7 Little Things You Can Do to Keep You Sane

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, here at Her Campus at UCD, we thought it would be appropriate to reach out to other collegiettes who may feel all sorts of overwhelmed. Remember: you are not alone, you matter, and you will overcome. Below is a list of small things anyone can take part in to ensure one's psychological health. Some of these might seem simple and are the sort of things your mom would tell you on a daily basis, but they're often so easily overlooked. 

Without further ado, here they are:

1. Get more sleep!

This is more easily said than done, and I’m sure you've thought to yourself that 7-8 hours of sleep sounds more like a fantasy than something within the realm of possibility. But trust me, good sleep is possible. While class work often thwarts our sleep, one study shows that college students who didn't get enough sleep had worse grades than those who did. And other studies show that longer sleeping periods boost your mood, improve your memory, and even prolong your lifespan.

2. Don't skip breakfast

Leslie Knope once wisely asked, “Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?” Often, we don't sit down to eat in the morning because we don't have time, but more accurately, the matter is: we don't make the time. Besides the often discussed physical health implications, breakfast foods are also 'brain food,' which can sharpen your focus and help you start the day feeling energized. 

3. Eat more fruits and veggies

Depending on who you are, you might have groaned at this one. I'm not saying don't pick the tomatoes off your burger. I'm saying there are fruits and vegetables that you like and don't often eat that could be incorporated into your daily diet. If you eat meat, you can try going one to two days a week without, both to shake things up and also because it's good for you. And whenever possible, choose home cooked over fast food.

4. Drink more water

In terms of its psychological benefits, drinking water increases energy and reduces fatigue.

5. Make time for loved ones

As college students, when it comes to schoolwork, we tend to bite off more than we can chew. For our own sanity, it's okay to take breaks. While Netflix is a reliable go-to, I recommend using that time to be with friends and family. When you are feeling particularly unstable, you can always talk about your feelings with those who are closest to you. More likely than not, you'll feel better getting those negative emotions off your chest. And, of course, spending time with loved ones often means having fun.

6. Get some fresh air

We all need to get out of our own head. An easy and extremely rewarding solution is to go outside! And I don't mean step outside and get into your car and walk into CREAM. I mean, sit or take a walk outside and let all the elements of nature fill your senses. It's a wonderful mood booster.

7. Be active!

I know, I know. For some of us, this one might be difficult - in more senses than one. It’s hard to make the time and the thought of working out is exhaustive on its own. But it's so important. The thing is, the hardest step is just getting started. I urge you to make physical activity a promise to yourself and keep it. You'll thank yourself later.

Here are some additional resources courtesy of UC Davis:

Student Health and Counseling Services

The Mind Spa

Self-Help Library

None of the images used belong to the author or Her Campus UC Davis.

Thumbnail source: Pixabay