By Marie Miguel
If you’re a student in the modern world, you likely know that working hard to achieve academic success can take a major toll on your mental health.
If you notice your work coming before your health, you might notice this decline happening fast. For some, academic stress can be the cause of sickness, lack of sleep, and less healthy eating habits or less healthy coping mechanisms.
For some, academic stress can be the cause of sickness, lack of sleep, and less healthy eating habits or less healthy coping mechanisms. Did you know stress can even cause spotting and affect your menstrual cycle? Check out BetterHelp to learn more about how stress can affect your period.
In this article, we’ll review the different ways by which your academic stress might be taking a toll on your mental health. Never hesitate to take steps to address these concerns if you feel you relate to them – no one deserves to suffer in silence.
Oftentimes the first thing to go when you are stressed is your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
When you are anxious about a test, a homework assignment, a project, or you are worried about your overall academic success, you might find yourself also sleeping restlessly.
Sleep is incredibly important for both your physical and mental health. When you sleep your body recovers from the day and it is also able to process information and memories better.
A regulated sleep cycle will also set you up for success during the day. When you wake up feeling rested and energized, you will feel more prepared to accomplish the tasks ahead.
To help regulate your sleep, consider turning off all devices to limit screen time an hour before you go to bed. In addition, try to work outside of the bedroom.
When you do work in your bed, your bed is no longer associated with sleep, but rather, with work.
Another thing that will likely be affected by academic stress is your eating habits.
Perhaps due to a lack of time, you may find yourself not eating enough, overeating, or eating poorly.
Similarly to sleep, getting the right nutrients to sustain you throughout the day is an important part of diminishing your academic stress. Take note of your eating habits when you are stressed out and put a plan in place to avoid eating poorly.
When you are too focused on your academic success, sometimes your other relationships might suffer.
If you are extremely stressed out and have no one to lean on for support, your stress might increase. Take a moment to ask a friend for help, or to give yourself a break to enjoy your friends.
On the flip side, if you are coping with academic stress by spending too much time socializing, you might find yourself in trouble. Partying has its time and place, but when it is a placeholder for self-care, you are merely prolonging inevitable stress.
If you notice your body changing as your stress increases, you’re not alone. Stress can be hard to identify as the culprit of these changes, especially since many of us are used to it being embedded into our lives.
Some people grow stress-related grey hairs, some people put on weight, some people lose weight, and some people notice dark circles around their eyes. No matter what, if you notice stress taking a toll on your health, it’s certainly worthwhile to seek out help.
Try your best to care for your body while you are striving for academic success. In the long run, sustained physical and mental health will get you further than academic success.