Students are commonly exposed to circumstances that place them at risk for mental health issues. New, unfamiliar environment, challenging assignments, tight deadlines, and conflicts with peers – all these things make college life complicated and sometimes even unbearable.
Do you feel anxious and don’t know how to manage your mental health? You are not alone in this problem. Other students face the same challenges as you do.
In this article, we will explain what you should do to stay mentally healthy and enjoy your college life to the fullest.
Your eating habits influence both your mental and physical health. So if you want to feel better, you should choose a healthy diet.
Say “no” to energy drinks, sweets, and unhealthy snacks. Say “yes” to fresh fruits, vegetables, and non-processed food. Eat avocados, bananas, blueberries, walnuts, natural sugar-free yogurt, salmon, whole grains, and greens on a regular basis, and you will feel less stressed.
Try to avoid consuming alcohol drinks at college parties. Alcohol will not help you to make new friends but will harm your mind and body.
Physical activity helps to improve mood and cope with stress. Also, it has a positive impact on our self-esteem. When we exercise daily, we feel good about ourselves, and random stressors do not diminish our self-worth.
Scientists recommend adults to exercise at least 150 minutes a week. You can choose any type of physical activity that appeals the way you like. You can practice yoga, workout at the gym, dance, play basketball, or go swimming.
Some students prefer to exercise 20 minutes daily; others prefer to have two training sessions (75 minutes each) a week. You can pick any schedule that fits your lifestyle the best.
Find time for your hobby
Scientific studies show that enjoyable leisure activities have a positive impact on mental health and well-being. Therefore, no matter how busy your college life is, you should find time for your hobbies.
You should spend at least one hour a week doing things you truly love. It can be anything from songwriting and playing guitar to drawing and embroidery. If you do it regularly, you will feel happier, and it will be easier for you to manage your stress levels.
Start a journal
Do you have a journal? You should definitely get yourself one once you start your college life. By making new entries in your journal, you will free up your mind from worries and anxious thoughts.
Journaling is proved to be one of the simplest yet effective tools for mental health management. It helps people of any age to beat stress and create peace of mind.
There are many types of journals that are beneficial for mental health:
- Stream-of-consciousness journaling
- Gratitude journaling,
- Intuition journaling,
- Mentor journaling,
- Unsent letter journaling, etc.
You can start one journal or a few different ones. It all depends on what kind of stress/issues you are currently experiencing and what type of mental support you need.
Put your mental health first
Education is an important thing in your life. But it’s not as important as your mental health.
So please, set the right priorities. If you feel overwhelmed and stressed out, don’t force yourself to study. You will not destroy your career if you skip one class or miss one deadline.
If you feel like you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown, take a break and get some rest. Once you feel better, you will get back to studying with more enthusiasm and energy.
Ask for help, if necessary
You are a college student, not a superhero. So if you can’t complete a sophisticated school assignment, don’t get angry and impatient with yourself. Ask for help. There are many services out there that can help you to handle the situation.
For instance, if you are struggling to finish your essay, you can check the review of TopEssayWriting and get writing help. Or, if you need help with proofreading your research paper, you can use online grammar checkers like Grammarly.
Make new friends
Socialization is an essential element of college life. And that would be great if you find someone special with whom you can share your worries and discuss your problems.
COVID-19 restrictions may limit some of the traditional ways to make new friends on campus, but there are plenty of safe ways to connect with others. Many college clubs are now offering virtual meetings which are a great way to find fellow students with similar interests. Virtual classrooms also provide discussion boards and video meetings as a way to communicate with your classmates.
If you meet someone interesting don’t be afraid to invite them to video chat or on a socially-distanced walk. It may be a challenging time to foster new relationships, but many people are in the same position as you.
Establish rhythm and routine
When it comes to mental health management, the routine is extremely important. When you complete the same actions in the same order day by day and week by week, you get used to it. Routine creates a positive level of stress and keeps you focused on important things so you can get more tasks done.
Think about creating rituals and following them. For instance, create a ritual of listening to your favorite song while brushing your teeth or reading ten book pages before bed.
Schedule all the activities that are important to you. For instance, promise yourself to work out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and to call your mom every Sunday at 10 a.m. If you stick to this schedule, it will be easier for you to manage your time and complete tasks on time.
Talk to an therapist
If you feel like you have lost control over your life and can’t get back on track, visit an on-campus or off-campus therapist. Let professionals help you.
Remember that no matter what is happening in your life right now, you will get through this. You are not alone in this world. There are people around you who can help you to manage your mental health-related issues.
Good mental health is priceless. So make sure you protect it effectively.
Eat healthily, exercise daily, write entries in your journal, find time for hobbies, and follow your routine to beat stress and anxiety. Enjoy the moment and be happy with your college life.
Daniela McVicker is a freelance writer and a contributor to Essayguard. Her passion is writing about leading a healthy family life and helping people enjoy their lives to the fullest.