Taking good care of your mental health when you start college should be your top priority. It can very exciting to start this new chapter of your life, but it also means that you’re going to experience a lot of changes on your own. Going to college means starting a whole new phase without the guidance of your parents or family members. This can be stressful to some students because it means leaving home and exploring new things without help from anyone. New campus, new friends, and new experiences will bring you so much joy. However, it might also make you stressed and worried.
It’s very easy to avoid an issue and pretend like it’s an not even there. But you must know that college might drain you, or you might feel homesick and alone. It is not okay to ignore these feelings and put them under the rug. This might even increase the number of issues in the future and affect your focus and productivity.
This is why it is essential that you start prioritising your mental health the moment you set foot in your college. This will help you remain productive and will reduce the stress. Many of us tend to neglect our feelings and thoughts because we believe that we should focus on other important matters such as our studies or jobs. We forget that we might not be able to excel in our jobs or studies if we ignore our mental health. This is will only cause it deteriorate even more.
Here are some of the things you can follow to ensure that you’re taking good care of your mental health:
1- Surround Yourself With Supportive People
This is what you can essentially start doing. Surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you, who continuously support you, and show you that they’ll be there for you in case of hardships is very important. This will make you happier and will ultimately boost your mood.
Being around friends who help you and listen to you when you need it is heart-warming.
2- Get Good Sleep
With all the stress that your brain and body battle daily, you must always remember to reward your body with enough sleep to get you through the day. It is understandable if you are not able to sleep for eight hours, but you should try your best to do so because sleeping is what strengthens your mind and body. With the right amount of sleep, you will be able to feel more relaxed instead of feeling stressed and over whelmed.
3- Practice Your Hobbies
College is not just about studying, solving assignments, and doing tests. It is also a time to discover yourself and engage in new activities or hobbies. Whether you enjoy reading, biking, or drawing, remember to step aside from your busy study schedule and practice what you like. If you excessively tire yourself and do not stop for a minute to breathe, then you will exhaust your mental health.
Engaging in hobbies will provide you with a sense of relaxation and will excite you to perform your academic tasks.
4- Visit Your College’s Counsellor
If you’re facing problems with your mental health or if you’re not accustomed to the several changes that are occurring in your life, then you might want to consider giving your college’s counsellor a visit.
Seeking help is not wrong, especially when you are trying to juggle everything on your own. Asking for professional help from someone who knows how to help you will benefit you in many ways.
Many colleges have therapists and counsellors on their campus for this particular reason. They understand the struggle that students face and the effects it might have on their mental health and wellbeing. Thus, it is certainly not wrong to seek help to take better care of yourself.
5- Be Realistic and Set Small Goals
In order to feel less overwhelmed, you need to be realistic when setting your goals for the semester or year. You should not be too hard on yourself. For this particular reason, setting big and unachievable goals will only make studying harder and more stressful. Take it slow and small, all the tiny wins matter whether you only took a walk today or studied one chapter for you test. Step by step, you will achieve and finish what you have.
6- Make Time For Yourself
All of the previous steps or tips cannot work unless you prioritize your mental health and make plenty of time for yourself. The easiest way to do so it to always remind yourself that you need to take some time away from your studies and responsibilities.
- You can do this by adding it into your to-do-list.
- Remember that taking care of yourself does not always mean to spend the entire day by yourself at home with scented candles all around. This is what the media feeds. However, having some alone time can simply mean taking 30 minutes to listen to music, or re-reading your comfort book, or baking, or taking a short walk in the park etc. Self-care comes in different forms and it is unique for each person.
The following are important points to keep in mind:
- Mental health is just as important as physical health . So, you should treat it with complete seriousness.
- There is nothing wrong with feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed during your college years.
- Your feelings are valid.
- Your mental health should always come first.