College freshmen feel a wide spectrum of emotions. They're excited and nervous, ready to meet new friends and pass their classes, and hopefully make "the best years of their life" start on a high note. That being said, your freshmen year of college can easily become overwhelming, as finals week quickly approaches and that party you were looking forward to ends with your roommate getting the cute guy's number instead of you.
Being overwhelmed during your freshman year of college is totally normal, but it's never a reason to stop prioritizing your mental health. For some, freshmen year includes massive change, struggles with anxiety and depression, and a really horrible sleeping schedule.
In order to best set yourself up for success, there are a few things you'll want to have in your mental health kit before syllabus week starts.
Part of setting yourself up for NOT being overwhelmed is knowing what's going on. Getting a simple planner to keep your homework, events, and responsibilities in will keep you organized and hopefully stress-free.
You'll want to give yourself an outlet to get all those emotions out. Journaling can keep you grounded, help you feel refreshed, and be a great addition to your morning or your evening routine.
Whether you're doing homework or trying to catch a quick nap, a weighted blanket can bring a certain sense of peace to your body. You need one, trust me.
4. The number to your university's counseling center
This should be included in any freshmen welcome packets you've received, as well as your university's website. Save this number in your phone (as well as any other important numbers, like your RA and campus safety).
These little helpers easily fit into your backpack and are the perfect way to release some tension as you walk to class. It's scientifically proven — give em a squeeze.
This simple activity helps you stay productive and de-stress as you're watching Netflix, taking a break, or simply winding down before you go to bed.
7. A great sleep routine
College dorms have never been the ideal environment for a good night's sleep. Make sure you have anything necessary to help you sleep at night — earplugs, an eye mask, a sound therapy lamp, etc. If you're well-rested, your body will find it easier to balance your emotions.
Headspace is a meditation app that walks you through different time frames of meditation for different intentions. It's an excellent, easy way to incorporate this grounding practice into your routine, no matter how many classes you have to run off to!
Your mental health is directly connected to your physical health. Yes, that Netflix binge sounds like a ton of fun, but take a quick walk or do some yoga before you land on the couch. You'll feel better in more ways than one!
10. The knowledge that it's not just you
You are not the only person on your campus who is dealing with mental illnesses. Seek out the help you need, either in a group therapy setting or an individual option. Your university may even have certain clubs dedicated to mental health awareness. You are never alone in this!
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