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A Collegiette’s Guide to Mental Health

Mental health is often overlooked, particularly on work-intensive college campuses. Between internships, work, classes and clubs, mental health tends to take to the sideline in the face the of obligations already placed on students. But it shouldn’t be that way. Neglecting mental health leads to a decrease in productivity, which in turn places more stress on students when deadlines creep up too soon. In order to take care of obligations, students must take care of their mental health and to do that they must know the tools available to them. A few are listed below:

1. Self-Care

Self-care has become a buzzword, tossed around far too lightly for given its importance. Caring for yourself is taking time away from work and obligations in order to have a moment of relaxation separate from the stresses of daily life. It can be five minutes of mediation or a cup of tea. The positive effects of Ben & Jerry’s are very real.

2. Therapy

Although it’s a challenge to combat internalized stigma, therapy is an incredibly valuable option for those struggling with mental health. If cost is a concern, AU offers free counseling sessions for students. Although the sessions are limited per semester, something is better than nothing.

3. Medication

Another option that some may struggle to accept is medication. Medication is a powerful tool for many to control their body’s chemistry. There is nothing weak about using pills to satisfy your mental needs; it is a sign of strength to take advantage of the resources around you. That being said, it’s okay if you’re not ready to consider medication. It may not be what’s best for you. Your path to mental health is yours alone. But be sure to consult a doctor or healthcare provider.

4. Healthcare

Sometimes the best thing for your mental health is to pay attention to your physical health. The foods you eat and the amount of exercise you do can often affect your mood and mental well-being. Taking care of your body is important in order to avoid getting burnt out.  

There are several different ways to handle stress and anxiety, and not everyone will share opinions on what methods work best. Severity of stress and mental illness as well as personal preference plays in to how students handle their individual needs. It is imperative that college students notice their needs and nurse them, even when they have the urge to neglect their own health for the sake of their studies. 


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I'm an SPA major at American University who enjoys wearing black and ranting about the patriarchy. I write about gender, sexuality, race, and identity. 
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