When I chose to change my major from business to psychology, I never realized a whole new world was being introduced to me. From learning about why people lie, to what people will do for love, you really learn about how we ,as humans, think and make decisions.
One of the most interesting courses I took at the college was my abnormal psychology course. We learned about all scales of mental health disorders and the many ways individuals choose to approach them. One of the biggest and most saddening aspects of mental health is the social stigma that is associated with them.
For anyone out there struggling with mental health and is hesitant in seeking help because of what others might think, here are some tips and resources for you. Because taking care of your mental health is so important for a living happy and healthy life.
Two of the most common mental health disorders that are diagnosed are anxiety and depression and what really intrigued me about these disorders is that the prevalence in college students is overwhelming. This has been the truth for quite some time, and fortunately we are beginning to speak more openly about it.
Your years in college are some of the best of your life. However, with the fun of college, comes the stress and pressure of deciding what you want to do with your life. For some the decision comes easy, but for others it can be a difficult and scary process. Stress, when not managed correctly, or when it is simply too overwhelming can lead to depression or anxiety when too much pressure is forced upon us.
Here are some ways that I have used and have been beneficial in aiding the care of my own mental health and hopefully they can help you too!
Exercising at least 3 times a week
Even for just 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week. Exercise releases hormones in the body that give you energy and stimulate the reward center in your brain. Numerous amount of studies have been conducted that prove that with a rise in exercise comes a decrease in depressive symptoms.
Getting at least 8 hours of sleep
I, myself have issues with this one as I am an early riser, but sometimes it’s hard to go to sleep when there is so much to do/on your mind. To make up for this, I have a nightly routine that helps me to get to sleep on time and get the right amount of hours.
As a college student this is either really easy, or insanely hard. Meal prepping or shopping daily can really help with making the right choices when eating.
Creating a village
Caution: Sort of morbid, but none the less, true. I recently learned in my cognitive psychology course that when elderly women pass away, their husbands usually pass within the next year or so. When elderly men pass away, it seems to not be the case. Within many studies in psychology, this has in part revealed to be the fact that women have a stronger support system and women are more open to talk about their feelings and reach out for help when they need it. Just being social and talking out your difficulties with someone has been shown to lead to a longer, healthier life.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to seek professional help
Because of the stigma associated with mental illness, many students choose to stray away from counseling because of what others might think. What many students don’t know is that there are so many resources that don’t involve going into a therapist office to seek help. I have recently learned about BetterHelp, an online counseling & therapy site. What I love about this website is that not all counselors/therapists are the same. They specialize in all different aspects of mental health to fit your current needs.
What things do you do to keep up with your mental health? What resources do you use and how have they helped you? Comment below!
Thanks so much for reading!