Five Things Students Can Do to Boost Their Mental Health

Colleges are supposed to be the ideal catalysts for learning, socialization, and self-discovery. However, the average college experience is often ridden with emotional instability, with the majority of students experiencing depression, loneliness, and even suicidal thoughts. The issue of mental health is anything but simple and while there is no single solution or a quick fix that will help treat those affected, there are some improvements and simple things every college student can do to help make their life at the university a little bit more manageable.

Improve your eating and sleeping habits

salad-foodIt’s no secret that good nutrition is imperative for our mental health, yet many students seem to struggle with their nutrition while in college. Falling back to instant noodles and junk food might be easy, but it doesn’t provide your body with enough energy to function properly, leading to exhaustion, troubles focusing and remembering and lack of mental clarity. Poor sleep is often linked to anxiety, depression, irritability and could lead to a weakened immune system. If you wish to get those eight hours of sleep each and every night, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time and limit your exposure to white light (don’t stare at your phone) before you go to bed.

Look for accommodation that suits you individually

female-students-relaxing-in-bedroom-of-campusFinding the appropriate surroundings that will make you feel comfortable and ready to take on the challenges of student life is often more complicated than you think. Some students enjoy being surrounded by their peers and prefer large dorms and living on college campuses, while others find living in a house alone or with a roommate or two much more acceptable. That said, housing for students can be rather expensive and it’s important to find the best surroundings for yourself well before you start your studies.

Ask your network for help

students-reading-bookPreparing for several exams at the same time, with a vast amount of studying material and tight deadlines – it all may be pretty stressful. Well, guess what – you are not alone! Don’t hesitate to talk to your peers and ask them about their studying strategies. Your network may help you discover hacks you could never have come up with on your own. Ask them for study notes that can help you with reading comprehension and exams preparation. A good example is the reliable Monash Uni past exams database that is widely used by students from this university. Collections that have been submitted by former and current students may be super useful.

Give meditation a try

group-of-women-sitting-and-relaxingMeditation is by far one of the easiest and most effective tools you can use to manage your anxiety and strengthen your focus. Individuals suffering from anxiety and stress experience issues dealing with distracting and negative thoughts that hold too much power over them and often can’t distinguish between nagging worries and problem-solving thoughts. Mediation is a practice where all you have to do is sit comfortably, concentrate on your breathing and bring your attention to the present moment, without giving into past, present or future concerns.

Exercise more

studnets-exercisingBesides being an ideal way to blow of some steam and trim down your waistline, regular exercise is also ideal for treating anxiety, relieving stress, improving your eating and sleeping patterns and help treat mild forms of depression. During exercise, our brains signal the release of dopamine and serotonin, two out of the four neurotransmitters that have a d influence on the amounts of happiness we experience throughout the day. As intimidating as exercising might seem at first, it only takes around half an hour for three days a week for you to start experiencing the physical and mental benefits.

Seek professional health

student-groupIf you find yourself thinking that your college experience is simply too much for you to handle, you’re not alone. Both students and adults experience situations they find too difficult to manage and talking to a professional might be your best choice. This is not something to be ashamed of, as a lot of people rely on professional help to get through the day, so try to find a trusted adult on or off campus and talk to them about your concerns. Alternatively, you can always visit the student services and talk to a mental health professional who’s experienced in dealing with student issues.

College students are especially vulnerable to pressure and psychological stress. With so many different lectures, topics, exams, and deadlines, it’s easy to give in to anxiety, especially if you, like many other students throughout the world, haven’t properly developed your coping mechanisms and strategies. Healthy eating and sleeping, moderate exercise, meditation and surrounding yourself with positive influence are just some of the things you can do to improve your mental health and help you get through college with your head high and free of stress and worries.