Tips to Manage Depression, Stress and Anxiety

We have all been there--depressed, stressed, anxious. Days where we refuse to get out of bed. Days where we don’t eat. Days where all we do is sleep. I have definitely been here. College brings along a lot of stress for students, which can sometimes give them anxiety and/or depression. From time to time, you may feel like you’re down, unhappy, and possible not yourself. You have to make the best of the four years of college that you have! But sometimes it is difficult to live life to the fullest when you are not one hundred percent yourself. Ask yourself this: How can I get better?

Below are a few tips I have learned from professionals over the years and by simply just reading articles on the internet. Some may not work for everyone. But you have to be willing to help yourself in order get better during tough situations and beat depression, stress and anxiety during college for good!

Eating healthy is one way you can help yourself. Balance your diet with whole grains, fruits, healthy fats, and vegetables.Take vitamins every day, including vitamin C which could help strengthen your immune system and prevent yourself from getting sick--especially during midterms and finals. Vitamin D can also help with depression. Sometimes we do not receive enough vitamin D from the sun, especially during the winter months. Ever heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Recently I made an appointment with Stephanie May, Stony Brook University’s Registered Dietician. She really helped me to understand that it is possible to eat healthy on a college campus. (Forget the Freshman 15!). She even showed me all of the good eats and where to find them on campus. Here is a link to schedule an appointment with her if this is something that interest you.

Did you know that certain drinks, especially tea, can cure bad moods? According to Prevention magazine, there are a few drinks that can help perk you up. Some of them include drinking water with lemon when you are distracted, a chamomile tea Latte when stressed, a greek yogurt smoothie when you are sad, green tea when tired, chai when frustrated, and especially if you cannot fall asleep, drinking tart cherry juice. What is awesome is that Jasmines at the Wang Center has a Tea House! There are so many teas to choose from. Why not check them out?

Mindfulness: This term can mean many things. According to Psychology Today, “Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present...Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.” Below are a few mindfulness apps that you can download on your phone. They are mainly centered on meditation. Take 5 minutes out of your day to meditate, relax, and distance yourself from the one thousand things you have on your to do list. Sometimes a break is what you may need.

Calm- Meditate, Sleep, Relax

Stop, Breathe & Think

Exercising is a great way to reduce stress. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins-- which trigger positive feelings. If you aren’t into heavy lifting or fast paced cardio, yoga is a great alternative. It reduces stress and you will be focusing on mindfulness and meditation at the same time. Many parts of yoga focus on how you breath while performing the yoga positions (when to breath out, how many counts, breathe in with your nose, etc.). At Stony Brook, all students are able to access the gym! They even have a diverse schedule of fitness classes. And I have to say they are very fun! I suggest checking out Zumba and Core & More. Here is the link to the weekly schedule.

Services that Stony Brook University offers: The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers many opportunities for Stony Brook students to get help if interested. You could always schedule an appointment to meet confidentially with a social worker if you need someone to talk to. And hey, even a friend, your roommate, or a  family member are always people you could go to talk to as well. You do not need to rush to see a professional. I do believe that therapy is a good thing, only if the person is willing to go, and is willing to gain something positive out of the experience.

Another awesome thing that CAPS had done recently is introduce CAPS after hours. This is a free service in which students can call CAPS and speak to a mental health counselor 24/7. Link to CAPS After Hours  Lastly, on Wednesday’s during Campus Lifetime Hours, the counseling center offers free walk-in meditation classes. No registration is required. You can stop by and meditate for a tranquil hour

The next time you are struggling and stressed out--for whatever reason, big or small--take one moment out of your day and try one of the above tips. Hopefully you will find at least one of them very helpful!