In a previous blog, I shared my experience of dealing with depression in college. This is why I understand that college can feel overwhelming. Trying to balance work, school and social life is just a lot. This is supported by the fact that over 85% of college student reported being overwhelmed by everything they have to do. Needless to say, it can be even harder if you are dealing with depression in college. So if you are in college and dealing with depression, continue reading.
Tips for Dealing with Depression in College
1. Take On a Sport
There is a close relationship between physical exercise and mental health. Getting active can help improve your mood, your quality of sleep, and body image. A bonus is that doing a club or intramural sport can help you socialize and build community. This can be something as simple, as joining the bowling club or an intramural softball team. You don’t have to be a pro, just show up.
2. Create a Support Network
It is important that you have people in our life that you can turn to when you feel depressed or overwhelmed. When you’re in college this can be hard if you do not live near the family and friends you grew up with. A few ways to make new supportive relationships while in college are to a church home, join a social club or connect with classmates outside of class. Other options may include identifying mental health support services on campus like a therapist or support groups. Support groups are great because you can connect with other students struggle in similar areas as you.
3. Find a Hobby You Enjoy
During your college years, you will embark on a journey to find yourself. This will require you to find out what makes you happy personally and professionally. As life gets business with obligations for school, remember to carve out time for things you enjoy. However, it is important to do things that bring you joy, especially when dealing with depression in college, If you don’t know what you enjoy you may need to dig deep to find your interests and passions. This can range from taking leisurely walks, spending time with close friends, volunteering or taking a dance class for fun. Just find what you love and do it regularly to find balance in your life.
4. Pursue Your Passion
A large part of your happiness depends on how satisfied you are with your degree program. So if you are unhappy with your courses or pursuing a degree to make someone else happy it’s time to make a change. Instead of thinking about what others want for you to consider your strengths, limitations, and passion. For example, when I was in college I considered becoming a pharmacist or physician assistant, but I soon realized I had a passion for preventative health that could make communities healthier. Once I learned this I went full force in pursuit of a Bachelors in Health Education and Masters in Public Health, and now I get to work to make my community healthier and I love it.
5. Find Ways to Help Manage Your Time
Poor time management leads to a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety in college. If you would like to avoid that unnecessary stress, you will need to step up a game plan for managing your time at college. This can be achieved by creating a schedule that is flexible and feasible. Start by placing all syllabus deadlines on your planner or on your digital calendar. Then break assignments into small manageable tasks, and set flexible mini-deadlines for each task. This will reduce pressure and allow you to complete assignments in manageable chunks. You can check out this blog, for specific steps for implementing this strategy.
I hope you find these tips dealing with depression in college helpful. Many young adults experience depression and anxiety during their college years, so don’t feel alone. Implement these tips to help support your mental wellness and prevent burning out. As always, this is only my personal experience and what has worked best for me. However, I truly believe there is hope for every unique situation, even yours. If you suffer from severe mental illness or thoughts of suicide I want to encourage you to seek help today. Find a local therapist or contact the National Suicide Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 or texting “START” to 741-741. A trained therapist can provide you with a diagnosis and help you develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Before you leave, please don’t forget to comment below. Sharing your experience and what works for you may help others find a solution that works for dealing with depression in college. Also, please share this post because you never know who in your circle may be struggling and may need to read this post for encouragement.
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