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Wellness > Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Month: Prioritizing Your Well-being Amidst Academic Challenges

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

According to UW News, nearly one-third of Washington college students have experienced depression in the last year. Additionally, UW News also reports that nearly 4 out of 5 college students express that emotional distress impacts their academic performance. As May marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s crucial to acknowledge the prevalence of emotional distress on our campus. While this article won’t make these feelings vanish, I hope to provide pathways to mental health resources available on campus. Additionally, here are some helpful tips that have personally helped me during emotionally challenging academic periods.

  • 1. Unplug and Recharge: Study Break Without Technology

While the temptation to endlessly scroll through TikTok and Instagram is ever-present, one of the most effective ways I’ve found to decompress amidst the stress and busyness of schoolwork is to take study breaks without relying on technology. As college students, we’re constantly immersed in technology for our studies, and I’ve discovered that even a brief 15-minute break without screens can be incredibly refreshing. Instead of reaching for my phone, I’ve engaged in activities like solving puzzles or playing card games with my roommates.

  • 2. Dive into Fresh Hobbies and Interests

While it may seem like a familiar suggestion, discovering a new hobby can be an excellent way to break away from the academic grind. If your schedule is packed with schoolwork, consider starting small by purchasing a new plant to nurture or taking short 15-minute yoga breaks. Alternatively, if you, like me, enjoy the thrill of exploring new interests regularly, consider diving into something bigger, such as joining an intramural sports team. These activities not only provide a much-needed break but also offer opportunities for personal growth and relaxation.

  • 3. Stress Management Through Journaling

I highly recommend incorporating journaling into your routine even if it’s just for short periods. It’s a powerful tool for organizing your thoughts, addressing problems, fears, and concerns. Moreover, journaling can be invaluable for mental health, allowing you to track symptoms day-to-day and identify triggers, ultimately enabling you to develop better strategies for managing them.

  • 4. Visit a Local Park or Go on a Walk 

Visiting a local park or taking a short walk to improve mental health may sound cliché, but trust me, it’s incredibly effective for reducing stress and clearing your mind of school-related anxieties. Additionally, regular walks can also alleviate symptoms associated with chronic mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Luckily, living in Washington means we have access to fantastic parks like Ravenna Park, Golden Gardens, Greenlake, and many more, making it easy to incorporate this beneficial activity into our routines.

  • 5. Strengthen Your Support: Mental Health Resources

Lastly, if not most importantly, having a support system is one of the most essential components for maintaining mental well-being. That’s why I’ve included a list of linked mental health resources below both on campus and off.

  • UW Counseling Center

Forms for Appointments | Student Portal | 206-543-1240

  • Better Help counseling


  • Peer Wellness Coaching (PWC) a FREE service offered by our Peer Health Educators  https://livewell.uw.edu/pwc/
  • Husky Helpline
    • Husky HelpLine (24/7 Mental Health Support): 206.616.7777
Naomi Hailu

Washington '25

Naomi, a third-year student at the University of Washington is a double major in Law, Societies, and Justice and Political Science. She is deeply passionate about various aspects of law and social justice. Post-graduation she plans to attend law school to tackle gaps in the justice system while exploring her interests in writing and journalism through platforms like HER Campus.