A lot of people don’t realize that mental health is just as important as physical health. College students are taught to see crushing student loan debt, hours of homework and constant worrying about the future as normal and to disregard their mental health. We here at College Magazine aren’t down with that. We care about college students’ mental health and that’s why we’ve created this guide of seven steps to take to improve your mentality.
1. Get Physically Healthy
I know that the last thing on your mind is exercising and eating right. What if I told you being active and eating healthy isn’t about looking good or going vegan to feel superior to everybody else? Exercising and a proper diet are about taking care of yourself. You should treat yourself better than you treat anybody else. Be your own best friend, personal trainer and inspiration. This means you should want to push yourself to be in the best shape possible. Keep a food journal and start exercising for 30 or more minutes a day. You’ll feel the difference in a few weeks.
2. Make Goals and Time to Relax
No task is too daunting for you to accomplish. Sounds like a cliché pep-talk, but you have to believe in yourself. I’m not suggesting you should try taking over the world on day one, but you can form short-term goals until you get your groove. For example, getting to class on time is a good short-term goal. Once you’ve tackled daily tasks like a boss, take on the world like Scott Pilgrim. You can get that internship, become president of that organization and find love. Just make sure to enjoy yourself during it all. Take some much deserved R&R time between slaying your goals and racking up accomplishments.
3. Cut off the Negative People
Forget the haters. Some people hate to see another person improving and succeeding. Don’t mind them. You don’t need those bad vibes in your life. It’s not always easy to know who your haters are though. Haters are really good at disguising themselves as friends, so you have to pay attention. Friends who don’t applaud you when you’re winning aren’t your friends. With friends like that, who needs enemies? I know removing people you’ve invested so much time and energy into is hard, but you don’t have to follow people on Twitter or answer someone’s phone call if you don’t want to. You deserve to have the best team alongside you. Don’t settle for a team as bad as the Jacksonville Jaguars.
4. Face Your Problems
What you do in your downtime is your business, but you should make sure that you’re truly doing it for pleasure and not some other reason. If you’re drinking to forget about your failed relationships, it’s not for pleasure. If you’re smoking because you’re scared of the future, it’s not for pleasure. If you’re partying due to peer pressure, it’s not for pleasure. Stop doing things to avoid your problems and handle them like the G you are.
5. Stop Doing Things You Hate
Happiness is worth more than money. Inner-peace feels better than sex. Start doing what makes you feel alive and stop doing the things that cause you to not enjoy the beautiful gift of life. At the next shift of your miserable part-time job, give your two-weeks’ notice. Ask your crush out the next time you see them. You can live colorfully and stop seeing things in black-and-white.
6. Change Your Way of Thinking
You can change the things in your life by changing the way you think about them. Don’t be a Debbie-downer. It’s too easy to fall into thinking traps and stay in a negative mental space. Avoid using words such as “always.” Very few things “always” happen. Avoid thinking, “I should’ve done this.” The past is the past, and there’s nothing you can do about it now. Stop worrying about whether the glass is half empty or half full. Shut up and be happy you have something to drink.
7. Get Help
An egotistical fool doesn’t ask for help and becomes weaker. A wounded genius asks for help and become stronger. Which are you? Help could come in the form of a therapist who can professionally help you, a friend you can vent to or a pet that you can share a special bond with. Asking for help doesn’t make you any less strong or independent. Whoever told you that is full of it. If you need help, get it.
*CM does not endorse illegal activity.