Any transitional period comes with a load of stress. And college is no exception. Of course, this doesn’t mean that your college life will be full of struggles and tribulations only. It is the time when you’ll be exploring different dimensions of interpersonal communication, learning to cooperate and become a team player, acquiring new skills and knowledge, and much more. Nevertheless, you might find it challenging to get the most out of this period if you fail to attend to your mental health needs.
Feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, and isolation might be commonplace in college, especially during your first year when your links to home and old lifestyle still remain strong. Over time, most young learners figure out effective strategies that help them cope with stress and temporary problems. Still, there are also those who struggle to maintain a study-life balance and conform to the new rules, which may lead to students developing mental health conditions. Not to fall victim to slow adaptation and school-related stress, consider following some simple tips provided below.
Embrace the importance of self-care
Lots of students tend to get overwhelmed by new duties and responsibilities imposed on them by their new lifestyles in college. A hectic schedule, endless urgent assignments, strict professors, and having to combine work and studies may make you think that you’ll never be able to break out of the vicious cycle. But the key is to always make some time for yourself and recharge your internal batteries. After all, you can always find a college paper writer to help you out with homework. Make it your rule to put some time aside to do something that can help take your mind off everyday problems. It can be your hobby like sewing, writing poems, or reading. Or you can just spend some time chatting with your former classmate or parents. Yoga and practising mindfulness also can go a long way in reducing stress and anxiety. Just make sure to schedule a time to do something you really like.
Don’t strive to fit in
Every fresher does their best to settle in the new environment fast. The adaptation period might be hard on yesterday’s school leavers so, no wonder, they aim to make it as smooth and fast as possible. That said, you should never go out of your way in an attempt to impress others or make them like you. Each person is unique. So, instead of following suit and blindly conforming to standards and clichés, embrace your uniqueness and try to capitalize on it.
Much has been said about the importance of a balanced diet for maintaining mental health. Unfortunately, few actually follow this useful recommendation. Grabbing a couple of sandwiches and drinking a lot of coffee in a day won’t make you a more efficient learner. Though it might seem hard, try not to skip meals and always carry some healthy snacks with you. It’s commonplace for students to feel hungry at random times. Also, steer clear of late-night snacks and binge eating as it may be fraught with developing eating disorders.
Practice a good sleep hygiene
If you’re a college student, you need to ensure you follow a consistent sleep-wake schedule. Moreover, you should aim to sleep at least 7 hours per night. Note that this amount increases when you’re stressed out, overtired, or have other health issues. At the same time, it’s also important to note that different people have different biological rhythms. Moreover, your responsibilities may not simply be in sync with your circadian clock. So, you definitely want to be more sensitive to your body’s needs and try to figure out the length and timing of sleep that works best for you.
Ask for help
A vast majority of colleges provide psychological help to students and have dedicated specialists on campus. You need to keep in mind that it’s normal to feel frustrated and stressed out at some point in time. And it’s also normal to ask for help whenever you feel unable to cope with negative feelings on your own. Today, anyone can easily schedule an appointment online and visit a healthcare provider at a suitable time. During the visit, you can ask any questions and receive valuable information that will help you cope with mental health symptoms before they get too severe and difficult to treat.
Zuella Montemayor did her degree in psychology at the University of Toronto. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.