How to Study in the Midst of Depression

I’m currently studying for a Master’s degree therefore I have a really intense workload which is very hard to manage alongside my recovery. A lot of people at University, school or college struggle with mental illness and keeping up to date with work can seem impossible – but it’s not. Here are some of the ways I think help to manage:

To-Do Lists

As a big supporter of lists, I’m going to recommend them again. I could not live without lists, they organise everything and allow you to visualise what needs done. I also believe they help you be more productive as learning how to diagnose a heart attack is definitely worth the satisfaction of scoring it off the to do list. I always have about ten to-do lists on the go, so a book with a lot of room for lists is ideal – I have one just like this…

Don’t Cram

Leaving everything until the last minute is the worst thing you can do. It might not be fun but studying throughout the year will be so beneficial for you at exam time, you will feel more prepared and will be able to feel okay about taking breaks. Studying during the night and overworking yourself is just going to stress you out and ruin your mental state. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail 😉

Coloured pens, highlighters and fancy notebooks

Studying is just so much more fun with cute stationery so buy some of that – you’ll be so excited to use it that you study immediately.

These highlighters brighten up my studying…

The bright colours help me to keep concentrated.

Work out the bare minimum/ Prioritise

Knowing what work is essential to be completed to pass the course prevents me from becoming overwhelmed I could study forever and still not be happy with my knowledge. Finding out the learning outcomes, main points or likely exam questions allows you to structure your revision to solely being knowledgeable enough in these areas to let you to pass the exam. Additionally, this method means you learn the essential things first so if you have time or motivation left before the exam you can study extra things.

Assignments and essays often, annoyingly, come at times close to exams and tests so your time needs to be split between completing the task and revising. Most people I know like to balance their time between the two for a week or so, until one of the deadlines is met. However, having an essay hanging over my head freaks me out and I struggle to split my time up effectively so I normally start writing the essay immediately, submit it, then start studying. Another benefit of doing it this way is that if you become unable to study due to experiencing a bad mental health week, you have already completed your essay and you can wing the exam.

Sleep Well

I can never understand those people who get up super early and study into the early hours, not only are they not retaining most of that information but they must be exhausted. Quality > quantity. When you’re tired you can struggle to focus so get a good sleep.

Take breaks

You should take a ten minute break at least every hour to increase productivity. Another important thing to do is schedule fun activities with friends in-between studying, an exam might seem top priority but for me, my number one concern is my mental health. Studying for weeks can be extremely isolating and contribute to depression, consequently, I like to schedule time with friends to make sure I am staying in a positive mindset. This might seem counterproductive but taking time out for self care, or for pleasurable activities, decreases the chances of a bad mental health day or week which could make you learn absolutely nothing for an extended period of time.


4 thoughts on “How to Study in the Midst of Depression”

  1. Great advice on how to manage, not just studying for exams but in life in general. Being organised let’s you retain control of the things you have influence over .

    Liked by 1 person

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