3 Tips to Better Your Mental Health in College
Written by: Clarice Stout, M.A.
Going to college can be a big adjustment whether you are living on campus or commuting to and from school. During your time in school reaching that goal for your degree there can be stressors with classes, deadlines, grades, working, finishing homework, etc. These few tips below are ways that can help with your mental health during that time, because let’s face it the stress of school can really impact us, especially our mental health if we are feeling overwhelmed with it. When thinking back during my time in school I tried to remember the three top things that helped me with my mental health and that was when I was feeling anxious, worried, overwhelmed, or sometimes feeling like in a low mood.
Have a Routine: Creating a study routine can be very helpful at times because it allows you to know and remember what times you have allotted for getting your assignments done, which can help you decrease thoughts of feeling scattered for when you will get stuff done. Not only a study routine can be helpful, but also creating routines in your schedule that allow for self-care, some kind of exercise, eating at certain times that are beneficial to you, and incorporating things you like such as your hobby or making time to still hang out with friends! The key thing with routines and trying to implement certain things into your routine is finding your balance with everything, or basically what works for you. I know at times I would be guilty of having a routine that was just incorporating way too much overstudying and I wouldn’t be making time for friends or myself, which would create more stress. I had to step back for a second at times and give myself reminders to balance myself with my school work and self-care. So, having a routine that you can try to stick to can be really helpful in school, even try writing it down on your calendar!
Support System: Support can go such a long way when you are achieving your goal to get your degree. Where I found my support system helpful in increasing my mental health in a positive way during my time in school was instances where I sometimes would doubt myself, such as if I was going for the right degree, or feelings of burn out with school work. Turning to my support system and just talking to them when I felt doubtful or just in a low mood really helped me get through it and boosted my mood at times when I needed it. It is perfectly great and healthy to lean on those you trust especially when you are putting so much work into reaching your goals for school. My support system was my family, but remember everyone’s support system can look different, whether it is peers, your best friend, a professor, or your family. Feeling supported in anything you do helps with your mental health because you then know and feel that you have people on your side, and it can boost that confidence in knowing that you can get through it
.Take your breaks and mean it: Lastly, I found that really being mindful and present when I had breaks during school like spring break, Christmas break, etc., was helpful because I intentionally used those times to recharge my batteries for the next semester or whenever I returned back from a break. What I mean by take that break and mean it and by being mindful of it is really taking that break from your studies and practice self-care and decreasing your thoughts about school during those break times. It is easy to want to get ahead in work during those break times or catch up on work, but being able to get your work done before that break and having a rest from school can again boost your mood and mental health overall because you are allowing a balance of implementing a break time, which we all need at times either from work or school. School can be a lot to handle at times but remember to find your balance in your routine, have your support system, and allow for your break times in order to really help better your mental health while you are accomplishing school.
Written by: CLARICE STOUT, MA, Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist 107743. Supervised by Dr. Karla Heredia Psy.D., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist 92394.