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Mental Health

Mental Health Tips For a New Semester

As we start off the new semester, many of us are feeling overwhelmed by heading back to school and returning to a full schedule of classes, work, and other activities this semester. As a college student, it can be a struggle to maintain a positive headspace while keeping up with all of our commitments and activities. Here are some tips to help you manage your mental health this semester without letting your anxiety and stress get the best of you. 

1.  Plan Ahead 

Keeping a planner and writing everything down from due dates to reminders is a great way to help you organize your time.  Be sure to check your planner daily to make sure you don’t forget anything, and that you’re staying on schedule. However, don’t be afraid to move things around.  Also, remember to plan something on the weekends that you can look forward to, such as a night out with your friends, a new place to try dinner, or a movie night.  This will help you get through the week and give you time to de-stress on the weekend.

2. Healthy Eating

Making sure to maintain a healthy and balanced diet is critical to a healthy mental state. Countless studies have shown that a healthy diet does have a positive impact on our mental health. Be sure to keep a diet full of nutrients like proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Eating healthy will not only support your mental health, but also your physical health. 

3. Pratice Self Care

Self care is always important, so be sure to make time to take care of yourself.  This can mean anything from showering, painting your nails, watching your favorite movie, to indulging in some ice cream. Exercising and taking care of your physical health is vital to your mental health. Be sure to make time to go to the gym or to take walks outside. 

4. Keep Your Place Clean

Having a clean, tidy, and decluttered space will make it easier for you to feel relaxed.  No one likes to do homework with old papers, dirty cups and dishes, and random miscellaneous items all over their desk.  Take a few minutes to put away any important papers, throw away food, clean the dirty dishes, and find a new home for the random items on your desk.  Don’t forget to take care of the pile of clothes hanging from the back of your chair. Having a clean and tidy space will make it easier to focus on your work and do your best. 

5. Find New Places to Work 

If you’re someone who does homework in their room every day, you may find it easier and easier to get distracted.  Try finding new places to work like a library, a workroom, or a local coffee shop or café. Getting out of your room to new environments will give you fresh air and a change in scenery. 

6. Embrace The Sunshine

If you have a window in your room, be sure to open up the curtains during the day to let the sunlight in.  It’s just as important to open your window to help get rid of the stale air in the room and let in some fresh air.  Don’t forget that this is especially necessary in the winter months when we often don’t think to open the windows, and the air in the room gets the most stuffy. 

7.  Unplug From Technology

While you may consider watching Netflix as a form of self care, we have to set time to disconnect from our phones and laptops and spend some time off the screen. Doing this will give you time to focus on yourself or work on other important things. Unplugging from your phone and getting away from social media will force you to live in the moment, and reflect on yourself.

8. Spend Time With Friends 

We’ve all been told laughter is the best medicine, so what better way than to spend time doing fun things with your friends. Take a night off during the week and spend it with your friends by going out, making dinner, watching a movie, or just hanging out to talk. You can even meet up with friends to do homework or study together to make it a little less painful. 

9. See A Counselor 

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. While ranting to your friends is easy and may give you temporary relief, a counselor can help you develop methods specifically for you to help deal with stress.  Seeking professional help isn’t a sign of weakness, but a sign of bravery that you’re willing to talk about something that’s bothering you.

Lindsey is studying Fashion Business Management at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her hobbies include spying on cute dogs, finding new ice cream places, and shopping. Follow her Instagram @lindseylabarbera
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