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Mental Health

5 Things That Have Mentally Helped Me Through My First Year

In my first year of college, I have had really good days, but also really bad days. Going away to school is a huge transition; you have to learn to balance academics, extra curriculars, as well as maintaining a social life. When you have these bad days, you really do not want to do anything, but you still need to be proactive on your school work. Everyone has bad days, but it’s important to stop those days from turning into weeks or months. These are 5 things that have helped me mentally survive this year: 


1. Sticking to a Gym Schedule

I know what you’re thinking: going to the gym is a physical commitment. However, as annoying and time consuming as you may think it is, regulated exercise is proven to benefit your mental health. Exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells and is a great way to take a break from your studies. Consistent activity is an investment in your mind, body and soul. When done continuously, it will make you feel strong and powerful (even if you are having the worst day).


2. Mediating

Although mediating may not be for everyone, it truly will help you regroup after a stressful day. Even if relaxation isn’t your goal, it will bea result. Meditation is proven to reduce the activity in the nervous system, which can lead to less anxiety, less stress, deeper relaxation, and more feelings of well-being.  The best part is that you can do it from anywhere. You don’t need a membership or any kind of subscription; guided meditations are easily accessible online, or feel free to do it solo!


3. Yoga

Yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being. One of the best benefits of yoga is that it helps manage stress, which is known to have devastating effects on your mental health. Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life.


4. Bullet Journaling

If you don’t know, bullet journals are open planners/journals/diaries that are totally open to you to create. There is no right or wrong way to keep one. With that being said, it inspires new ideas and boosts creativity. This will encourage you to explore the possibilities in achieving a healthier lifestyle, as well as incorporate your artistic side into your daily routine. You can explore all different ideas and even keep track of your eating and sleeping habits. Taking this time for yourself will improve your mental outlook and give you a productivity boost.


5. Essential Oils

Purchasing an essential oil diffuser was definitely worth the $15 investment. Not only will the essential oils leave your room smelling ecstatic, but the aromas also are known to provide benefits to your mind and body. Inhaling these aromas can stimulate a part of your brain that plays roles in emotions. There are over 90 types of essential oils, each with its own smell and potential health benefits. For example, lavender is known to reduce stress, whereas sandalwood is used to calm nerves and help with focus. 


All in all, everyone is going to have some good days, but bad days aren’t far behind. It’s important to protect your mental and physical health and stay on top of it before it consumes you.

Rebecca Connor

Scranton '22

University of Scranton Freshman
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