As college students, we deal with stress on a weekly basis. Balancing classes, work, a social life and time to ourselves can be challenging, but it is possible.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 85 percent of college students reported they had felt overwhelmed by everything they had to do at some point within the past year.
Personally, I have dealt with anxiety and the pressures of living up to my fullest potential.
The most important thing in my life has been taking care of myself, and I want to share some ways that have worked to improve my mental well-being.
1. Try not to judge yourself or compare yourself to others. It is natural for us to look at social media and the news and assume that some people are living their lives in a better way than we are. We must remember that every single person has their own story and their own struggles. We are not alone.
2. Surround yourself with positive people. Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Stay close to those who motivate you to become a better version of yourself and encourage you to make healthier decisions.
3. Do not put things off. Procrastination can easily lead to stress and anxiety. Try to set goals, short-term and long-term, and stick to them. A sense of accomplishment can drastically improve your mental health.
4. Try something new, such as meditating, journaling and bike riding. The Counseling and Psychological Services office on campus holds meditation classes from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. on most Mondays and from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Thursdays in Ransom Hall Room 310. These meditations are guided by a counselor or one of the Counseling and Psychological Services Ambassadors.
5. Listen to your body. Hydrating and eating healthy foods are important for your mental health. Drinking plenty of water helps combat fatigue, reduce acne and help digestion. The more energized and active your body feels, the more productive you will be, which ultimately enhances your state of mind.
6. Exercise. I think we have all heard this many times in our lives, but we tend to ignore it. According to an article from helpguide.org, those who are active “feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives.”
7. Taking care of yourself includes taking care of your hygiene. Showering, doing laundry and maintaining your hair – as simple as these tasks might seem, they do wonders for our mental health. Feeling healthy and clean on the outside can make a person feel that much better on the inside.
8. Reward yourself. Celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small. This will help boost your self-esteem and brighten your mood.
Taking care of yourself is a crucial part of improving and maintaining your mental health.
Remember, everyone has their own way of caring for themselves. What works for a friend won’t always work for you. Find what improves your well-being and make it a part of your routine.