7 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mental Health

7 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mental Health

Finding ways to take time and care for your well-being
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As college students (and even adults) we all struggle with mental health problems. This can be anything from a week of anxiety to more serious mental illnesses. Here are 7 tips on how you can easily improve your mental health.

1. Get Enough Sleep

I know this is a struggle for most college students. You’re busy, I get it, but sleep is important for body function, and thus mental function. Generally, people need around eight hours of sleep, but it can vary depending on your personal needs. You probably know your body better than I do and how much sleep you need to feel rested; aim for that amount. Also it’s better to get consistent sleep across the week. So rather than sleep four hours one night and twelve the next, try for eight each.

2. Exercise

This doesn’t have to mean going to the gym three times a week for half an hour, although it certainly can be that. It can be anything that gets you up moving your body. Go swimming. Do some yoga. Take a walk. Do one of the many 10-minute workouts you can find on Youtube. Dance to your favorite song. There are tons of options out there. Try and build quick exercise into your schedule. If you can, do something outside during the daytime because the sun is good for you, we all need the Vitamin D too!

3. Food and Water

Eating is important to keeping your body going. Try and eat on a consistent schedule and frequently. It’s actually better to eat little meals more often than it is to eat large meals two or three times per day. Also, don’t skip breakfast! Even if all you can get down is a bowl of cereal or a granola bar, do that. You need the energy.

It’s recommended that your drink half your weight in fluid ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 140 lbs, you should be drinking 70 fl. oz. of water. Then for each 30 minutes of exercise, add 12 fl oz to that. For the first couple weeks of doing this you’ll probably be running to the bathroom all the time, but your body will eventually adjust. I recommend getting a large water bottle (ones that have the fl. oz. marked on the side are great) that fits into your backpack pocket.

4. Mindfulness

This can be a variety of things depending on what works for you. Essentially mindfulness involves being in tune with your body and mind, figuring out how they’re feeling and what they need. For some, meditation works, whether that’s through deep breathing, yoga, or a variety of options. For others, keeping a journal works. There are tons of options that you can use, here’s a place to get you started.

5. Get A Mental Health Date

Find a friend and schedule a time once per week to meet and talk about your life, how you’re feeling, and what’s going on. This forces you to reflect on yourself in order to articulate it to someone else. Setting a time to talk is also important because it ensures you actually follow through. My recommendation is find a meal time and chat over lunch or dinner. Also, make sure the friend is someone you’re comfortable sharing with. It’s a great way to talk about your problems, and it’s also beneficial for your friend because they also get to talk about their own issues.

6. See a Counselor

I know that sometimes it’s intimidating to have to go and talk to someone about your problems. However, sometimes a trained professional is exactly what you need to get help. They can give you tips better tailored toward you. Also, counseling is free at many colleges, so take advantage of it while you can.

7. Give Yourself Space to Not Be Okay

There are times when you’re not going to be okay. You’re going to be sad. You’re going to be angry. You’re going to be upset. Feeling that way is okay. Let yourself feel those bad emotions in a given space. Whether that means crying in the shower, asking your roommate to give you the room for half an hour, or something else. Give yourself the time and space to feel whatever is going on.

However, it’s important to know when to move on from those emotions. You want to acknowledge and express your emotions but not dwell on them. Give yourself the space to experience them, then give yourself something to pull yourself out of that space. That can be stepping out of the shower, watching a funny Youtube video, listening to your favorite song, or something else that will make you feel better. The important thing is to let yourself feel bad and then let yourself move on from it.

Cover Image Credit: Bearseye

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Don't miss out on your life, waiting for it to start

Always planning ahead, thinking about the future? Maybe it's time to shift your focus to the life happening right now
Irthe
Irthe
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Maybe it’s a typical type A personality or some nonsense like that thing, but I think it happens to all of us: we live with our eyes on the future. We work hard and spend little to get the number of zeros on our savings account to a comfortable level and we politely refuse the piece of chocolate cake at a party to keep our weight healthy and cholesterol in check, always keeping the future in mind, whether it’s near or years off. It makes sense, right? If we work hard now, we’ll live comfortably later and thank ourselves for all the sensible decisions we’ve made.

Lately I’ve been asking myself whether it’s really that sensible, though. I mean, when is ‘later’? When have I worked hard enough to finally let the reigns loosen a bit? By the time what I now think of as later has arrived, I will most likely keep doing what I do for the sake of later. And what if later never comes? The future is unpredictable: if you think about it, you could die or lose control over your limbs at any second. What if you’ve been putting your life off for later, only for later to never come?

If we’re not careful, we find ourselves waiting our entire life for ‘the perfect moment’, pushing things forward because it’s not the right time yet. When will it click that the perfect moment doesn’t exist? There will always be a reason to not to it right now, especially if you’re afraid, whether that’s subconsciously or out in the open.

What got me thinking about this, was a tattoo. I’ve been planning to get a tattoo since I was a tiny girl in middle school, always thinking about what I would get etched on my skin – there you have it – later. I mean, in that moment the ‘later’ made sense, since I wasn’t yet old enough to legally hop into a tattoo parlor and get some inks, but I’ve been old enough for a while now yet still only planning, never following through. This year, I thought I would finally push myself and get one. So, in September, I said I’d get it in December. December comes around, and guess what? I pushed it to March. And here’s the thing: if I keep going like this, I highly doubt I will ever get a tattoo at all, always pushing it off because later might be a better moment. 

I think we should collectively shift our focus from the future to the present. In fact, it’s clear that we’ve been longing to do so for a while now. How long have mindfulness and meditating becoming more normal, right? But while it might be doable to focus on the present on the yoga mat, it’s proven a lot harder to implement that same amount of presence in our day to day life.

If you recognize yourself in what I’m writing – take this as a reminder. Don’t miss out on life because you have tunnel vision for the future. Loosen the reigns on yourself a bit: it’s not a crime to treat yourself, to spend some of that hard-earned money on a thing you actually like, to take a break and spend quality time with friends or go on a trip. Right now is all you’ve got.

 

Irthe
Irthe

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Herbal Medicine Market 26 Company Profiles Application Product Type and Regional Analysis

Herbal Medicine Market report provides leading vendors in the market is included based on profile, business performance, sales, etc.
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The global Herbal Medicine market is expected to reach xxx Million US$ in 2017 growing at a CAGR of xx% from 2018-2023. The objective of the Global Herbal Medicine Market Research Report 2011-2023 is to offer information with access to high value unique databases of information, like market projection on the basis of product type, application, and region. Not only this, the report highlights the factors influencing the market dynamics, policy, economic, technology, and market entry. Access to distinctive data of internal market information further reinforces research and analysis capabilities.

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List of Figures

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