Today, Thursday 9th March, is University Mental Health Day, and I believe students, much like the busy professionals we speak to at Bodyshot Performance, are just as prone to mental health conditions as anyone else.
Mental health is one of the great levellers: we all have it. Sometimes it’s positive, sometimes it’s being challenged, and sometimes we find ourselves in a rough place – which is completely normal. But what can we do to get out of that?
The Cadence Approach
I believe some helpful advice for students would be to apply the Cadence Approach. Here at Bodyshot Performance, we use this methodology a lot with busy professionals. Because it doesn’t matter if you’re a student or working in finance, for example, it’s common for us as human beings to feel we must perform at a high-level year round. Now, that could mean studying hard to get the best grades possible, or putting out the best quarterly sales results. Whatever that looks like for you, it’s not necessarily going to be good for your mental health. We need breaks, we need time to rest and recover, time for our brains to relax, for our nervous systems to move back into a state of parasympathetic dominance.
Whether you’re a student, parent, carer or lecturer, my advice is this. Please encourage that individual – or yourself – not to have that expectation of performing at a high level all year round. Look ahead to the busy points in your schedule. Prepare, maybe focussing on having daily non-negotiables to maintain good wellbeing and a basic state of readiness for whatever challenges might come along during the academic year. So, that might be sticking to a bedtime routine, or keeping energised by walking. It could even be connecting with people you love to be around, or taking up a hobby or passion project – whatever helps to relax your nervous system.
To summarise, don’t expect to perform at a high level year-round; create those opportunities for rest and recovery. It may not be the answer to all your problems, but it’ll certainly help you deal with those challenges better. And in some cases, it might even eradicate that challenge. So, I’d like to wish you all the very best in your studies or whatever you’re currently working on, and a happy University Mental Health Day.
Read the book
Burnout among busy professionals is reaching epidemic proportions and results in unhappiness, impaired mental health and shortened careers. Leanne’s latest book, Cadence, can help. Inside the pages of this short, easy read, you will discover how to apply the simple and effective Cadence Approach™ to your life. It’s the secret to beating burnout and performing in life and work.