As the first year of college begins for the class of 2021, there are some things that should be done so that your mental health stays intact. Here are six things you could do to stay mentally healthy.
1. Get involved.
What is nice about this one is that it's never too late to get involved with activities that you love! Colleges have hundreds of clubs and organizations. Here at UD, there are over 100 organizations. All of them will be present at Up the Orgs during the first week or so of classes.
2. Take a breather.
Taking breaks are vital for a healthy mind, especially during exam season. I usually do an hour of work, then take a 15-minute breather just to let my mind relax and get ready for the next hour of work. Take time. No one will be mad at you if you take a break from your work. Just make sure you meet your deadlines.
It will quickly make itself known, but sleep will become a blessing in college. Yes, there will be all nighters (I had to pull a few, and it wasn't fun), and yes, you may go to bed really late and not get all the sleep you need. It's imperative that you find ways to get the sleep you need because our bodies recover as we sleep. Studies have shown that good sleep reduces depression.
4. Find your spot.
Everyone has a preference when it comes to a study location. Some like to be outside, others in their rooms and others the library. Whatever your study habits are, continue them if they work, or change them if they don't. Sometimes finding a new study space helps tremendously!
5. Make your spot yours.
In addition to finding your spot and marking your territory, make it your own. Do you prefer silence, or some background music? What scent(s) do you like? Lavender? Great! Make your space smell like lavender! Do you like some snacks? Bring some! What about seats? Make your space as comfortable for yourself as you can, but not too comfortable where you can doze off. Studies have shown that the more comfortable you are, the better your performance in academics will be.
6. Seek help.
If you truly need help with something, talk to your (or any) RA, or go to the Counseling Center and/or the Clinic. Mental health is just as important as your physical health. A healthy mind helps make a healthy body. Don't be afraid to ask for help. No one will be annoyed, no one will turn you away, especially not here at UD. Community is the one word that you'll hear every day you are here, and it's truly a beautiful community.
Disclaimer: None of this is to replace professional medical advice regarding mental health. These are merely tips based off of personal experience.