College students can experience lots of stressors and have physically demanding schedules. As summer wraps up, it is time to start thinking and prepping for back-to-school with supplies, schedules, and mental health regimens.
It is common for college students to experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other mental health issues while moving away or living at school. Participating in college can be stressful even without mental illness, so taking care of your mental health can help you be successful in your classes. Here are some tips for college students to ensure they stay mentally and physically healthy.
1- Check Out Your Universities Mental Health Resources
Almost all universities have small healthcare and mental health centers that are either free or cheaper for students. These resources can include relaxation rooms, licensed counselors, references to outside therapy, meditation groups, and accommodations for students in classes. Your university can help you navigate college-specific issues and help you choose the right class load to keep yourself healthy.
2- Get Enough Quality Sleep
One major problem that college students find when balancing school, work, and social life is getting enough sleep. Getting to meet new people and experience new things is a healthy part of college life, but sleep is important for you to function as a human.
Sleep promotes memory retention and mental clarity which can help you feel better and do better in school. Quality sleep and a nighttime routine can help you feel more controlled and help you improve your productivity.
3- Enroll In Hybrid Classes
If you are someone who struggles with mental illness or struggles to get to bed on time, hybrid classes are going to be your best friend. Hybrid courses often have a day in the classroom while the rest of the week is online or over a video call.
Hybrid classes are a good option for people who need to work or who may not be able to make it to a physical class two to three times a week. You can be more successful in these classes because there is less pressure to be present and it helps you to avoid burnout.
4- Create A Routine
Feeling overwhelmed is common among college students. Moving to school and living with new people can disrupt your routine. Establishing a new routine that you stick to will help your mental health. Routine can help you from getting stuck in unhealthy habits or spiraling. Unhealthy habits can lead to higher levels of anxiety and depression.
Routines also help you avoid surprises and unexpected events. This will limit stress in your life and help you prioritize what is important to you. Setting a routine will also help you schedule time for journaling, relaxation, homework, and other adult tasks that will need to be done.
5- Avoid Isolating Yourself
When you are struggling, it can be tempting to isolate yourself or only focus on your schoolwork. While participating in college and putting your education first is important, being social and taking a break from homework are also important.
Knowing when to ask for professional health is also important. While taking a nap or a break can be helpful, when your mental health is debilitating you need to seek help from a therapist or doctor.
6- Don’t Neglect Your Physical Health
Exercise, good diet, sleep, and drinking enough water have physical health benefits and mental health benefits. Exercise can increase hormone production in the brain, eating healthy can give you more energy, and drinking water helps fuel your body and feel better. When you feel better physically, you can better handle stress.
Adults are recommended to exercise at least 20 minutes a day. Fitting a workout into your busy schedule doesn’t have to be hard college students can benefit from walking to class instead of driving, going on a run with friends, taking a hike with roommates, or taking a yoga or workout class through the university.
7- Try New Things
Finding a new hobby or trying new things can help you check off multiple of these tips at once, and help improve your mental state. If you have been wanting to try Pilates, you can learn something new while meeting new people and getting physical exercise.
College is a great place to explore all kinds of avenues. Take a class about something you are interested in, but that isn’t part of your degree. This can be a nice break from stressful work and give you the knowledge you may otherwise never have gained.
It is easy to withdraw when you are stressed, but pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can help increase dopamine in the brain and help you build a strong support system.
Mental Health Help From Ogden Psychological Services
College students or adults around college age can experience a lot of stressors. Navigating the world is stressful for many people, especially those who struggle with a mental illness. Ogden Psychological Services offers individual counseling, couples therapy, and family therapy, so you can work on many different challenges. If you are interested in what our team offers or how to get started, fill out our contact form or call our office!