Being a student comes with a ton of obligations and temptations. It can overwhelm trying to balance it all out and live your best college life. Unfortunately, the cost of such a lifestyle can be deteriorating mental health. Research supports this claim, as 1 in 3 college freshmen have mental health issues.
You shouldn't accept stress as your permanent resident. Nor should you let anxiety take control over your body. Taking care of your mental health is necessary when you find yourself in a dynamic environment that student life brings.
Let’s dive right into some key tips for looking after your mental health while in college.
Write a Journal
Journaling has proven to be a very effective tool for self-care. Keeping a journal reportedly boosts your immune system, lowers your stress levels, improves your memory, and increases confidence.
As you cleanse your thoughts and spill your emotions on paper, you are left with an unburdened mind. In addition, the act of writing puts you in the present moment. Thus, journaling is a form of practicing mindfulness.
When you consider that this little habit can help with your well-being, it is worth giving it a shot. You just need to invest a few minutes of your day to express whatever comes to your mind. It’s that simple.
Make Time for Yourself
As fun as it to be with friends all the time, you should dedicate at least one time a week to doing the things you love. You can take a long walk, read a good book or free example essays, listen to music, or paint – choose an activity that makes you feel calm and relaxed.
Having some time to connect with yourself and unwind will take the stress away. A few hours a week, when you can just do something for yourself, is necessary. It will allow you not to do something you must, but something you want to do. So, add this "me-time" activity to your weekly schedule and turn it into a routine.
Improve Your Quality of Life
Lack of sleep, poor eating habits, drinking, and other health-deteriorating activities affect your mental health as well. You become more irritable, anxious, and stressed. Remember that how you treat your body reflects on your overall well-being.
Give your best to introduce healthy habits to your life. Some good habits that can improve the quality of your life and the state of your mind are:
- Drink plenty of water
- Get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night
- Eat fruits and vegetables every day
- Don’t eat too late
- Avoid alcohol
A healthy diet makes sure that your body produces chemicals that improve your mood and lessen your stress levels.
Physical activity is a big part of taking care of your health. By releasing your stored energy, you can alleviate stress and anxiety. There is also the fact that exercising can improve your self-esteem and encourage you to focus on the present.
The excuse that many students use for not exercising is the lack of time. But there is no excuse. You can ask a friend to help you with an assignment, hire an essay service to finish your paper or wake up earlier to learn. It’s all about good organization and resourcefulness.
Surround Yourself with Positive and Supportive People
The people you spend the most time with will have an impact on your mental health. If you consistently listen to negativity, that bad energy will make a mark on you. You can develop a negative mindset and become depressed simply by listening to never-ending complaints.
What’s the solution here is to surround yourself with people who make you feel good. You will be more motivated to tackle challenges when you have supportive people to cheer you on.
Being grateful for what you have can make you more positive about your life. According to Harvard Health, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
So, instead of stressing over the grade you got, shift your focus to how lucky you are to have a healthy family. A change in perspective can make you look at the world differently.
However, if you want to notice the health benefits of practicing gratitude, you have to do it daily. Write down, or think to yourself, at least three things you are grateful for.
Accept that You Can’t Do It All
When your schedule starts to get overbooked, your stress levels can go through the roof. Don’t spread yourself too thin, trying to accomplish everything. Both your physical and mental health will suffer if you take on too many responsibilities.
The solution to the "too many obligations, too little time" situation is to ask for help. For example, if you don't have the time to write a dissertation, get help with dissertation writing and take that requirement off your list. You need to be okay with saying “I can’t make it” or asking someone to help you.
Talk to a Counselor
Having an open, confidential, and limitations-free conversation with a professional can be very helpful. Whenever you feel like talking to someone, turn to a campus counselor. If the campus counselor doesn’t suit you, find one in your community.
Professionals will know best how to guide you to properly deal with your problems and dilemmas. As much as you enjoy talking to your friends, remember that people trained to help others with their mental health struggles are a better option.
By taking care of your mental health, you are making a step towards a happier and more successful life. Your academic achievements, your relationships, and your physical health all depend on your mental health. Therefore, make mental health a priority and let these tips guide you towards a more balanced life.
Merissa Moore is a writer and editor. She has experience with writing about numerous topics such as mental health, business, and innovations in education. Merissa is passionate about researching and creating compelling content. In her free time, she likes to do yoga and meditates.