Mental Self Care

College can get really stressful sometimes, so stressful we forget to take care of ourselves. Here are some tips I have for taking care of yourself when you aren't doing well mentally.

 

My first tip is to make sure you can get as much sleep as you can. Sleep plays a huge part in how we feel, so if you feel like shit, take a nap. Not a long one that is going to take all day. I usually do a 1-2 hour nap when I am tired. 30 minutes is not enough time for me to fall asleep fully, but if you can sleep for only 30 minutes you do you! Set alarms when needed, like if you have classes or need to be up for meals. 

Take a shower as needed. This may sound dumb to some, but sometimes something as simple as a shower may seem like a hard task. If you don't have any motivation to shower, try changing your clothes. Being clean can help you feel better.

Eat regular meals and have snacks throughout the day. Your brain will not function if you have no energy from food. Eating helps you get out of bed and keep your mind off things. Try to have balanced meals, but don't feel any shame in treating yourself to some goodies. After a hard day a cupcake is needed!

Talk to others when you need help. There's nothing wrong with needing help, it doesn't make you weak or vunerable, it actually makes you strong in admitting that you need some help. If you are thinking about seeing a counselor, do it! There's nothing wrong with talking to a professional about your struggles and problems. You will not be judged, it's a counselor's job to help you out! 

Make sure to get outside at least once a day. Fresh air and sunlight can help with your mood. It doesn't have to be long, but if you can, stay outside for a while. If you can't go outside, at least open a window. 

Limit your social media usage. I am not going to tell you to delete your Instagram account, I'm saying don't spend most of your time on it. Social media can warp your reality and worsen your mood, so limit your time on there. Start with limiting what types of posts you see.If you don't like a certain post or account, there's nothing wrong with blocking someone! Don't force yourself to follow or like a post out of pity. 

Take your medication when you are supposed to. So many times I have forgotten to take my medication, and immediately my day was ruined. One day can make a huge difference. If you forget to take your pills often, get a pill organizer or set a reminder on your phone.

Don't isolate yourself. When you feel down, you'll immediately want to be alone. While it is okay to be independent, not talking to another person for a whole day seems like an extreme to me. If you know you are isolating yourself, try to get out of it. You'll won't want to talk to others or be out of your room, but it's for the better. You'll feel worse if you allow yourself to be alone with your thoughts.

Have lower expectations. If you feel terrible or are having a rough time, don't expect yourself to be the same as you were before. Stuff you used to do with ease could now be difficult and that is okay. Don't stress yourself out with trying to be perfect. Allow for failure, it's human to make mistakes as we learn from them. 

Let out emotions. Holding in emotions does not make what you feel disapear, it only delays and applifies. Showing emotions is not weak, it is normal. I would be more concerned if you weren't showing any emotions.

Treat yourself. Whether this is a sweet treat or a new shirt, a reward for your hard work can make your mood way better. It's not wrong to indulge a little. Take a break and enjoy yourself, you deserve it!. 

 

If you are having serious mental health issues I recomend talking with a doctor or a professional. If you are thinking about hurting yourself or others call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.