Your health and your well-being should always your first priority. That’s why mental health is so important to me as a college student, and it should be for you as well.
College classes can become overwhelming and take a toll on your mental health. Learning how to manage my mental health has been extremely important to me because I was recently diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. This illness didn’t come out of nowhere; it stems from childhood, and I’ve dealt with it ever since I was 8 or 9 years old. I am 23 years old now.
I have come a long way since I started classes more than a year ago. Long story short, I’ve hit my breaking point at times and needed to get professional help. I’m here today to share with you that you are not alone – there are millions of others who suffer from similar feelings.
Here are some tips that helped me and might assist fellow students to get through a rough patch:
1. Take time out for yourself
It’s easy to burn out and overwork yourself, which will worsen your mental health. I learned this the hard way. Instead, try to make time for the things you enjoy doing, such as watching television, playing with your child/children, getting on social media, talking to a friend, cooking, cleaning, sleeping … whatever helps you unwind and relax. Putting unnecessary stress on yourself does no good. Everyone wants to achieve high marks in classes, but is it worth it if your mental health is compromised?
2. Talk to a trusted individual
When things escalate and get to the point when it’s overwhelming, talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. Sometimes it seemed as if no one would understand how I was feeling, and, as a result, I bottled up my emotions. This is very unhealthy and dangerous for your mental health. Sometimes when you’re in a situation like mine you feel like you are alone, but you’re not. When you talk to a counselor, trusted friend or family member and release those negative feelings, you’ll feel tremendously better, and you’ll receive some words of wisdom from that person.
3. Develop a strong support system
We have a great support network at Herzing, but we each need a strong emotional support system as well. Family is often your strongest support system. I know that I can definitely rely on my family, but if that’s not the case for you, close friends might be best. There are people around you that want to see you succeed and win in life! You are not alone in your educational journey.
Paying attention to my mental health has drastically improved my schooling. I would spend all day focusing and getting ahead of the game on my assignments, but I realized that I could only take so much at a time. Taking care of myself and my mental health helped me retain more information and feel better. We all are a work in progress, on an educational journey to start or improve our careers, and we should be taking the same approach to our mental health as well.