For many college students, moving away from home, handling a bigger academic workload, and budgeting finances are all stressful.

In fact, 45% of American college students claim they undergo "more than average stress."

If you fall into this category, you'll need to focus on your mental health this semester so you can make the most out of your college experience.

Stressed woman with head in her hands looking at the computer screen.

Take Care Of Your Body

Incorporate exercise, healthy eating, and plenty of rest into your routine and you'll reap the benefits. Making these habits part of your day will help boost your mood and energy. They also alleviate anxiety and depression.

  • Strive for 30 minutes of exercise a day.

  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy meal each day.

  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

Man jogging during the day by the lake.

Quiz

Joe is feeling sluggish and depressed. What are some things Joe can try to boost his energy and mood?

Go for a walk every day before class

Try to sleep an extra hour each night

Add more vegetables to his diet

All of these

Stress-relieving Foods

Try adding some of these stress-relieving foods and beverages to your diet:

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Eggs

  • Shellfish or any fatty fish

  • Blueberries

  • Veggies such as broccoli and artichokes

  • Chamomile tea

  • Garlic

  • Parsley

A hand grabbing vegetables that are spread out on a table.

Incorporate Mindfulness

Incorporating meditation and other activities into your day can have a huge benefit on your mental health by:

  • Reducing stress, anxiety, and depression

  • Increasing focus and memory

  • Creating a positive mental state

Woman in meditation pose with her eyes closed and inhaling and exhaling.

Start by meditating in a calm place and focus on your breathing for 5-10 minutes every day. If this is too hard, start with 1 minute.

Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. -Buddha

Quiz

Lisa tried meditating for the first time but she got frustrated after 5 minutes. How many minutes would be ideal for Lisa to get herself started in meditation?

10+ minutes

1-3 minutes

5-10 minutes

Support Network

Do you have people in your life that you can turn to for encouragement or help? If not, join a club or study group and start building a support network for yourself.

A support network can do more than help with academic success: it can give you the motivation that you need to not give up.

Other places you can build a support network are:

  • Volunteer organizations

  • Campus gym

  • Cultural center

  • Student government

    Two people reading a book and one woman writing at a table together.

Check In With A Campus Counselor

One in five college students will experience a mental health disorder during college. Counseling can help you effectively manage depression, panic or anxiety disorders.

Are you feeling depressed or anxious? Schedule an appointment with a campus counselor with your college's counseling center. This is a confidential space that allows you to vent and get mental health advice and stress management techniques from a professional.

Man in a suit laying on a couch is saying

Take Action

An animation of a person meditating under the text,

Prioritize your mental health!

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This Byte has been authored by

MA

Melissa Arostegui

Instructional Designer