Being in college is a wonderful experience for many people looking to be successful in the future. But it can equally be stressful because you are torn between maintaining good relationships with your colleagues and instructors and pursuing your academic goals to determine your career path.
Being away from your family and meeting new people comes at a cost. Besides developing healthy networking skills, you must blend in with the system and navigate a series of new demands. If you find it daunting to cope with the pressures that come with being a college student, below, we provide you with tips to help you cope with anxiety and depression.
How to navigate the anxiety and stress in college
The course you are pursuing in college determines the number of years you will spend in an institution. If you do not spend your time wisely, there are high chances of getting depressed or anxious. Here are five great tips to help you navigate your way through college:
1. Be realistic about your expectations
Unlike in high school, you are required to take full control over your life as a college student. Your parents or teachers have no control over how you plan your future, though they may guide you through it. Do not misuse the freedom that comes with it. Instead, set realistic expectations. For example, if you are joining a college as a fresher, you need to plan your time accordingly. If your course sessions are scheduled in the afternoon, you have all morning to prepare yourself mentally by finding the right learning materials and knowing who will guide you through it.
Getting straight A’s in high school is not a guarantee that you will score high grades in college. It comes with great dedication, hard work, and commitment to get good grades. Most institutions are ready to provide you with learning resources and guidelines to help you pursue your dreams. However, it is up to you to use your time wisely and resources to help you complete the assignments.
2. Improve your nutritional habits
One of the biggest negative impacts of anxiety and depression is unhealthy lifestyle habits. The type of food you eat directly affects how your brain functions. It is common for college students to skip meals or eat foods high in cholesterol, which is the worst thing that can happen to any person. Even if you do not have the time to prepare a three-course dinner, get a healthy snack such as fruits or nuts. But sometimes, it is advisable to check with your doctor to verify if you have any nutritional deficiencies that affect your mental health.
3. Improve your sleep habits
After attending dozens of college sessions, it is essential to put your mind to rest through a goodnight’s sleep. But when you cannot get at least six hours of sleep, you could be suffering from depression or anxiety. While over-the-counter sleeping pills and other supplements have been known to induce sleep, they might not address your mental problem. If you cannot sleep throughout the night, see a psychotherapist to identify the causes and develop a suitable treatment plan.
4. Engage in adventurous activities
The brain is programmed to relay information to other parts of your body. However, it possible for it to get overwhelmed, particularly when you want to juggle between meeting your intellectual goals and attending to other daily obligations. If the nature of your assignments or time scheduled for college sessions weigh you down mentally, then it is time to take a break. That does not mean you should quit college. You can create time to relax your mind to reduce the symptoms of depression.
Most college students battling depression might either engage in unhealthy lifestyle habits such as alcohol and substance abuse or engage in toxic relationships to delay the recovery process. The worst part is an unhealthy lifestyle is a perfect recipe for disaster. The best way to deal with it is to spend time outdoors in nature. Take a 30-minute walk in a green setting every day. Alternatively, you can engage in adventurous activities such as picnicking, kayaking, swimming, or mountain climbing. These activities not only have a positive impact on your mental health, but they also help your body to function normally.
5. Engage in psychotherapy
Most students are battling anxiety and depression in college, especially when they fail to meet their expectations. However, that is no excuse to be alone. You can always seek help from qualified and licensed psychotherapy professions to provide you with all the support you need.
Psychotherapists are trained to identify the mental issues contributing to anxiety and depression symptoms and how best to resolve these issues. To achieve a positive result, you need to establish a good relationship with your psychotherapist. If you tried a psychotherapy session and did not yield any fruits, do not assume that you are headed for the worst. The chances are the chemistry between you and your psychotherapist was not that strong.
While college campuses are ready to provide you with the counseling you need, getting professional help from third-party psychotherapists is a good idea. So if depression or anxiety is impairing your ability to engage in your studies successfully or is affecting your relationships, you can request professional psychotherapy sessions at BetterHelp.
A college student’s success depends on how they can manage their time and use the resources to help them achieve their goals. If you find it hard to navigate your life in college, practicing these five tips and getting help from a professional can help you resolve your mental issues. At the end of the day, you want to be a productive person whose existence brings a new meaning to life.