According to the Application for University of College Counseling Center, many college students today are struggling with anxiety (48.2%), stress (39.1%) and depression (34.5%).
In fact, more than 75% of mental health conditions begin before the age of 24.
Statistics also demonstrate that 50% of students have felt so overwhelmed that they struggle to succeed academically. It is important to provide services to students who are dealing with stress, anxiety and depression because it contributes to risky behaviors and poor academic performance.
Today’s blog will provide tips and resources for college students to help them thrive academically while cultivating strong mental health.
Learning how to make the most out of your time will increase productivity and decrease stress.
- Make a daily “to-do” list each morning to start your day with a clear agenda.
- Create a schedule to establish a routine. Use Google Calendar to add your class schedule, deadlines, meetings, etc.
- Identify where you are wasting time— purchase a planner or download Trello to help organize all of your tasks.
- Limit your phone-use and social media —turn off your notifications or set a time limit on your apps.
- Focus Booster and Time Camp are time management apps that help students make the most of their time by tracking how much time you spend on schoolwork.
Prioritize and pay attention to your individual needs— work smart, not hard.
- Practice mindful eating: Although fast and junk food are cheap and convenient, they don’t always fuel your body and brain correctly. Be conscious of what you put into your body. Try swapping out a soda for a flavored seltzer water or vending machine snacks for fresh fruit.
- Importance of sleep: You may think that you can easily stay up all night studying but getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep is more beneficial.
- If you’re having trouble sleeping, download Sleep Cycle. Sleep Cycle tracks and analyzes your stages of sleep.
- Allow yourself breaks to recharge—you’re less productive without breaks. Stepping away from your work will help you return more recharged and focused.
- Listen to music, watch an episode of your favorite TV show, grab a snack, go for a walk or get some exercise.
- Change your scenery: Varying your studying space can help refresh your mind and increase motivation.
- Try working outside or at a coffee shop with some friends.
Healthy Outlet for Stress
While students cope with their stress differently, it’s important to channel stress in a productive and healthy way.
- Exercise the body and mind
- Find a supportive friend group
- Get involved in campus organizations, sports or other clubs. This is a great way to socialize, release stress and take a break from your work.
- If joining a campus organization or club intimidates you, keep it simple. Find a study group, schedule meals with friends or take a workout class with a friend. The key is to create meaningful connections with your peers; meaningful connection will help you take care of your mental health.
- Be mindful of your weekend habits. Some college students who struggle with stress, depression or anxiety turn to drugs, alcohol, promiscuity and other risky behaviors to cope. Instead of going to a bar or party, try going to the movies, gather your friends for a potluck dinner, or explore interesting restaurants and stores in your college town.
Asking for Help
- Make yourself aware of resources on campus—about 40% of students with a diagnosable mental health condition do not seek help and 57% do not request any help from their school.
- Contact your academic adviser or make an appointment at your school’s health services center. Your health center has qualified psychologists or other counselors to guide you.
- If you do not feel comfortable reaching out to the health center, or if, unfortunately, your health center doesn’t offer adequate resources, confide in a professor, librarian or coach.
- Statistics indicate that 25% of campuses are ill-equipped to offer the mental health services students need. If you feel as if your school is not providing adequate guidance, here are some extra resources to help.