Tips for college students to stay mentally healthy
College is stressful enough; Don’t add mental health struggles to the mix
The demands of college are no joke. As a result, it can be easy to fall into bad habits in the name of “working hard” that leave your mental health in shambles. Feeling stressed, lonely, depressed, anxious or just completely overwhelmed is normal, which is why it is so important to put yourself in a position to manage those emotions in a healthy way.
Plus, when your mental health suffers, it becomes much harder to be productive and successful than if you were feeling mentally well. However, you can avoid falling into a dark place with the right strategies. Here are a few real tips for staying mentally healthy despite the demands of college and life. In fact, these practices can help anyone, not just university students.
Don’t be a perfectionist
It’s okay not to get a perfect score on every test or an A on every paper. Holding yourself to those standards can really weigh on your mental health, especially in an already stressful environment like college. Instead, do the best you can and accept those results. You’ll end up in a much better mental space as a result, leaving you in a good position to be successful in your studies moving forward.
The definition of self-care is the practice of activities that rejuvenate you rather than deplete you. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself in this way, and you’ll be better off for it both mentally and physically.
It’s also a good idea to stop comparing yourself to others. In the age of social media, this may seem like an impossible feat, but it’s a toxic habit to let yourself compete with the Instagram image of someone else’s life. It may look perfect from the outside, but chances are, there’s a lot they’re not sharing. Better to strive to be your own best self than to compete in an unhealthy way with the people around you.
Get involved with a community
Find an activity or group that you identify with or enjoy, and become an active member. Being around people fosters growth, happiness, and solidarity. Being a student sitting isolated in front of their computer all the time can get awfully lonely. It’s so important to take breaks from the screen and engage in quality, meaningful time with others.
Being part of a community also means that you’ll have people around to talk to. Whether you’re chatting about school, social things, or anything else, just being able to get out of your own head can significantly lower any anxious or otherwise negative thoughts. Students encounter issues with anxiety and poor mental health a lot for a lack of meaningful interactions with others. Getting involved in the community means you won’t have that problem.
See a therapist regularly
College is stressful. It requires a lot of hard work, focus, and time management. Juggling several classes, often difficult ones, plus trying to have a social life is a difficult task that can feel overwhelming before you know it. Seeing a licensed therapist can help you deal with the stress of college life so that you’re more equipped to handle it. Poor mental health tends to make work much harder than it needs to be, after all.
It doesn’t take much to be hard on yourself when you’re dealing with the demands of college. A therapist can help you manage your emotions so you can focus on your studies with a clear head instead. Many universities even include mental health care in tuition fees, though if not, find a school counselor who can help you find a therapist that suits your needs.
Be proactive about self-care
The definition of self-care is the practice of activities that rejuvenate you rather than deplete you.
The demands of college are no joke. As a result, it can be easy to fall into bad habits in the name of “working hard” that leave your mental health in shambles.
Self-care may seem like a trendy buzzword these days, but when push comes to shove, it’s actually a practice that can improve your mental health. The definition of self-care is the practice of activities that rejuvenate you rather than deplete you. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself in this way, and you’ll be better off for it both mentally and physically. Self-care can include things like taking a long, hot shower; spending time in nature; writing in your journal; enjoying a delicious, healthy meal; or simply turning off your screens for a few hours.
While self-care may not seem like medicine, it is, and it can greatly improve your productivity as well. Giving yourself time to relax allows you to fully reanimate your spirit, providing the energy you need to get things done in a timely fashion.
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