Students, take care of your mental health!March 28, 2019
Depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and other mental issues tend to be ignored in our society. It’s still embarrassing to admit that you are having some psychological problems, because if you do, you take the risk of being called “crazy” or a “psycho”. Nevertheless, your mental health is an important part of you and it shouldn’t be ignored.
Especially students, young people that are at the beginning of an independent life, can face some issues during their study time. Stress, overload of duties, the need to blend into a new society, living away from home, different diet and daily routine – it all can influence ones mental health.
So if you don’t feel good with yourself, have self-doubts and negative thoughts too often, or other issues that seriously disturb your study process and/or your daily life – don’t wait! Do something about it! What exactly? Here are some tips on how can you take care of your mental health.
Take care of your body
A sound mind lives in a sound body – it’s not just a saying, it’s true! Taking care of your physical health has a really big influence on your mental well-being. During your studies it can be quite difficult to meet all the challenges your daily live brings with it. All those hours of studying, assignment deadlines, examination stress, not to mention social life at the university. It all takes a lot of energy. That’s why it’s really important to have a good basis to work on – that is a healthy body. Make sure you get enough sleep (even if it means skipping an awesome party, sorry!), eat well (instant ramen for breakfast? I don’t think so) and exercise.
Take care of your mind
Stress is an inevitable element of studying. Either you stress out before a presentation throughout the year or the final exam, it’s always there. Add to that anxiety and constant comparison with fellow students and you can get into trouble! That is, if you don’t take care of your mental health first. Therefore, make sure to have time to rest, also in the psychological way. Take a day off once in a while, if you need it, learn to control your negative emotions by meditating, try breathing exercises. All those things can help you cope with stress.
It can be pretty rough if you have some negative thoughts and you feel like you are left alone with them. Try to remember that a lot of people go through the same stuff. It doesn’t make your problem less important, but it can be relieving to see that you are not the only one who feel anxiety or self-doubts. That’s also a way to get some distance from your feelings – just by letting them out. A simple “Have you ever felt like…?” can really help you cope with all the negative emotions that you are going through, not to mention it can help the other person to cope with his or hers problems.
Increase mental health awareness
Mental issues are still being stigmatized and they are sort of taboo subject. By talking about them openly you can help to break the stigma and encourage people to share their ideas or, what is even more important, to not be afraid to admit if they have some psychological problems. Many people have suffered for a long time before they were brave enough to ask for help. Be a hero of the day and bring this topic up! What can be even a better idea – try to organize a mental health awareness day at your university! You can easily rent some exhibition equipment (from sites like ExpoCart) and arrange a stand somewhere in the hall or the canteen. You can invite some expert (ask the school authorities for support!) or simply gather a group of friends that would be up to just talk about it. Those sorts of initiatives can really encourage people around you not to be afraid to talk about mental issues and be more aware of them.
Ask for help
If you feel that your mental condition is not in the best shape – don’t wait to ask for help. Talking about it with friends helps a lot, but there can be problems that you cannot solve by yourself, even with help of your mates. Therefore, don’t hesitate to consult your health with a specialist. Some universities offer the help of mental coaches or The Naked Psychologist to their students, in other there is surely somebody that will help you find help outside the school. Mental illness, like any other, is easier to cure if diagnosed early, so don’t wait. If you need help – get it!
Some people are not as social as others, there are outsiders or weirdos around us, but sometimes being unusual can be also a mask for suffering from psychological issues. Be aware and observe people in your school or class. If you see that somebody is left out of the group or often seems to be sad, try to offer your company to him/her. Even small gestures matter a lot! You don’t need to open the conversation with a personal question, even a talk about the weather or recent events in school can make a difference. This way you can help the other person to slowly open himself/herself up to you or other classmates. If they really have some mental issues – this could encourage them to ask for help or simply give the opportunity to talk about it. If not – good for them and you may find a new friend!
Even though the awareness of mental health increases and is not as bad as it used to be, mental issues are still underestimated too often. But here is the thing – you can change it if you start with yourself, your friends, your university, so that it can grow further and help people be mentally healthier all around the world.