I have severe anxiety and depression, and that combination has basically killed my drive in college. This semester I wanted to turn over a new leaf, so I decided to examine my habits concerning my mental health. Turns out, my actions went from bad to downright self-destructive. I decided to do some internal (self) and internet research and I found out a few things that facilitated a couple of improvements in my overall mental health, and I hope they will do the same for you.
I downloaded this app called Headspace and I loved it. It is a simple meditation sequence meant for those of us with racing-thoughts, a symptom of anxiety. A soothing voice guides you to focus on your breathing and being present. The point is not to stop you from thinking, but to focus your thinking and calm you down.
Who knew vitamins were so beneficial? Well, most people know that, but I didn’t believe it until I challenged myself to take Vitamin D3 every day for a month. If you are a vampire-student who hides out in their dorm all day, it would be a good idea to partake in supplements. Vitamin D3 in particular is extremely helpful for people with depression as “studies have shown a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression”.
3. Plan out your week
The best think to do for yourself in college is to get yourself a planner, and actually use it! At the start of the semester, I took all my syllabi and put the due dates for every assignment I had in it. That way, I could keep up with homework and not induce a cramming fit—which would also make my anxiety flair up. Also, if you do not want to use a physical calendar, Google Claendar is a great alternative. I always set alarms for any online class assignments I have. Those 11:59 deadlines are deadly.
4. Do it even if you are tired
Imagine just coming home from an exam and everything in your body is screaming “bed!”. But you know you have a ton of dishes in the sink, or that you have an online assignment due in two hours. A part of you might say forget it, you will just take the zero. Or that your roommates can just live with the mess for one more day. But for people with anxiety and depression, letting your assignment or chores go might exacerbate your symptoms. For myself, I felt that if I went ahead and did the work, the next day I felt a lot better because I didn’t give up. So push through the exhaustion and do something your brain will thank you for later.