Shannon Noonan coordinates the Student Mental Health Engagement Committee on campus, as well as running Carleton’s Therapy Dog program- you may have seen her and her dog Blue around campus over the last year or so doling out “paw”-sitive support.
Here are Shannon’s four tips to take care of your mental health, especially as the semester gets busy:
Check In With Yourself
Make sure you are checking in with yourself often to ensure you’re making a conscious effort to prioritize wellness habits in order to help yourself thrive. Take time to reflect on your wellness goals and make sure to schedule enough time to accomplish them- whether it’s getting more sleep or getting active a few times a week.
Get Some Sleep
Make sure you prioritize your sleep – the evidence shows that no matter how much you study, you won’t perform as well as you could have without getting consistent, quality sleep. Even an extra half hour a night or taking the time to wind down before bed with dim lights, no screens, and relaxing activities can make all the difference when it comes to your grades.
Make the Time
Be proactive and plan at least one wellness break per day! Set an intention of what you want to get from it, and don’t be afraid to start small- it doesn’t always have to be a full-hour to yourself and you can always spread it out throughout the day.
Do What Works for You
Taking a break and prioritizing your wellness doesn’t have to be physical – making a study playlist or having a conversation with a friend can also reduce procrastination and stress, along with improving your well-being.
If you or a friend want to know more about supporting a friend during stressful times, Carleton also offers Supporting a Friend Workshops where you can learn about the range of experiences in student mental health. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Student Mental Health Engagement Committee, or learning more about the Therapy Dog program, you can check out Carleton’s Wellness website (or come say hi to Shannon during Blue’s office hours around campus).
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