Challenges with mental health can come at any age. So, issues with mental health in college students are not uncommon. Being in college and emerging as an adult comes with many stressors and worries which can lead to anxiety. Furthermore, the changes of going from childhood into adulthood can be overwhelming. If you’re a college student who struggles to maintain mental well-being, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to take charge of your mental health. This way, you can better manage the emotions that come with being an emerging adult and maintaining your mental well-being during your college years.
Some tips for managing optimal mental health in college students include:
One of the best things a person can do to support optimal mental health is to gain a supportive community. Having people on your side who support you can help you in times of crisis, allowing you to have people who are open to helping you work through your most challenging emotions and situations. It can make you feel like you’re not alone and provide you with a safe place to share your thoughts and feelings. However, it can be difficult to find your supportive network if you don’t know where to start. Some ways to get to know people and find a supportive community can include joining groups and extracurricular activities, getting involved in tutoring programs, volunteering on your college campus, and getting involved with other things your school has to offer as far as events and groups.
Making goals can help with mental health in college students as it can keep you motivated. When you have goals, you are more willing to work through struggles in order to get back on track, even after you’ve been down some bumpy roads with your mental health. One way to set goals is to envision yourself 5 years down the road and work out what it will take to get you there. Then, write these things down and set general timelines as to when these goals need to be met. For example, if you want to have a certain career, write down the tests you’ll need to pass or the courses you’ll need to pass before graduating.
Sleep is essential for mental well-being. But, as a college-age individual who may struggle with mental health issues, it can be challenging to get the sleep you need. College students may have a lot of studying to do which can mean having to stay up and meet deadlines. But, mental health is more important than deadlines, so it’s important to remember that making your sleep a priority also means making your mental health a priority. So get ahead of your sleep, it’s helpful to make and establish a sleep routine. To do this, set a goal to get to sleep and wake up at the same time every day (even on weekends). This can allow your body and brain to always get the rest they need to do what they need to do so that your mental health doesn’t decline. Along with going to bed and waking up at the same time, you can also work out other things that can help you sleep better including making your bedroom an inviting place to sleep, not working in your bed (only sleeping!), staying away from screens before bed, and exercising to get your brain and body tired enough to get a full night’s rest.
Finally, if you feel yourself struggling with your mental health while you’re in college, don’t hesitate to get help. There are many resources that you can take advantage of if you feel that you’re struggling. For example, counseling and outpatient mental health services, like the ones available at Yellowbrick. If you’re an emerging adult who is going through a mental health crisis, we’re here to help. Find out more about the services we offer on our website.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.