MAintaining Your Mental Health
As college students, we have many different commitments such as academics, work,
family, and extracurriculars. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in managing these
commitments that we tend to neglect a very important commitment to ourselves which is
self-care. Maintaining our mental health provides us with healthier lifestyles. It allows us
to increase our productivity, have a positive attitude, maintain a good self-image and
manage stress more effectively. When I was a freshman in college, I wasn’t tending to
my mental health as much as I should have. As a result, I always felt down because I
wasn’t managing my stress very well and had a negative self image. After incorporating
these tips in my life, I was able to improve my mental health. I now feel more productive,
have a better self-image, and overall feel happier facing the challenges of life. I hope
these tips will help you just as much as they’ve helped me:
1. Schedule some time for yourself.
It is very important to always set aside recreational time for yourself. Socialize
with friends, play a game, or do something you enjoy doing. Setting aside
recreational time is a great way to relax and destress. It helps increase your
productivity and improve your mood. Although recreational time has many
benefits, it is easy for many college students to lose productivity in it. This is why
scheduling your recreational time is important. This way you’ll maximize the
benefits of recreational time and won’t lose any productivity. Setting aside
recreational time everyday makes me feel refreshed.
2. Set goals.
Having realistic goals is a necessary aspect to maintaining mental health. It is
important to have a visualized pathway to achieving your goals. Know why you’re
doing what you are doing. Know what you want and the steps you will have to
take in order to achieve that. Having goals will give you a sense of purpose and
direction in life. This purpose and direction helps increase motivation to achieve
your goals. In difficult times, having these goals will help you remember what
you’re working towards. Achieving your goals will help boost your mental health
by giving you a sense of accomplishment.
3. Get enough sleep.
As college students, we spend countless nights staying up to study, party, etc.
We are often sleep deprived. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is essential to
maintaining a good mental health. Getting 6-8 hours of sleep will help improve
your mood, productivity and manage stress more effectively. Sleep helps our
brains feel refreshed allowing us to be more productive and less stressed.
4. Get out of your comfort zone.
Trying new things and challenging myself was one thing that helped improve my
mental health. In my spring semester of freshman year, I stepped out of my
comfort zone by joining the SJSU Marketing Association. Following this came
many challenges that I faced which were outside of my comfort zone. These
included being in many social settings, doing interviews and having new
responsibilities. However, I realized that I really enjoyed being in the club and
facing these challenges. Stepping out of my comfort zone helped build my self
confidence and reduce stress and anxiety from inevitable challenges that I’ll have
to face in life. Now I face every challenge with a positive, can-do attitude that’s an
opportunity to grow, rather than something that causes me a lot of stress. So
whether it’s joining that club, finding new hobbies or applying to that job, don’t be
afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Stepping out of your comfort zone often
will help you retain a positive attitude and manage your stress more effectively.
5. Love yourself!
Love all aspects of yourself. In order to maintain a good self-image, you should
be proud of yourself and all of your accomplishments. Focus on your strengths
rather than obsessing over your flaws. Prioritize self improvement and strengthen
your identity. Stop comparing yourself to others as it leads to feelings of
insecurities and unrealistic expectations. Don’t let others dictate your interests,
actions and how you should feel about yourself. Focus on your own personal
growth and progress. Know that everyone’s journey is unique and that you are amazing!