College is a period full of stress, striving, and learning to simply stay afloat. It can be difficult to maintain mental stability when your responsibilities overwhelm you. Although it can be challenging, keeping your mind healthy in college without falling behind in your classes is possible. As a college student, your health is of the utmost importance.
The first step to maintaining your mental health is to know when your mental health is going downhill.
Everyone is different, so it’s important to learn the signs that your body and mind are giving you when you begin to stray out of your window of tolerance. You can soothe your mind before it sends you into a spiral of feeling overwhelmed and incapable of completing your work.
Learning the warning signs allows you to satisfy the need that your body is asking you for to feel mentally sustained enough to keep up with daily life.
Some warning signs to look out for are…
- Becoming easily irritable
- Feeling depressed
- Feeling constant guilt
- Trouble sleeping or staying awake
- Isolating yourself from loved ones
- Sacrificing personal hygiene
- Experiencing mood swings or explosive moods such as constant crying or anger
- Small tasks begin overwhelming you
- Struggling to concentrate
- Eating much more or much less than usual
- Feeling removed from reality or not being able to live in the present moment
If you begin to notice any of these signs, the next step is to practice tools that help maintain your mental health.
Tools For A Healthy Mind
It’s so important to spot these warning signs so that you can stay healthy. Even as a college student, you can implement these practices in your routines to maintain your mental health despite that heavy workload you have been stressing about.
- Breaks- It is important to acknowledge that what you are doing is difficult and give yourself grace when you need a break from it. We all need breaks! It’s important to give yourself enough grace to listen to when you need that break, regardless of what you think you should need.
- Good Environment- Find atmospheres that cultivate motivation for you. A calming, motivating environment can be the school library, a coffee shop, your dorm room, or anywhere else that you feel extra locked into your studies.
- Slow Down- You need to learn the queues your body gives you when you need rest or refreshment. If you’re running on steam, then your mental health declines alongside your quality of work. There is no use in avoiding breaks to save time if your brain starts shutting down out of exhaustion. Go easy on yourself! You deserve a schedule that does not demand more than you can handle.
Now that you know some signs and tools, it is your responsibility to integrate them into your routine.
Part of this requires creating a detailed schedule that doesn’t just include responsibilities. You also want to incorporate time for rest and fun activities. If you can make your schedule something that you don’t dread looking at, maybe you will be more likely to complete it.
Find ways to make your calendar seem fun! Maybe that means creating to-do lists that let you feel accomplished by marking off tasks. Use a cute planner or an app like Google Calendar to color code and block your tasks. You could even encourage yourself by including incentives following your responsibilities.
Your schedule might feel unmanageable and lead you to sacrifice your health for success. Although this sometimes feels like the only option to succeed, it is vital to maintain your mental health even when you are busy. If your brain is the muscle you are strengthening, keep in mind that overworking it will only hurt in the long run.
Time To Rest
If you can learn how to rest well and efficiently, you will be more productive in your responsibilities because you feel refreshed enough to do so. Whether you are a college student or not, some rest can do wonders for your health.
So with that said… go take a nap!
It also doesn’t hurt to treat yourself from time to time. Check out our article Best Candies and Chocolate from 10 countries Around the World for ideas.