How to Take Care of Mental Health in College?


How to Take Care of Mental Health in College?

Transitioning to college can be a life-changer for those who aren’t prepared for the shift. It can cause a lot of mental stress when you can’t cope with all the brand-new experiences coming your way.

 
How to take care of mental health in college
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Contributed by: Dhanraj Mane, Udaipur

You can ask any college student from any institution and find that all of them experience the same thing: Stress and Anxiety. Transitioning to college can be a life-changer for those who aren’t expecting the shift. It can cause a lot of mental stress when you can’t cope with all the brand-new experiences coming your way. What’s a student to do against all of these sources of stress?

The good news is that there are a lot of mental health tips that you can use to manage your stress and emotions. We’ve made a small list of things you can incorporate into your daily schedule that can hopefully help you get a grip on your life. Who knows? It might bring around some much-needed change in your everyday routine!

Keep reading and we’ll even go through all the options you have when you feel that your mental state is getting the best of you.

How to Take Care Of Mental Health in College?

If you’re already looking for ways to take care of your mental health while dealing with the stresses of college, then you’ve come to the right place! Let’s go through a few ways that you can maintain your sanity while getting through all of the requirements of college life.

  1. Keep Your Sleep Schedule Consistent

When settling your affairs in order, there’s a good chance you’ll get more done with the right amount of sleep in your schedule. Getting some good quality sleep makes sure that your immune system is up and ready, ensuring you get sick less often. It also helps you to stay at good maintaining body weight as a lack of sleep can cause you to gain weight.

If you’re looking for a mood booster, then good sleep can be a great way of getting there. Get 8 hours of sleep and your mind will be sharper and clearer, letting you do better in your academics. Lastly, it allows you to tackle issues clearly and responsibly, saving you a lot more stress in the future.

  1. Find Something To Channel Your Stress In

There’s no denying that stress is a normal part of everyone’s life. Even the most chill person in the room might be experiencing some sort of stress. That’s why good coping skills are necessary to handle everything that’s happening around you. Some examples of activities you could do to calm yourself down include:

  • Take a quick break and relax
  • Do some healthy exercises
  • Write down your thoughts in a diary or journal
  • Take a quick walk outdoors
  • Meditate on the things you’re grateful for

Many things that can be done to handle the wave of stress you might experience. Make sure to keep yourself grounded and busy while also making sure to balance it out with fun times.

  1. Change Up Your Daily Routines

We all form a daily routine, especially in college where most of the responsibilities fall on our shoulders alone. This same song and dance can wear anyone out, causing them to experience worsening symptoms of burnout. After that, it’s a shot in the dark whether a person can get out of the burnout sensation or if it’ll take longer than expected.

Your daily routine can be changed up with small detours that make things a bit more varied than usual. Get some food from the store you saw before, visit the new store that’s opened, maybe even travel to a new park and exercise there! All of these can give you some much-needed variety in a world where repetitive things are commonplace.

  1. Keep Yourself In The Company Of Good Friends

When the going gets tough, you’ll want a good support system to catch you and give you the help you need. Keeping yourself in the company of good friends and supportive family members can give you the edge against any mental stresses. Schedule out plans with them, spend the day with your friend group and talk to each other. Keeping social in an increasingly isolated world is key to maintaining your sanity.

  1. Exercise and Get Yourself Moving

Our physical health is surprisingly connected to our mental health as well. When we exercise, our brain releases endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine in response to it. These are all feel-good chemicals that help you to develop your exercise routine into a habit. The good news is that you don’t even need a gym to get yourself moving along!

Try and do runs around your local area. Find local sports events and participate in them. You could even learn a few hobbies and make something that you’re proud of. Anything that gets your mind and body moving can help you keep negative emotions and stressful situations at bay. Make exercise a daily habit and see how it changes your life for the better.

  1. Take Breaks and Enjoy Yourself

Finally, the last thing we suggest to every single young adult out there is to take as much time as needed. If you find yourself finishing things early or if you have time to kill, use it to relax and unwind from all your responsibilities. In this way, you’re rewarding yourself with some time to breathe and take stock of yourself.

Along with that, you should know when to take breaks and pull yourself away from all the action. Social media has conditioned us into thinking that overworking is key to success in life and that all we’re supposed to do is work towards material wealth and goods. We’re here to say that it’s the life experience that matters so make it a good one!

Consulting Professional Health When Dealing With Stress

Of course, there are some cases where a lifestyle change doesn’t do as much as you’d expect it to. Sometimes some events resonate with us so much that it changes our worldview and makes everything seem a bit darker. Those times are where you may want to consider more in-depth and personal guidance in dealing with your mental health stresses.

If your anxiousness is through the roof and you find yourself unfocused even when you’re extending all the effort you have, then maybe it’s time to consult with a mental health professional.

College/University Counsellors

Usually, colleges and universities have a mental health consultation office for those students finding it hard to cope with the changes. Although they once had a bad reputation, we find that these institutions are now more effective as the stigma against them fades.

Contact your institution’s assigned campus counselor and schedule an appointment with them. They can help you plan out stress management techniques while also being a confidant that you can trust. If you suffer from test anxiety, you can even ask them for help in combating those negative feelings. They can provide you with the needed advice and support necessary for realizing the top-grading college student within you!

Mental Health Professionals

If they find that your mental health issues are beyond their expertise, they may refer you to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or a therapist. These professionals are trained in figuring out what exactly is causing these problems and the therapy methods necessary to get through them. Although it may be nerve-wracking to go to their offices for the first time, we’d like to assure you that they only want the best for your mental health.

From there, you may be presented with various options such as medication and behavioral therapy. The former is usually for students experiencing anxiety disorders and severe cases of depression. These drugs are then complemented with a set of behavioral therapy sessions aimed at tackling your mental health issue head-on.  Don’t worry as your therapist will be with you and guide you throughout the whole process.

Final Thoughts

Mental health is a big issue for college students these days, especially with how classes have transitioned to online and impersonal settings. The lack of social interaction and visual feedback on the results of their work can make it feel like everything is meaningless. Keeping your head together and maintaining a sense of work-life balance can be key to getting through this experience.

Some of the tips we offered to college students included spicing up their daily routine, finding time to exercise, and pacing themselves out so that they can get a good night’s sleep. Of course, having a good set of friends to fall back on is a great way of keeping your stress levels at bay. A supportive family can go a long way when times are tough, especially for students who have had to move away from their homes to pursue their education.

If you find that most of these tips don’t generate a positive change in your outlook, you may be dealing with a mental health issue that’s beyond simple methods like lifestyle changes. Consulting your college counselor can be a good step towards solving your problems alongside the aid of mental health professionals.

Take care of yourself out there and you’ll find out that our world doesn’t have to be as isolated as it seems to be. Find what makes you happy and pursue it until you’re fully satisfied.

Source:

7 Mental Health Tips for College Students – The Haven at College

Supporting Mental Health in College Students On & Off Campus - TimelyMD

Ten Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health | University Health Service (umich.edu)

Get Enough Sleep - MyHealthfinder | health.gov

The Benefits of Getting a Full Night's Sleep | SCL Health

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