What I am doing to keep myself mentally healthy and productive this semester. It’s not a shock when college students say they have bad anxiety. Every assignment, test and class is weighted on our shoulders every day. That’s how it is and it prepares us for the world we are about to enter. It’s the baby steps to living on our own, paying our rent, and taking care of ourselves with our parents out of the picture. It’s not as scary as it sounds, but definitely an adjustment for everyone. If you are going into college already aware of your mental health and possible illnesses (I usually call it “mental things” because illness makes it sound like it will go away when in reality you don’t just “heal” from it) then you know you have to take certain steps to be okay. If you haven’t experienced extreme stress or anxiety before then read and keep in mind that it may happen and will be totally normal. Here are a couple things I plan to do to keep my mind positive and healthy this semester.
- I am going in knowing that I will have challenges. I’m not ignoring it, but instead am being fully aware and taking note to notice when small things happen so I can adjust my lifestyle to be happy. Sometimes I start getting nervous randomly in class and my head will be on a swivel. I don’t know what I am scared of, but I will suddenly feel as if something bad will happen. When this starts to occur, I know I have to do something to allow my mind to take a break and relax. A couple of hours unplugged, an early bedtime and staying hydrated usually does the trick.
- I have people close to me know when I am not okay. Last year when I became close enough to my roommate I told her about my anxiety and depression. I wanted her to understand that especially when winter starts to come I’ll be a little off, but it will be okay. When days were bad she would ask me to get out and do something with her so I was moving. Second semester she had an 8 am and I had a 9 am so naturally she was up first. We worked out that she would open the blinds in the morning so I woke up to sunshine. This little thing helped me a lot. Having people do little things like that works. When she was upset I left little notes and quotes on her desk. This allowed us both to encourage one another.
- I am decorating my room in a way to help my mind feel better. I know that dark colors, clutter and fluorescent lighting (weird I know) make my mind overcrowded and stressed out. So I am getting string lights, white flowy curtains and a simplistic wooden themed decor to go up on my walls. It will be filled with brightness, positive quotes and a couple pictures on mountains. Gotta always have those mountains to move!
These three things should help keep my mind cleared and healthy all semester as I deal with classes, a job and so many other things to keep my time filled. I also have a post here about what you can do to help out your friends who may be struggling. Keep working hard, you got this.