Mental health is something a lot of students struggle with in one way or another. I have struggled with my mental health most of my life, and I am going to be sharing the ideas I have found that help me in those times where I struggle. Mental Health has many different aspects to it, and not everyone suffers the same. Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and personality disorders are some of the biggest ones. In college, anxiety plays a significant role in the life of the typical student from worries about deadlines and grades to when do I plan time for me.
Having time just for yourself is very important. You need time to be you, and time to relax, give your brain a chance to rest. Being alone and just relaxing helps relieve some stressors and anxieties of the day, giving you a chance to think. Some things to do when you’re trying to relax like this is: Find a hobby you enjoy doing like knitting, playing video games, or drawing. Just lay and think, relax your body and mind. Or even go on a walk or drive. I find driving to be very relaxing and calming when you don’t know where you are going; you just go.
Setting realistic goals is essential when trying to improve your mental health, setting a goal too high is going to make a very negative impact when you can’t achieve it. Start small, make a goal of making your bed every day, and then when you get into that habit, add more small things like keeping your desk clean. Yes, even something as little as making your bed can have a considerable impact on your day, it gives you the feeling of being accomplished as well as allows you to set more goals in the future after you master this one.
Sometimes in life, we tend to focus on the negative things in life and never sit and think why something happened or even what the positive things are, I am guilty of it myself. At the end of the day, think of some of the positives, no matter how small. Letting yourself stay positive will allow you to feel this way more and more often.
Some things I try to avoid doing is isolating myself. Being alone can be a great thing, but staying by myself all the time tends to make me sad. I often catch myself sitting in the dark. That is another thing to avoid when trying to improve your mental health. I find myself to be less sad and worried when I am in a lit room or outside in the sun. Going on walks in the sun is what works the best for me.
Everyone is different. If these ways don’t help your mental health, don’t be discouraged, these are the ways I found that helped me with my struggles. If you are struggling with your mental health reach out to someone whether it be a friend, teacher or even a therapist. College is a difficult time for students. It is an entirely new world. Don’t be embarrassed that you are struggling, but don’t let it control your life. You are your own person. You are not defined by your anxiety or depression, reach out and get help and don’t forget to help your fellow classmates as well!
Suicide prevention hotline 1-800-273-8255
Eating disorder center 1-888-236-1188
UPike councilor (606) 218-HELP(4357)