How to Improve Your Mental Health in College

mental health in college

Whether you’re 18 or over 50, your mental health is important. Daily life stressors combined with going to college at any age may lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. The thing is, even though we all experience emotional issues from time to time, younger adults may not yet know how to process them as effectively as someone who’s older. However, the tips below will help you to deal with the challenges of adjusting to college life and dealing with the many other challenges you face each day. 

Create Healthy Habits

The first step towards feeling good physically and mentally is living a healthy life. As humans, we’re creatures of habit, so creating healthy habits can improve your mental health. You should stick to a regular sleep schedule, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. That means creating a schedule that works for you. For instance, if you know you need extra time to study, pencil it in and get started early. Don’t wait until the night before an exam to hit the books as you’ll likely be exhausted the following day and probably won’t remember much of what you read.

Practice Self-Care

As chaotic as college schedules can be, you need to find time to practice self-care. Since everyone’s idea of self-care is different, don’t think you need to do exactly what your friends are doing. If disconnecting from social media and spending the afternoon watching your favorite movie is soothes you, then that’s what you need to do if you feel stressed out. Focus on activities that make you feel refreshed, energized and confident after you engage in them.

Ask For Help

Although mental health awareness is increasing, some people still feel embarrassed by their emotions. They may even start to compare themselves to their peers who seem to have it all together. It’s important to understand that appearances can be deceiving, so just because someone appears to be thriving, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. Many students feel overwhelmed during their first year of college.

College comes with added responsibility and pressure to succeed, so don’t be surprised if you need a helping hand. In addition to reaching out for psychological support via telehealth, there’s also a lot of valuable information online. There are also self-help resources and 12-step guides for college students to learn develop coping strategies. These resources can help you learn ways to feel less stressed about all the changes you are experiencing, which in turn, may reduce lingering feelings of anxiety or depression. It’s important to note that if you’re feeling suicidal or have the urge to self-harm, never feel ashamed. Reach out to your family, a crisis hotline, or call 911 immediately.

Practice Mindfulness

Even though it takes practice, learning how to meditate and live in the moment is liberating. Once you learn how to let the little things go and not allow toxic people to ruin an otherwise good day, you’re better able to find happiness in life’s simple pleasures. For example, everyday events such as walking to class or having a conversation with a barista may become much more enjoyable when you are more mindful. It’s about appreciating the little moments in life and not always focusing on things that are out of your control.