Like any college student moving away from home, trying to make new friends and juggling extracurriculars on top of your classes can be a stressful and overwhelming time. Mental health is such an important issue, especially in college, that it is often overlooked. While this is an exciting time for most, it can also be a difficult period for many students. This is your sign to start putting your mental well-being first by following my guide to improving your mental health.
SPEND TIME OUTDOORS
Even if you do not enjoy exercising, spending time outdoors can help you feel less anxious and depressed. Lafayette Heritage Trail Park, one of my favorite places in Tallahassee, is the perfect location to visit when you need a moment to reflect and relax. Anytime I feel like my daily stresses are causing me any kind of emotional stress, exploring the outdoors is a great way of relieving this feeling. When visiting here you can see beautiful trails, lakes, wildlife and even fun souvenirs left behind by other hikers. There’s more to Tallahassee than going to bars and clubs; take advantage of the breathtaking parks when you need to get away from your overbearing responsibilities.
TAKE TIME AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
In general, social media can be a toxic place, but when also adding the factor of being a college student it can be extremely damaging. Phone apps like Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram are supposed to be creative outlets to have fun and express yourself. As an FSU student, today when scrolling on social media it feels as if there is a competition to have the best clothes and live up to society’s standard of the perfect body. The truth is, social media is no longer real-life; it is instead a platform to glamorize your lifestyle. When you find yourself comparing your appearance to others on any social media platform, filter out the negativity and spend time away from your phone.
FIND YOUR SUPPORT GROUP
Friends will be your greatest supporters, whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, someone to vent to or someone to cheer you on for your successes. It’s so important to find your support group and there are plenty of ways to do that like getting involved in clubs, joining a sorority or participating in FSU events. If you haven’t found your safe place yet and people you feel will understand you, put yourself out there. If you’re dealing with any mental health problems, you may feel like hiding from the rest of the world, and I can relate to this. Instead, turn to your friends, relationships are key to improving your mental health. Always remember you are not alone even when you feel like it!
Journaling can be a great source to express yourself and how you’re feeling–as someone who not only journals for the benefits of mental health but also to improve my mood. Writing has many benefits including helping manage stress, depression and anxiety. Journaling can be as simple as writing down your thoughts, feelings or even positive self-talk. If you have an old notebook or journal lying around, grab it and start writing and take the next step to improve yourself.