5 Mental Health Tips for College Students
As summer winds to a close and a new school year begins, students of all ages experience a variety of emotions: the feeling of disappointment that the fun of the summer will soon be over, the feeling of excitement and anticipation to see old friends and maybe even make some new ones. Sometimes, feelings of doubt, anxiety, uneasiness, stress, and uncertainty creep in and interfere with what should be the best time of your life. Here are some tips to keep your mental health in check when these feelings threaten to derail you from your academic goals.
As a former college student, you can trust that I understand in the tempting power of ramen and 24-hour Taco Bell. However, we have to at least try and remember that our mind and body are connected. If we aren’t eating right, we won’t just feel it in our bodies; we’ll feel in mentally too. If you need some tips on what to eat when you’re feeling low, check out these ideas.
Sometimes this is easier said than done when you may have trouble sleeping due to a number of things. It may be tempting to stay out late and party on the weekends, but making rest a priority will help ensure you don’t get overwhelmed during the rest of the week. Try and find that balance between fun and quality rest.
Make a checklist of what you need to get done and when. Keep a planner, use a calendar, leave sticky notes around your room. Do whatever you can to stay organized. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you procrastinate on projects and papers, but making a list and sticking to it will help you keep it all straight in your mind.
Sure, you should buckle down and study. You should work your hardest to learn as much as you can and get good grades, but don’t put so much pressure on yourself that you miss out on other great things that the college experience has to offer. Have fun with your friends. Go to the movies. Enjoy on-campus activities, sporting events, and get-togethers with friends. It’s important to take a break and spend some time away from studying every once in a while. Putting things in perspective can be a huge help and sometimes all that involves is taking a few minutes for yourself.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or depressed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Talk to your friends, call your parents, or talk to your professors. If things get too overwhelming or feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress continue for more than a few weeks, most college campuses have a counseling center. If you are not sure if your campus does, check with your academic advisor or your RA. If you are uneasy going to a counseling center, you can turn to some other resources for help.