College life can take its toll on anyone, and it’s important for you to take care of your own mental health as well as your physical health. Below are some great tips to help you navigate your college years and make the most of them while preserving your mental health.

Exercise Regularly

For years we’ve known that exercise can help deal with stress and anxiety. Now it’s time to act on it! When you work out, your body will produce more endorphins (aka the happy chemical), which plays a crucial role in boosting your mood, and is a proven method of decreasing anxiety and helping you deal with any depression you may be experiencing.

Proper Diet and Nutrition

Giving the brain the nutrients it needs to function optimally is a crucial component to ensuring that you’re making the most of your college years. Eating balanced meals to get all of the minerals and vitamins you need for your body isn’t just great for your body, it’s great for the mind as well.

Speak Up

I know, I know, sometimes it can be hard to break down your own barriers and be open with how you’re feeling when you’re dealing with internal issues. Don’t cut yourself off from others and divulge what’s bothering you with loved ones. This could be a family member, a friend, roommate, counselor, therapist or even a professor. The worst decision you can make for your own personal mental health is simply staying quiet and expecting the issues to resolve themselves. When you need help, ask! There’s no shame in this very normal practice, and know that everyone needs someone to talk to and feel heard.

Meditation

The practice of meditation has quite a few benefits to consider. It’s a great way to help reduce stress, control your anxiety, promote emotional health, give you a great sense of self-awareness, can help improve attention span and a ton of other benefits. Give it a try in the morning when you first wake up and try to do this for a week straight to see how you feel.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep each night (in particular the night before a big exam) is incredibly important. Not getting enough sleep on a consistent basis can lead to a deterioration of your cognitive abilities e and inhibit your ability to properly absorb information along with countless other side effects.

Lack of sleep and stress can form a vicious cycle. It’s important that you break out of this cycle in the leadup to the exam. Aim to seven to nine hours sleep before your exam. This could mean going to bed earlier if you have a tendency to be a night owl. If you struggle to get to sleep at an early time, consider some of these various tricks to get to sleep more easily.

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