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3 Small Routine Changes That Drastically Improved My Mental Health 

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Many times, solutions for anxiety include exercising more or seeing a therapist, and while these are great and are helpful, these are not always attainable for a college student. Between school, work, and personal life, I had to find what small changes I could implement now to give me some peace of mind in the meantime. 

I’ve learned that improving my mental health isn’t always about turning around my entire lifestyle— sometimes all it takes is a few lifestyle tweaks to see a big difference. These are just three small changes I’ve made (that you can, too!) that have really improved the way I go about my days.  

1. No Phone Before Bed  

I know, I know, this feels impossible! It was for me at first — and still is sometimes —too. Our phones tend to occupy our minds with a lot of information in a small amount of time, making it hard for our minds to really relax and focus at night.  

I suffer from racing thoughts at night, so adding my phone into the mix was just another way for those never-ending thoughts to be fed. 

Instead of scrolling through TikTok or texting back and forth before bed, I finish all of my phone interactions at least an hour before I’m ready to sleep. I do all my last scrolling, send all my goodnight messages, and put my phone down and away an hour before bed.  

So, what do you do for an hour? For me, I read. Something so small, right?!  

I find that reading really allows my thoughts to settle down and my body to relax for a calm, uninterrupted sleep. Reading may not be for everyone, but whether it’s a small puzzle, a coloring book, meditation, or any other form of “unplugged” activity, this helps ease me into sleep and properly prepare myself for the next day.  

I fall asleep faster with an improved quality of sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested on a regular basis since making the change. 

2. Getting Fresh Air  

It is so easy sometimes to slump around my house all day or stay cooped up in my bed, but making time to get fresh air every day has made such a big improvement to my motivation and productivity. I love a simple stroll on campus listening to a podcast, it’s my little “me” time that makes the busiest days more bearable.  

Even on “lazy days,” I think it’s important to find anywhere from 5-15 minutes to take a walk and get some fresh air. This simple act immediately changes my day, making me feel more awake, refreshed, and ready to take on the rest of my day.  

Sometimes this can be a challenge to get out on a rainy day after a long week, but even the shortest amount of time in a different environment can make the biggest impact.  

3. Making My Bed 

I know you’ve heard of this one before, but this really works for me! In my experience, it’s not the bed itself that makes this such a positive step in your daily routine, but the principle of waking up every morning and doing a task consistently.  

Making my bed every day is one positive thing I put towards my day regularly and one thing I feel I owe myself to start my day right. Setting a positive tone for each day has helped my happiness and motivation long-term. Instead of waking up and immediately feeling stressed with the day’s tasks, I can take a moment to pause and reset my mentality. Plus, who doesn’t want to come home after a long day of lectures to a pretty bed? 

Although these are small changes, the important thing to remember is consistency. If these are steps that I regularly implement into my daily routine, I am able to see stable improvement in my mental health in the long term.  

For me, these won’t be “changes,” but habits that will allow me to manage my mental battles as a college student, without having to start a completely new lifestyle. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest impact! 

Brianna Boone is a staff writer for the Her Campus at Temple University chapter. She covers the health section with topics such as fitness, on-campus health trends, and mental health. Beyond Her Campus, Brianna worked as an editorial intern for BET/Paramount, where she wrote digital lifestyle, entertainment, music and news content for a diverse audience. In addition, as a public relations intern at Kaplow Communications, she got to apply her life-long passion of writing to the world of lifestyle and beauty brands. She is currently a senior journalism and Spanish double major at Temple University, who will be continuing full-time at Kaplow Communications after graduating in May 2024. Brianna is a Real Housewives and Jersey Shore superfan, obsessed with all-things reality television. A big part of who she is is her holistic lifestyle approach to health and wellness. The best place to find her is on a couch or on a beach!