In part 1, we talked about 10 general ways to maintain mental health in college. If you already struggle with mental health challenges, college life can have a negative effect on your mental health. It becomes significantly more challenging to manage your mental health on top of work, school, and extracurricular activities. But, never fear, here are some great tips and tricks for managing your depression and anxiety while in college.
The 5 Minute Rule: Tips for Time Management
Depression and anxiety can make it hard to get up and get things done; you may feel tired, unmotivated, and not want to get out of bed. For things like cleaning up, self care, and small errands, use the 5 minute rule. If you can do a chore in under 5 minutes, you set a timer and do it real quick. This can work for sweeping up your dorm, taking out the trash, washing your face, or replying to short emails. By getting the small things out of the way first, you can take some of the pressure off yourself and feel less overwhelmed. Once you get up and get moving on tasks, that makes it easier to continue to tackle your various chores.
Writing down a schedule for yourself can also be helpful in motivating yourself to get things done. If you mentally plan to study for an hour, do laundry, then email a professor, it can be easy to procrastinate on all of those things. By writing down your plan for the day, you can better hold yourself accountable for what needs to be done.
There is Life Outside Your Dorm Room
Depression and anxiety can make it hard to leave the safety of your dorm room. Especially if you have a dining hall in your building or are able to cook your own food, it can be all too easy to not leave your building for a couple days. This can make your depression worse because depression feeds on inactivity and social withdrawal.
One of the best things you can do to keep ourself out of a rut is to get out of your room and find a way to interact with people everyday. This can mean meeting up with friends for meals, attending study groups, running errands to buy groceries, and going for a walk. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of all the free events offered at colleges; most colleges offer fun, free lectures and events, many of which may have free food. Once you get out of your dorm, you may feel more motivated and less trapped.
Find Joy in the Small Things
You’re legally an adult by the time you get to college, but that doesn’t mean all the fun has to go away. Find ways everyday to make yourself smile. This could mean stopping to pet a cute dog on the way to class, taking notes with glitter pens, or wearing an animal onesie once in a while. These are fun, little ways to relax and give your mood a little boost.
Meanwhile, remember that no one is perfect and remember to take it easy on yourself if you mess up. If you get a bad grade on an essay, don’t stress about it, you will still graduate. When you say something in class that you regret, just know that it is unlikely that anyone else noticed. If you embarrass yourself at a party, remember that everyone else is probably too busy remembering their embarrassing moments to notice yours. When in doubt, relax and take it one thing at a time.
Comment your tips and tricks for mental health in college below!