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3 Tips for Improving Mental Health in College

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College puts every aspect of your mental strength on the line. The combination of tight homework deadlines, endless extracurricular obligations, and minimal sleep can make surviving the four years seem like a steep challenge. This stress builds up over time and can have significant impacts on your health, often without them even knowing. 

Mental health is a large topic of conversation in today’s society. It was once viewed as taboo to discuss feelings and emotions. Today, mental health has surged to the forefront of public conversation in hopes of fighting stigmas. Though this has been significant progress, mental health is still widely misunderstood by many. 

The long history of stigma in this field has led many people to believe that you have to be mentally ill in order to seek treatment. The reality is, mental health isn’t all that different from physical health – and no one waits until they contract a disease before visiting a doctor. 

The stress of college creates heavy burdens on mental health. While it might not lead to a clinical mental illness, it’s a good idea to take advantage of available resources. There’s no shame in taking these preventative measures, it indicates mindfulness rather than weakness. 

Another common misconception about mental health is that therapy is the only form of treatment. The United States sets aside a large sum of money annually for mental health expenditures – up to $6.7 billion in larger states like California. This covers a lot more than therapist salaries. There are far more mental health remedies outside of traditional counseling sessions than you may assume. If you’re looking for how to improve your mental health without leaving campus, look no further…  

Find Interest-Based Small Groups

 

There are endless clubs to join at college to occupy free time. But some clubs can have a lot more benefits than just looking good on a resume. For example, Carleton College offers expressive art therapy groups to target anxiety, perfectionism and insecurities. The group emphasizes that students do not have to be talented artists to join in, they just need to be open to the experience. 

Take Advantage of Campus Recreation

No matter who you are, incorporating mindfulness into your fitness regime can go a long way. That could be taking a yoga class or using a couple minutes at the end of a workout to stretch and reflect on your day. Strengthening your mind is as important as strengthening your physique. More than likely, your university’s campus recreation program offers something that interests you. 

Build Down Time into Your Schedule

 

Ultimately the best person that’s most able to help improve your mental health is yourself. Try not to overbook your schedule and leave time to do something that makes you happy – whether that’s watching Netflix, hanging out with friends or perfecting your favorite hobby. Manage your time by cutting back on extracurriculars or busting procrastination to get your work done faster. A strong school-life balance is essential to staying sane through all the craziness. 

No matter how you opt to relax, find something that allows you to unwind from all the pressures that go along with college life. Taking time off to reset will not only work wonders for your mental sanity, it will also help you become a better student. With these tips, you can focus on your academics when it really counts. 


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