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7 Ways to Be Better About Your Mental Health When School Is Stressful
Written by Brittney Moses | October 18, 2018
Let’s face it: Trying to maintain your spiritual life, social life, work life, GPA and personal responsibilities throughout the week is stressful! In fact, according to a survey by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “64 percent of young adults who are no longer in college are not attending college because of a mental health-related reason.” The survey found that “Depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder are the primary diagnoses of these young adults.” Anxiety is one of the biggest problems for students. Not only are college years the years when you are branching off to try this adulting thing on your own, but there are so many demands and obligations pulling you in different directions. This can lead many to feel inadequate and burned out.
Now that you’re about halfway into the semester, the weight of your load might start feeling like it’s more than you can handle. So we wanted to take the time today to give some encouraging and practical advice that we hope will uplift you. While it’s so important that you find your center rooted in Christ to help carry your burdens, it’s essential that you take care of yourself as well!
1. Consider seeing your school therapist.
Many students aren’t aware of all of the resources they have at their disposal on campus—one of those being an on-staff clinical therapist. Most colleges have a mental health professional available to you as a part of your student services, where you can meet and talk with someone regularly about your struggles and help gain some solid ground again. You don’t have to go it alone. They are there to listen to you. Find out what mental health resources your school offers and take advantage of it because therapy in the outside world can be expensive!
2. Plan ahead!
I know that this seems obvious, but it’s often one of the first things that goes out the window as the semester progresses and we find ourselves deep in the trenches of due dates and exams. A lot of stress buildup comes from trying to pull everything together at the last minute. Look at your syllabus and plug the dates into your calendar so you can plan when to start studying and preparing assignments ahead of time. The better you manage your time, the less stressed you’ll be. Trust me, I’ve been there. Here are 7 Amazing Planners You Must Have This School Year.
3. Make sure you’re getting good sleep.
I know you want to cram in that late-night study session or make yourself one more cup of coffee to dig into that paper at midnight, and I know there will be nights when you just have to do what you have to do. My advice is to not make it a habit. Sleep deprivation is your enemy. Sleep deprivation causes elevated anxiety, affects performance ability and focus, and is associated with a number of health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease. According to the CDC, college students need at least seven hours of sleep. Maybe it’ll be better to set aside the late-night hustle and try again in the morning by waking up refreshed. Here are 9 Ways to Beat Insomnia.
4. Make time for friends.
After a long day, it’s so much easier to stay in, catch up on your favorite show and have a moment to shut the world away. Nothing is wrong with making room for personal time and solitude. However, when isolation becomes a habit, that’s when it gets unhealthy. One study found that college students who were having more meaningful conversations were not only happier, but also had higher life satisfaction. We weren’t meant to do life alone. Having a couple of people in your corner who you can do life with and turn to during hard times will make a huge difference through those rough seasons you’ll face through the college journey. Here are 5 Simple Way to Forge Friendships When You’re Busy and How to Make Female Friends as an Introvert.
5. Practice better self-care.
You matter just as much as (actually more than) the goals you are chasing. If the producer breaks down, then the production won’t matter. Running on fumes and trying to pour from an empty well hinders you from operating at your fullest potential. So it’s very important to practice self-care and make it a priority. Remember, self-care is not selfish. The whole point is to take care of ourselves so we are better able to do what God has called us to do and help others. Here are 11 Ways for the Busy College Girl to Practice Self Care.
6. Create your own morning routine.
You hit the snooze, finally wake up, roll over, scroll through your social media feed, rush to get dressed, grab your things and hurry out the door. Sound familiar? Believe it or not, how you begin your day and the first thoughts you give your mind will set your trajectory for the rest of the day. Having a morning routine is all about being intentional to start your day off in the right spirit and attitude. Sometimes that might mean waking up a little earlier so you have time to make a solid breakfast, get in a devotional and prayer time or even just have more time to be calm and collected. Here are 10 Ideas for a Seamless Morning Routine and 4 Habits That Will Make You Love Morning.
7. Keep your spirit anchored in God’s Word.
It’s more common than you think for your spiritual life to fall to the back burner when life comes piling in and you find yourself constantly responding to urgent matters. It may feel more natural for you to take things into your own control, which soon becomes a downward spiral to doing life without God. A life where you are carrying all the burdens, everything relies on you and you’ve held to your control so tightly that these things are now beginning to control you—control your mood, your health, your spirit. Getting back onto the path of peace and letting God be the center of your life is not going to be a matter of trying harder to do more Christian things, but a matter of surrendering more. Surrendering your day, surrendering your plans, surrendering your will to His sovereignty. Let Him be your peace again. Here are 5 Ways to Integrate the Bible Into Your Day and 7 Ways to Fill Yourself With God’s Word in the Midst of Depression.
You’d be surprised how much small changes in your daily routine will lead to big changes in your mental health over time. You don’t have to commit to all of these things overnight, but even if you add each element progressively to your lifestyle over time, I believe you’ll be better for it!
As always, we are thinking of and praying for you ladies and we hope these ideas will bless you as much as they have for us throughout our lives!