It’s quite common for one to forget to care for their mental health and take a break when all the pressures of college life weigh down on you. Entering university can be quite a vast array of emotions all rolled up into one. There are new experiences, temptations, and crucial decisions all laid out for you to go through; and all that can be a bit much. Psychology studies and evidence mention the mental health crisis today in thousands of college students.
Just as Gregg Henriques, Ph.D. says, “the college student mental health crisis refers to the massive increase in treatment-seeking in college students. Whereas perhaps 10% were self-identified and seeking treatment in the 1980s, now approximately 33% are. This massive rise is likely a function of both more accepting attitudes about reporting distress and seeking and receiving treatment, and actual increases in stress, anxiety, and depression and other related problems.”
This particular time in a young adult’s life is more likely to experience a significant amount of stress, anxiety, and depression. “A 2013 survey of college students found that 57% of women and 40% of men reported experiencing episodes of “overwhelming anxiety” in the past year, and 33% of women and 27% of men reported a period in the last year of feeling so depressed it was difficult to function. “
The situation is not improving, according to Ben Locke, Ph.D., “those who have worked in counseling centers for the last decade have been consistently ringing a bell saying something is wrong, things are getting worse with regard to college student mental health.”
It’s really important to make sure you pay attention to how you feel and what you need when you feel down, when things are overwhelming, and when you think you need a break. Sometimes it’s hard for the youth to admit when they’re not doing okay, or when you need help, and that’s completely normal.
When things get rough during such a time, it’s way too easy to give into peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, and other vices, but this shouldn’t be how you address your needs. The same goes for completely ignoring and masking your mental health issues; this makes it worse. What you have to do is focus on letting it out positively, telling someone, and knowing and caring for yourself enough to want to change for the better.
Do not isolate yourself from your friends or loved ones. It may seem more natural to think that you don’t want to burden them with your struggles, but going through it alone is not going to make it any better. Whether it may be one friend or a bunch, you have to keep interacting and telling people how you are, ask for advice, and make sure you open up to people you can trust.
Take Care Of Your Body
Taking care of your body can help you feel better mentally, as well. Most of the time, college students turn to alcohol and smoking, but you should avoid it. Always make sure to eat healthy meals and avoid harmful substances that can further damage your mental state. Enough Sleep and Light exercise now and then can also help decrease negative moods and help clear your mind.
Learn To Value Yourself
Always remember to put yourself first, to treat yourself with respect, and to avoid bringing yourself down. Make sure to reserve some time for yourself to do things that make you happy. It’s always okay to cut yourself some slack and remind yourself that you’ve tried your best. Give yourself time to grow, learn, and improve with all the experiences you go through every day.
Surround Yourself With The Right People
You have to be able to distinguish which people are right for your well being, and let go of the toxic ones. Make sure to avoid people who influence you in a negative way or people who only use you for their benefit. It’s essential to have yourself surrounded with people who check on you, who care for your well being and genuinely enjoy having you around. It’s also good to have those who motivate you to do better academically, socially, and professionally.
Seek Professional Help
Seeking professional help is never a sign of weakness; it’s a display of self-awareness and self-value. Some so many people can help you and who can guide you towards an even brighter future. If you believe you need to talk to someone with experience with how you feel its best, you get it as soon as possible. Sometimes advice from friends and family isn’t enough, and you need something different, and that’s completely okay.
Mental health is essential no matter what part of your life you’re going through, but it’s always a good move to address it as early as possible. With all the pressure young adults go through nowadays with social media and modern society counting on them to be a certain way, it becomes challenging to find time for one’s self and to care for your mental health sincerely. Never neglect your emotions and how you feel towards certain things, it’s important to remember that what you think is valid, that YOU are legitimate, and when you think you can’t handle situations on your own, there is always someone who can help. According to Deborah Serani, PsyD, “The reason more don’t go for psychotherapy or medication is stigma. They worry they’ll be labeled, deemed undesirable, and other such things. Misinformation about mental illness shames and discriminates those suffering from depression from getting professional help.”