6 Active Ways For Students to Improve Mental Health

Aug 8, 2019 by

Studies have shown that around the world, the percentage of young adults experiencing anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts has increased significantly over the last decade.

Abi Leung, Brand Marketing Manager LIV Student shares, “Adjusting to living away from home, in addition to the financial strain of university expenses, the benchmark of academic success, the tension of career outlooks and the expectation of an active social life can be arduous for students to manage.”

There are several steps that students can take to stay on top of their mental health while they are in school.

Exercise More

It may sound overly simple, but exercise does help with mental health. In addition to releasing hormones that help to alleviate stress, exercise also gives you a stronger immune system, helping you fight off illnesses. It’s easier to commit to exercise when you find something that you love to do, such as walking, hiking, swimming or even team sports. If you find an activity you love, you’ll naturally want to do those activities. Many universities have recreational leagues, so if you know you love playing volleyball, but don’t want the commitment of college athletics, see if your university has a rec league that you can join.

Eat Healthy

Don’t overlook the power of food to keep your health in check. Though it’s easy to grab fast food and a pint of ice cream when you’re busy and stressed, try to stick with healthier alternatives. Grab a piece of fruit and protein smoothies when possible. These can be filling and provide nutrients that help you stay strong and healthy.

Stay Connected with Friends and Family

Having healthy relationships is vital to your mental health. Plan to check in with your family several times a week and don’t rely on just texting. Pick up the phone and call someone or, better yet do a video chat or FaceTime call.

In addition to staying connected to your family, it’s also important to develop and nurture the friendships you make in college. Anya Kamanetz, with NPR.org shares,  “Among the students who said their close group of friends provided academic motivation and support, every one of them graduated. Among the ones who said they lacked this support and their friends distracted them from schoolwork, only half managed to graduate within six years.”

Utilize University Resources

Most campuses have health centers on campus that are staffed at least part-time with counselors, therapists and psychiatrists. Many also offer support groups for students that are struggling. Plan to take a day to familiarize yourself with the health center. You’ll be happy that you’ve taken this step when you are in a situation where you feel you need some support.

Start Meditating

Meditation clears your mind and is proven to help reduce stress levels. If the idea of meditation sounds like too much, try out some of the popular meditation apps like HeadSpace or Calm where you can follow along with short, guided meditations. Even these small bursts of meditation can help you relax and get centered.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is the cornerstone to the rest of your health. If you’re not sleeping, you can’t concentrate and you start to become run down and more susceptible to illnesses. You are also at an increased risk of becoming depressed or anxious. Many students find it challenging to sleep well in college. Try to keep your sleep schedule as consistent as possible and avoid screen time when you get into bed to help you sleep sounder.

Keeping these tips in mind and referring back to them when you start to feel overwhelmed should help you maintain a healthy college experience.

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