10 Mental Health Tips for Online Students

Photograph of a student meditating outdoors

Being a student is hard, even for those who enjoy the flexibility of a fully online education. In fact, many online learners face challenges traditional students don’t, such as balancing career and family with classes and coursework. Here are a few tips for finding balance in your life.

  1. Learn to meditate
    At the core of many relaxation routines is meditation, but where should you start? Most involve focusing on a single point, such as the sensation of breathing. Follow this meditation guide for helpful tips or, if you're in Tucson, join us on campus for Meditation Mondays
  2. Get mindful
    Mindfulness, or a state of active attention on the present, has come to the forefront in recent years as a core component in mental health. It can help you focus on the here and now, form memories, and slow down your thought processes. According to Psychology Today, mindfulness can help even during your busiest moments. Consider enrolling for the next start date of our new online course, The Mindful Semester to explore techniques for managing stress and cultivating self-awareness. 
  3. Eat right and exercise
    We know this one’s easier said than done, but the basic components of healthy living have a significant impact on physical and mental health. Meal planning and setting scheduled gym time can be great ways to get into a routine.
  4. Rest
    Getting enough sleep has serious benefits, from reduced stress levels to a healthier body. But when you’re juggling work, school and family, how can you reliably get the recommended 7-9 hours a night? Follow these tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
  5. Socialize
    It may be hard to remember with so much to do, but it’s important to set aside time to spend with friends, whether it’s for a movie night or just grabbing a cup of coffee.
  6. Set realistic goals
    Don’t stress if you can’t achieve everything all at once. The best way to ensure you’re hitting your goals is to make them challenging but reasonable – things you can accomplish without sacrificing the other items on this list!
  7. Make time for fun
    Have a favorite activity that helps you unwind? Make time for your hobby. Mental health experts agree that penciling yourself in for some “me time” is an important part of anyone’s life.
  8. Get out of the house
    If you’re able, go outside for some of the items on this list. According to Business Insider, taking a walk in the wilderness or doing a yoga routine in the sunshine can offer surprising health benefits.
  9. Go easy on yourself
    It’s often easy to forgive loved ones for forgetting to finish a task or misremembering an appointment. But why are we often so hard on ourselves? It’s important to hold ourselves accountable, but studies have also shown that self-compassion is an important part of good mental health.
  10. Ask for help
    Whether it’s calling your academic advisor, talking to a loved one, or seeking assistance from a therapist, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Arizona Online students have access to comprehensive counseling and support services through Launchpad. Whether it's watching a quick video to de-stress or seeking long-term solutions for issues like stress, anxiety or depression, university resources can help.