College student mental health statistics suggest that over 41% of students are suffering from anxiety, 36% of students experience depression, and over 35% of students deal with harsh relationship problems.
College life is complicated in many ways. The most relevant factor that generates all sorts of problems is stress. If you’re a student who’s under a lot of pressure, you need to take full responsibility and take real measures to protect your mental health.
The motivation behind taking care of your mind throughout college is quite obvious:
You’re studying to gain knowledge and get a diploma. Once you manage to do that, you’ll start working on a job, start a business, or start practicing various professional activities. The end purpose is to ensure that you’re able to put food on the table, live in a comfortable place, travel, and maybe create a family.
Now think about it.
You’re preparing to make money and live a “good” life. If, by the time you’re reaching your goals your health is in danger, you will be spending that money to regain your health. That’s bad business.
For that simple reason, you have to realize that you’re the only one responsible for your mental wellbeing. Learning how to manage stress and how to protect yourself from various mental health problems is not a “should,” but a big “must.”
In today’s post, I’m going to share a few tips and tricks that should help you do exactly that. Pay attention!
Improve Your Sleep
When you sleep, your brain is recovering from the stressful stimuli that you’ve experienced during the day. When you neglect sleep, you’ll start feeling tired, overwhelmed, and moody.
Cause and effect. If you’re experiencing sleep deprivation, your academic results, your relationships, and your mental health will suffer.
Most importantly, getting enough quality sleep allows your brain to generate dopamine and serotonin, these being the most important substances that keep you motivated and happy. Without them, anxiety and depression are becoming significant dangers.
Choose Your Friends Wisely
During college, it is critically important to surround yourself with positive people. Toxic relationships can bring daunting effects. Never allow yourself to be abused by romantic partners or “close friends” just because you have no one else. The mental health awareness month (May) often comes with a relevant reminder: define your boundaries and respect yourself!
Learn How to Manage Stress
There are plenty of ways to manage the stress that comes from assignments and exams:
- Learning to silent your thoughts (meditation)
- Disconnecting from stressful environments (nature walks)
- Getting assignment writing help whenever you’re overwhelmed by deadlines to relieve pressure (allowing yourself to be helped)
- Practicing Tai Chi
- Playing with pets
Try different ways until you find a few that suit you best.
Every successful person (most of them are experiencing stress daily) understand the importance of an active lifestyle.
Exercising can be done in various ways. You can play basketball, work out at the gym, jog, box – there are plenty of ways. Just like you’re stimulating your brain muscles, you need to pay attention to your body’s muscles too!
Avoid Excessive Alcohol and Say NO to Drugs
Drugs and alcohol are extremely popular, regardless among college students. Here’s why: there are many ways to cope with the problems that life brings, and many students choose to take the easiest path.
The problem is that they’re temporary solutions, and they bring a lot of problems in the long-run. For example, smoking weed to solve emotional issues is often an effective way to hide away from emotions. When weed is no longer an option, all those feelings will come back (at once).
When it comes to social interactions, having a drink every once in a while is fine as long as you’re staying balanced.
“You Are What You Eat and Drink”
The link between nutrition and mental health is very strong. As a wise person said, you are what you eat. My best advice is to pay attention to what you eat and drink. Try to avoid processed foods, fast-food, sugar, additives, and you’ll notice a great improvement in the way you think.
Remember: there is no term paper topics, essay, or exam that is more important than your mental health. Before you allow stress to overwhelm your being, think about the long-term perspective. Stop obsessing over small things and do your best to experience your academic life in a balanced way. Take advantage of today’s tips and keep your mental health awareness in check!
BIO: Elizabeth Skinner is a passionate mental health researcher, writer, and journalist. She’s currently studying the effects of college stress on students’ mental health. In her free time, she’s preparing to write a self-help book and an interactive health advice course.