We are on the verge of hitting midterms week and stress and tensions are slowly brewing within us. It feels like I just blinked and time traveled to Week 7 of this trimester. I cannot believe I am halfway through the last semester of Phase 1 curriculum!
To better handle my mental health and stress levels, I have been trying to build better healthy habits. I have been trying to set small goals, such as reducing my screen time in the evenings before bed to help wind down and get better sleep. I have been trying to set academics aside by 10 p.m. and shutting my eyes by 10:30 p.m. so that I can *aim* to wake up by 7 a.m. It has been a great goal, but I am still fighting with my sly side that hits the snooze button and rolls out of bed realistically by 7:30 a.m.
It’s all about progress though! Sleep is really crucial for mental health and creating a routine of going to bed and waking up at similar times helps generate a better sleep-wake cycle. I’ve also been more avid on building in blocks of time in between classes and studying for activities important to me, such as jogging, biking, catching up with friends, and exploring the St Petersburg area. After reaching my goal of studying a certain subject, I have been giving myself at least 30 minutes a day to jog/walk outside and catch some vitamin D.
There is freedom in disconnecting for a while. It’s the moment I can shut my mind off academics and let my imagination flow. While I have been giving myself the mornings to relax and slowly prepare for my day, my overall aim is to start my mornings off with a brisk walk or jog before classes. By creating positive daily habits, I believe it can help reduce stress levels and prioritize self-care. With challenging graduate programs like these at NUHS, it’s important to find your rhythm and give your body the care it needs to function optimally!