Whether you’re still at high school or looking to return to education as a mature student, applying for college can be stressful. In the worst cases, this stress can lead to burnout and ultimately scupper your chances of getting accepted into your dream program. So follow these six top tips to protect your mental health during this time.

1. Begin early

The sooner you start the process of applying to college, the less stressful it’s likely to be. That’s because you’ll have more time to research programs and institutions, check the Boston University GPA calculator online to work out your chances of acceptance, and write the perfect personal statement. You’llalso be more likely to meet all your deadlines this way and have extra time to boost your grades if your chances of acceptance are lower than you’d like.

2. Look after your body

It’s widely accepted that your physical health greatly impacts your mental and cognitive powers, so it’s crucial to look after your body when applying for college. Here’s how:

  • Consume plenty of fresh fruit and veg, whole grains, nuts, and seeds
  • Drink six to eight glasses of water a day for optimum hydration
  • Avoid junk food, sodas, energy drinks, and alcohol
  • Do something active every day
  • Spend time outside in the sun daily (ideally in the morning)

3. Prioritize your sleep

Getting good quality sleep is perhaps the most important step you can take to look after yourself. If you struggle with this, try the following:

  • Avoiding screen time and caffeine late at night
  • Wearing an eye mask in bed
  • Writing down your worries before going to sleep, so they don’t keep you up at night
  • If you can’t sleep, get up and read a book until you feel tired rather than lie in bed feeling annoyed about it

4. Try mindfulness

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can improve mental health and prevent burnout. To get started with it, you could try meditating for five minutes every day or doing some breathing exercises. Another good tactic is keeping a gratitude journal, where you write down three thingsyou’re grateful for every day. This trains you to focus on the positives in the world rather than the negatives.

5. Practice self-care

Making time for self-care is vital during the stressful college application period. Not sure how to do it? Here’s some inspiration:

  • Have a spa day
  • Go out for lunch with friends
  • Spend time on a creative hobby
  • Go for a walk in the countryside
  • Dance and sing along to your favorite music

6. Keep your eye on the prize

One top tactic to use when the process of applying to college gets a little overwhelming is to remind yourself of why you’re doing it in the first place. Picture yourself on campus, studying in a gorgeous library, or listening to a riveting lecture. Visualize yourself graduating and landing your dream job. Take a step back and list all the reasons you want to go to college and how it will benefit you. This is sure to boost your motivation and keep you on track!