projects can also help you to connect with your peers and build new relationships. This includes joining student clubs or associations. Clubs and associations help students meet others with similar interests and provide opportunities to participate in social activities and community service events outside the classroom.
Attending networking events helps you connect with alums or potential employers and can provide opportunities to explore possible career paths. Technology is another way to help you stay associated with others, even if they are not physically present. Utilize online forums, discussion groups, or social media apps to communicate with classmates and peers.
Eat nutritious foods
Good nutrition is essential for students to be mentally and physically at their best. Eat a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Plan meals for the week ahead of time and prepare meals or snacks in advance to avoid the temptation of eating junk food. Keep your pantry and refrigerator stocked with nutritious foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, lean protein sources like chicken, fish, or legumes, and healthy fats like nuts and seeds.
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day is an excellent way to care for your body while studying. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and energy drinks, which can lead to energy crashes and dehydration. Reduce stress eating by planning and taking healthy snacks with you, like granola bars and trail mix. Reduce the number of snacks high in sugar or fat, such as chips and candy.
Practicing moderation is key to eating healthy while studying. Limit eating out at fast-food chains and restaurants, which often offer unhealthy options. Instead, prepare your meals at home, where you have more control over the quality and type of food you eat. Allow yourself to indulge in your favorite treats occasionally but don’t make it a regular habit.
By eating nutritious food, nursing students can remain focused and alert, maintain optimal health, and enhance their cognitive abilities. Good nutrition can also help nursing students stay energized throughout the day, making it easier to manage academic responsibilities.
Being assertive and advocating for your needs as a student nurse is important. Setting boundaries, saying no when necessary, and standing up for yourself can help to reduce stress and improve your overall sense of control.
In nursing, assertiveness is essential for advocating for patients’ needs. However, it’s equally crucial for nursing students to practice power to support their needs. It is important to be clear about your needs with instructors and peers. When communicating your needs, use “I” statements, such as “I need help understanding this concept” or “I require additional resources to improve in this area.” This approach helps to communicate your needs without placing blame on others. Assertiveness doesn’t mean being aggressive or confrontational. It means sharing your needs while maintaining respectful communication. Being polite yet confident can be an effective way for nursing students to assert themselves.
Nursing students can also seek support from mentors, academic advisors, or the student services department to help them assert themselves effectively. These resources are available to assist students in advocating for themselves. By practicing assertiveness, nursing students can communicate their needs effectively, gain respect from their classmates and instructors, and feel confident in their nursing skills.
Taking care of your mental health is essential for providing quality care to others. By prioritizing self-care and seeking help, you can successfully navigate psychiatric mental health nursing school and beyond.