Mental Health Tips

Tips dor taking care of Mental Health

Mental Health is an integral part of human health: there is no health without mental health.

The World Health Organization defines it as “…a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships and shape the world we live in.” We would like to share some strategies that promote both psychological and physical health that will allow you to better cope with everyday challenges


  • Prepare a daily or weekly schedule which includes diversified activities.
  • This schedule should include classes, meeting times with classmates and/or teachers, time for homework/breaks, and leisure activities (listening to music, exercising, gardening, watching TV…).
  • Alternate between tasks of greater responsibility and complexity, with breaks and/or leisure activities.
  • Try to sleep on average eight hours per night, maintaining a regular bedtime and wake-up time.
  • At night, you could choose, for example, to listen to pleasant music, thus creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • If you suffer from insomnia: it may help you to read a book and/or write down your thoughts.  Avoid tossing and turning in bed (get up and go do something that calms you down).
  • Maintain a consistent mealtime routine. Try to have 5-6 meals daily.
  • Diversify your diet and eat as healthy as possible.
  • Take the opportunity to learn how to cook and/or try new recipes. Cooking is a great way to take your mind off negative thoughts.
  • Avoid sweets when you are attending classes or studying.
  • Create a regular exercise routine.
  • You may, for example, walk, go jogging, ride a bike or try a new sport. You can go online for some ideas.
  • When you feel tired, get up and do some stretching to relax.  Go for a walk and get some fresh air.
  • Maintain regular communication with family and friends.
  • Inform them of the events of your day.
  • Schedule a time to contact your family and friends. Do not make yourself available all hours of the day. Being in constant contact with others can be counterproductive.
  • Each day, take some time out, if only a few minutes, for yourself. Find a quiet place to relax and do some positive affirmations.
  • Breathe deeply and focus only on positive thoughts.
  • You can also create a gratitude journal, in which you write down something positive that you experience and/or are grateful for each day.
  • It is always important to reflect on the events of the day. Try to avoid thoughts such as, “if I had done it… or said it…” or “it’s always like this” or “only things like this happen to me.” Try to focus more on what you’ve learned and what you could do differently next time.


  • Set up your workspace in a bedroom, living room or an office. You will need a table, a chair, and a shelf. An electrical outlet and internet connection (cable or Wi-Fi) are also important.
  • You will also need a pen/pencil/an eraser, paper, and a calculator.
  • Have your timetable as well as a calendar with your assessment dates and deadlines near your workspace, preferably on the wall.
  • It is important to separate your workspace from your leisure space.
  • Do not study or eat on your bed.
  • Do not study in front of the television.
  • Avoid all distractions!
  • Set the goals and objectives that you intend to achieve in each curricular unit.
  • Set realistic tasks and priorities for the day.
  • Organize and attempt to evenly distribute your study time each day.
  • Make up a schedule for the tasks that need to be completed and try to adhere to it.
  • Plan your workday by setting a start and finish time.
  • After waking up, allow enough time for having breakfast and getting yourself ready.
  • Set a study time for each curricular unit. Do not forget to include breaks so you can stay productive.
  • If necessary, make your schedule adaptable to any changes.
  • For each curricular unit, check all necessary documents, resources and information on the E-Learning platform, Moodle;
  • Carefully read the instructions provided by your teachers. Reread your notes and supplement them with any additional information searched for and obtained.
  • Keep your personal contacts up to date, with your colleagues, teachers, and school.
  • Check your student e-mail, institutional pages and other contact platforms that are used within the Polytechnic of Leiria.
  • Schedule meetings with your colleagues in advance;
  • Schedule meetings with your colleagues in advance;
  • Focus on what is important. Divide tasks evenly, analyze and discuss the contributions made by each group member and plan any further action.
  • At the end of each day, take the time to reflect on your achievements as well as the areas that need to be improved upon;
  • Identify obstacles and difficulties and find a strategy to overcome them;
  • Identify the areas in which you feel most comfortable in and those which require further study.
  • Do not put off what needs to be done. Begin immediately;
  • Start by doing a task you enjoy.

The secret is to GET STARTED!

Don’t let your guard down!


Managing Emotions

As life consists of many uncertainties, your persistence, patience, and resilience will be put to the test on a daily basis;

At present, more people suffer from social anxiety: you are not alone.

You may feel some discomfort in situations where you should be at ease. You may also feel overwhelmed.

Remember that you are not alone and that discussing your issues with someone can help you deal with your doubts and uncertainties.

It is important to take time to reorganize routines and process the many changes in life, in search of your (re)balance.

With so many demands in life, it is only natural that you will not be able to answer all requests. No one is perfect.

To err is human. The problem is not in failing but rather in not learning from failure and attempting to correct the problem.

  • Build your tolerance and come up with alternative solutions to potential problems;
  • Trust yourself and take each day as it comes;
  • Whenever necessary, apologize and ask others to do so as well.
  • Hang out with people. Go out for a coffee or schedule a lunch. Moreover, take advantage of class breaks and stay connected via phone or other online communication platforms, to communicate with those closest to you. Keeping these contacts will make you feel better and more at ease.

Talk about your feelings and listen to what others have to say: you will realize that everyone is feeling more or less the same!

  • Include at least one activity a day that makes you feel good and helps you relax.
  • At the end of the day, assess and decide what went well and what needs to be improved upon.
  • Try new things. This is a sign of intelligence.

Beware of abuse…

  • Write down what you would like to do in the future, even if it seems out of reach.

Following this, either at the end of the year, during the holidays, or at the end of the course, review what you wrote down and strive to achieve it if you have not already done so.

Managing Information

  • Not everything you see on social media, or the internet is true.
  • Remember that anyone can share information that is neither trustworthy nor factual.
  • To not be deceived. Any information you may find or receive on social media, or the internet should be verified using multiple sources.
  • Distinguish between fact and opinion.
  • Refrain from drawing conclusions on subject matters that you may not fully understand. Further research may be necessary.
  • Never share/like anything on social media, without reading the content in its entirety.

It is recommended to limit the time you spend on social media/the internet

  1. It is not necessary to read/look up everything, in great detail, on every given subject;
  2. Focus on one or two official sources on your subject of interest;
  3. Look for facts and not mere opinions (see above).

We pay more attention to what is negative, forgetting that there are also many positives happening in the world.

  • Take advantage of your free time to develop new skills;
  • Look up courses in areas of interest, such as learning a different language or starting an online course;
  • You can also take the opportunity to update your resume and cover letter;
  • As there is a lot going on in the world and new opportunities and experiences are constantly arising, try to keep abreast of these;
  • Watch the news, read newspapers, join discussion groups, participate in your school’s activities, etc.

Managing Motivation

Setting goals provides a sense of direction and allows you to focus your attention on what you would like to achieve;

In order to sustain motivation and enthusiasm, goals should be both realistic and achievable;

Develop an action plan: list the tasks and/or steps needed to achieve your goals;

Understanding what to do and how to do it will provide you with the confidence and energy to get where you want to go.

Check the different variables that can negatively impact you from achieving your goals;

Search for and implement alternatives that will allow you to overcome difficulties.

Implementing change is a process that needs discipline, consistency, and dedication.

Despite the difficulties you may encounter, stay focused, prioritize what needs to be done and avoid procrastinating and/or giving up.

Staying focused and dealing with any problems that may arise will allow you to achieve your goals.

Remember that the Polytechnic of Leiria has many services that can provide assistance: Academic Services, Social Action Services, Student Support Service, etc.

  • Everything becomes easier after you have already done it;
  • Believing that you can achieve your goals keeps you motivated and instills more confidence;
  • Value the effort and dedication you have invested in achieving your goals and reward yourself.

Remember: If necessary, ask for help

The different stages of life may give rise to doubts, difficulties and problems, feelings of anxiety, fear and sometimes the feeling of losing control. If you feel that things around you are too intense, long lasting and/or are negatively impacting you on a daily basis, you can contact the Student Support Service Psychologists:

You can also contact:

  • the 24h Psychological Support line, “Linha SAÚDE 24” at 808 24 24 24;
  • the Order of Portuguese Psychologist at

Take Care!