Maintaining Mental Health in College

Over half of the world’s population is struggling with some type of mental health issue. Some people get anxiety before tests, others have seasonal depression. Some actively get help for a diagnosed mental health issue they have. Whatever it may be, it can be easy to get caught up in our thoughts and forget about the world around us, especially as a college student. It’s always good to have some tricks up your sleeve to help you when you’re having one of those days/weeks, and these are a few things that may help overcome struggles.

  1. Use a diary. Diaries allow you to write down the intensity of each emotion, and you can even put little notes for what happened that day. I highly recommend them because they can be brief two-sentence entries about your day or elaborate three-page entries about things that affect you. I think writing in a diary is extremely important.
  2. Therapy! Whether you have a mental health diagnosis or not, go to therapy because everyone can always use a little bit of it. Talking out your feelings, even if it’s only once a week or once a month, can help a lot even when you don’t think you need it.
  3. Find your stress relievers. That can be anything from simply listening to some of your favorite music, or can be as intricate as painting something for multiple hours. Sometimes life can become too much, so knowing what you react to best when you’re stressed a little more than usual is in your best interest. It can be hard to know what those things are, but once you find them, always continue to do them.
  4. Find your outlets! Find the people you know you can talk to when you’re having a bad day. Be fully committed, though; you have to allow yourself to be open with them. It does no good to sit inside your head all day, so make sure there’s always someone with whom you can process your thoughts.
  5. Exercise. Recently exercise has become my second form of therapy. I could be having a bad day, but once I sweat everything out, I’m more focused, have more energy, and am overall a lot less anxious. This may not be the case for everyone, but working out gives you great endorphins, so consistently working out is sure to benefit you. Remember, your mind, body, and soul are connected, so in order to take care of one you have to take care of the others.

There’s still a big stigma around mental health, but the more we talk about it the more people will take care of themselves and get the help they need. It’s okay to struggle with your mental health because chances are, if you’re going through something, someone else is going through the exact same thing. Recognize it, talk it out, and always remember to stay focused on what is good now rather than what could be good if you tried harder. You got this.



Class of 2022
The first time I visited Illinois, I knew that it was the school for me! I am on the pre-med track, majoring in Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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