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Surviving Midterms 101

So, it’s midterm season, and finals are just around the corner. Just putting it out there, in case it hasn’t already hit you yet.

Of course, now is the time to study hard and spend hours in the library. While this is expected, but it is also THE time to take care of your mental health. Mental health is an entity that fluctuates on a spectrum. It is totally natural for there to be days where you feel low. I think of it like a rainbow with both dark and bright shades. While you are studying for that exam, remember that your mental health could use some attention too. If you take care of it, your grades will thank you. However, I know this is easier said than done, and it can be a struggle to get in touch with the right resources to help us. But a lot of us are in the same boat, and that is why I decided to reach out to upper year students across all faculties to ask them about how they take care of their mental health in the university. Breaking news: it didn’t involve extensive wait times for counselling appointments or spending a ton of money in the name of self-care. So, let’s dive in.

1. Dancing, listening to music, cooking and baking: WIN WIN, isn’t it? Everyone knows we need to meal prep.
2. Spending time with friends: Social connections can help in getting that serotonin rolling and maintain a good work-life balance. Also, STUDY GROUPS!
3. Mindfulness: If you aren’t doing this already, give it a try! This involves being aware of your thoughts in the present and addressing them.
4. Sleeping well: aim for 8 hours of sleep – it’s clinically proven to help the retention of information. Cannot be stressed enough! Your body and mind need rest to process info.
5. Eating well: While we all love to stress eat, doing the same with healthy snacks can give your brain the right nutritional boost that it needs.
6. Taking out some time to relax: Being comfortable with your own company and choosing to indulge in self-care is just the cushion that your mind needs. Be there for yourself, so that you can do so for anything else.
7. Watching positive videos: While we all are social media addicts, if you choose to even spend ten minutes of that time on watching TED Talks or learning something new, it can definitely be just the productivity boost that you need.
8. Cry: Now I know that this doesn’t conventionally fit in, but crying is a huge part of a psychological release that your body needs from time to time. So, don’t be afraid of letting your guard down. Only when you have dealt with the emotions surrounding the problem, can you focus on the solution.

So, these were some tips that have benefited people. And while this piece offers some broad-scale advice, mental health is a very personal thing. So, indulge in whichever activity that keeps you healthy, both mentally and physically. Just remember that UBC is a place of MIND.

-Ria Gupta

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