On the Student Health and Wellbeing blog I talk about a range of mental health and mental fitness topics. In most posts, I endeavor to make recommendations for things you can do to improve your mental fitness and wellbeing.
One of the common student reactions to these guides is a sense of being overwhelmed. The guides contain 30+ strategies and students say “how the hell am I going to fit all of those things in when I am already swamped?”
This is a really good question.
What I’ve not done well in communicating these strategies, is talk about how you can take your ‘typical day’ and embed a realistic set of habits that would contribute to building mental fitness and mental health.
I want to try to rectify that in this post and explore how you might ‘hack’ your day to make it a little more mentally healthy.
The way I’ve done this is to create sample schedule and annotate areas in the schedule where a mental fitness habit could be included. I’ve included a few links to my blog posts and other articles around the web for more information (links can be clicked in the pdf).
Obviously, everyone’s ‘typical day’ is a bit different, and your weekdays will be different from your weekends, but I’ve built the suggestions on top of what might be a typical yet busy work day for a student, incorporating lectures, study time and paid work.
What I hope this demonstrates is that there is scope to make relatively small modifications to your day that will contribute to your overall mental fitness and mental health.
Building mental fitness doesn’t need to be interpreted as a wholesale revision of your lifestyle. It may be achieved through the deliberate addition of new habits throughout the day.
Even just the process of being more formal with scheduling your day is part of making it more mentally healthy.
I’d love your feedback.
(note: In a future post, I will repeat this exercise, but with a schedule that might be more appropriate for someone who has a family (e.g., partner and kids) to consider as part of their daily plan.)