10 Ways to Care for Yourself in College

  1. 1. Find a support system

    Support your own mental health by finding supportive relationships. Being away from home for long periods at a time can leave you feeling empty. You can solve this problem by taking the time to connect with others on a regular basis. Make sure to choose the people who surround you in your new environment wisely and don’t be afraid to say no to those who bring you down.

  2. 2. Learn how to be alone

    Taking time away from the busy college life to discover yourself is just as important as being social. It’s easy to neglect yourself when you have many responsibilities and not realize when to step away from the chaos. Be mindful of your mental, physical and spiritual needs but don’t live in isolation too long either.

  3. 3. Find faith

    Make time for your faith by joining religious organizations and events on campus. College is a difficult and confusing place that can often make you feel lost. Turning to faith will motivate you, restore your mental health, and help you remember why you came here in the first place. If you are not religious, you should still find something to believe in. Astrology and other spiritual paths are equally as fulfilling. 

  4. 4. Be healthy

    Mental and physical health go hand in hand. While it may be tempting to ignore your physical health in favor of guilty pleasures, pay attention to what your body is telling you. Take advantage of all the healthy options in the neighborhood or cook your own favorite meals throughout the week. In addition, regular physical activity is proven to reduce stress, increase energy, and improve focus. Going to the gym for a half-hour, as well as, taking the stairs or a walk around campus are easy ways to help you stay active.

  5. 5. Be creative

    Join the clubs and organizations that interest you most. Not only can being involved help you make friends, but it can also enhance your college experience by building your resume and your network. If you are more introverted, setting aside time to do the things you love during the week will renew your spiritual energy. Find a way to release your creative energy, whether that be with others or by yourself. Bonus points if it helps you meet some of your academic goals!

  6. 6. Take a nap/Sleep

    While it is tempting to stay up watching Netflix or finishing one more assignment, try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night is necessary to recharge. Change your sleeping habits now so you can be rewarded with better productivity and an improved mood. On the weekends, sleep in but not for the whole day. It will make it harder to get up on Monday morning.

  7. 7. Attend therapy/counseling services

    On-campus, you have access to numerous resources and professionals that are just waiting to help you improve personally or academically. This can range from organizational skills to psychological help. These are typically free or low-cost resources that are designed to cater to students like you, so don't be afraid or ashamed to reach out for help.

  8. 8. Show gratitude

    Expressing gratitude will improve physical and psychological health by reducing aggression, improving self-esteem, and increasing mental strength. It can be as simple as greeting a friend from class or congratulating someone on an achievement. Volunteer or give a service when you have the opportunity. Find something to be grateful for every day, no matter how big or small. Remind yourself why you are here and that you have received an opportunity many do not get.

  9. 9. Set a routine

    In college, your schedule is packed and much of it is spontaneous. The way to beat this is to try not to waver too far from your routine. If you control your habits, you will control your life. Establishing structure provides a sense of familiarity and comfort. It will reassure you of what to expect in your day and give you things to look forward to when things get hectic.

  10. 10. Get away from campus

    If you are feeling suffocated by your environment, simply find a way to change it! Visiting home or having friends and family visit you can make for a nice change of pace. If this is not feasible, then getting off campus for a few hours to attend a concert, a sports game, a conference, or anything else that interests will help clear your mind of the pressures college provides.