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10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

University can be a really stressful time, especially when assignment deadlines or exams come around.

According to Beyond Blue

1 in 6 Australian’s are currently experiencing depression or anxiety or both

Your mental state can impact every area of your life, including your studies, relationships, and work. Below are a few simple steps that can help you improve your mental health, and take a little more care of yourself.

Be mindful

Research shows that how you think about yourself drastically impacts how you feel. It’s easy to get into the habit of giving the negative things in life more weight than the positive. When you have a negative perception of yourself or your life, you end up viewing life in a way that confirms it.

Tip: Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Actively think about the positive things going on in your life. Think about all the hard work you’ve been doing, the incredible people you surround yourself with, the great decisions you’ve been making or simply how you are trying your best.

The mind is everything. What you think, you become Buddha

Write it down

It’s easy to let the bad, stressful or inconvenient things that happen ruin your day. You immediately forget all the good things that happened. So grab a notebook and write down one or two things every day that you’re grateful for, or made you happy. Headspace promotes journaling for wellbeing.

It could be that your dog did something silly, a stranger smiled at you, you did well on a test, or even that you had a great burger for lunch.

Get active

Self-made endorphins are where it’s at, you knew we were going to say this! Studies have shown the benefits of exercise on mental and physical wellbeing. The chemicals released into the brain when you exercise really can reduce stress. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, you can go for a walk by yourself or with friends, do a yoga class, or join a team sport.

As a student at UNE you’ve got access to SportUNE to go visit, they have a range of activities for solos and teams, chat to the team, they’re there to support and assist you.

It’s okay to take a break

As a student, we know you’ve got a lot going on. Feeling overwhelmed isn’t uncommon, especially around exam time – juggling time demands, work, relationships, everyday life and keeping on top of your studies can easily pile up. If it’s all becoming too much, take a break. Take some time for yourself, perhaps; meditate, pray, read a book, listen to some music, or even do some breathing exercises.

Be realistic

Academic, professional and personal goals are great! Just make sure they’re realistic, or you’ll end up stressing yourself out more! Set high goals for yourself, but make sure they’re realistic to pursue and achieve. A little bit of pressure is good and gives you motivation, too much pressure and you’ll have a breakdown. Give yourself grace, sometimes life doesn’t work out how you expected, but that isn’t always a bad thing. If you want a few tips on setting realistic goals, check this out.

Do enjoyable things

If you’re struggling, doing things you actually enjoy can take a lot of effort. Or if you have a pile study and a mountain of assignments, you can feel guilty for doing anything else. But, doing the activities you enjoy makes life fun, gives you a sense of accomplishment and can help you connect to others! It can also help get you out of a rut. So play your guitar, go to the gym, let yourself relax –  read a book or head to the movies.

Do something nice for yourself

Be human

Making time to connect with others is great. It can boost your energy, make you feel included and help you maintain a healthy headspace. Strong relationships give you support when you need it and create a sense of belonging. Connect with others through volunteering, your hobbies, sports or a club.

UNE Life has a range of different Clubs & Societies that are a great place to meet likeminded people, have you checked them out?

Rest well

Getting enough sleep is super important! Getting enough sleep can improve your concentration, energy levels and your ability to deal with stress.

People aged 18-25 years old should be getting around 7 to 9 hours sleep.

Tip’s for better sleep:

  • Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (yes that includes weekends)
  • Turn off screens 30 minutes before bed
  • Don’t consume caffeine late in the day
  • Exercise during the day to make you more tired at night.

Cut back

Reducing your intake of alcohol and other drugs helps to clear your mind, boost your motivation and improve your energy. We get it, these things can become tempting. They’re seen as fun, boost your confidence, and everyone seems to be doing it. But, in reality, it can affect your mental health, you can get into some serious trouble both with the law and the university, and the after-effects of both these things leave you feeling awful. If you are having trouble quitting speak to your GP.


Talking to someone, whether that be your family, friends, partner or trusted lecturer, can help relieve some of the pressure you are feeling. It can also make you realise that often you’re not alone in what you’re going through, and you have support.

UNE offers a free Counselling Service if you need a little more help. Or speak with someone from our team and we can point you in the right direction of who to speak with.

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Or if you’re looking to connect with more UNE students check out the Student Social Directory