Improving Physical and Mental Health
As a college student, it is important to maintain your health. College is hard- and we are here to help you out. College is both physically and mentally draining. The adjustment from high school to college can be a real struggle. Carrie plays softball and lives on campus. Emily does not play a sport in college and she commutes to school. The difference in our lives is used to play a role in reaching more students! We are hopeful to reach many people and hope that by reading this, you can find some helpful information to make your college life a little more successful. We have interviewed several students to offer their experiences throughout college.
Here are some tips to help you stay mentally and physically healthy:
- Eat breakfast! A good breakfast to kickstart your day can give you the energy you need to do your day to day activities.
- Do some yoga or stretches! Allow your muscles to get a good stretch in each day.
- Go for a walk or run outside! This can be a major stress relief and is good for your body. However, do not overdo it. Set a goal and work up to it. Remember, progress is key.
- Allow yourself to have some downtime. This could be a time to nap, reflect on your day, meditate, pray, etc. Find what works for you and allow yourself to have that time of no stress.
- Talk to somebody! Having someone close to you that you can talk about your feelings with or just having someone to listen to you can be very helpful! It’s very important to not keep things bottled up inside you so being able to let it all out can benefit your health.
To show how successful UPIKE students maintain their physical and mental health, we chose to interview several students. Here are the questions we asked:
- How would you say your physical activity is different in college compared to when you were in high school?
- Has your mental health changed since being in college?
- How do you manage your stress?
- What do you do to help with your mental health? Physical health?
Emme Barker, Senior
- When in high school I was more healthy when it came to exercising. I was a multi-sport athlete and always in practice. Since being in college, I’ve had to adjust several things to keep healthy and in shape. No more just showing up to workouts.
- I feel more mature after four years of college. I understand my study habit and what I need to do to be successful.
- I manage my stress by creating a list to keep everything organized. If I feel overwhelmed, I go to the gym or take a run.
- I open up about my mental and physical stress. I find it important to be open about the struggles of everyday life.
Zoë Ingram, Sophomore
- I think my physical activity has actually increased since I’ve been to college. I played softball in high school and we did workouts but in college we do workouts, and I also decided my freshmen year to try to get into better shape (running, abs, etc.)
- My mental health has definitely changed in college (and then changed again lol). In high school, I had one year that my mental health really affected me physically but after that I was fine. However, my freshman year in college was really rough on me mentally, for a lot of reasons, and I was even depressed for a few months during it. I lost a lot of weight and I was very negative towards myself. Now I’m working on being better even though I still fall into the same mental battles I faced last year.
- To manage my stress I honestly tend to start with a nap lol. I then like to color. I also vent to people I trust and that always helps me because I feel like I can get some weight off of me.
- I honestly haven’t figured out how to help with my mental help. I figured out how to handle stress but some of the mental stuff I deal with, I really don’t have an answer for. I do, however, have some really special people that help me through difficult times. For my physical health, I do workouts/run and then I play softball in college. But I also try to eat better and eat things that will make me feel good.
Mattea Ware, Junior
- College is more intense than high school. Especially when you’re an athlete. Not only are you training, practicing, and playing games, you’re also working on getting a degree.
- Mental health in college is probably the hardest thing to work on in college. Not only are you under a lot of stress but you’re trying to figure out who you are as a person. It’s been rough but it’s gotten better.
- I make sure to give myself time to relax and not stress out about things or hang out with friends.
- Staying active, not allowing myself to get stuck in a bad state, just keep going & staying positive.
Sydney Moore, Junior
- My physical activity is different because it is my responsibility. In high school, I was always active due to sports but now I have to take it upon myself to be active.
- My mental health has changed. It took me a while to get used to college and the workload and I struggled with that but after I figured it out my mental health got better.
- I manage my stress by keeping up with a planner to make sure I distribute my workload evenly and I watch Netflix in my free time.
- I make sure to prioritize it. Even if I am busy, I try to find time to go to the gym or do something for myself
Orbie McPeek, Sophomore
- I was much more physically active in high school compared to how active I am now. Sports kept me very active during my time in high school.
- My mental health has mainly remained the same since I started college.
- When I’m feeling stressed I make sure to take a break from whatever is causing it and just relax.
- I try to make sure that I never overdo it, mentally or physically, and take breaks every so often.
Krista Hampton, Junior
- In high school, I was constantly involved in sports. Therefore, I was extremely active. Since starting college I rarely find time to exercise and even when I do it isn’t very long.
- Since being in college the amount of stress I have has increased tremendously. It has been extremely stressful and taken a long time to get used to. Although I am in year 3 of college, it is still stressful.
- I try to manage my stress by keeping a set schedule to go by. I found that the best way to do this is to use a planner.
- When I have time I like to go to the schools’ REC center and exercise. This also helps reduce stress and it definitely makes me feel better about myself. However, it is extremely hard to fit enough time into my schedule to go to the gym.
In conclusion, you are not alone. So many college students struggle and finding the strength to help yourself may be hard. Never be afraid to reach out. If you find yourself struggling, here are some places to help. The University of Pikeville has many options to help you and they are there for YOU!
For counseling services, https://www.upike.edu/undergraduate/student-affairs/counseling-center/.
For spiritual needs, https://www.upike.edu/undergraduate/student-affairs/spiritual-life/.