Mental Health as a University Student
University can be an exciting time filled with new experiences, opportunities, and friendships. However, it can also be a time of high stress and anxiety, especially for students who are new to the university environment or who struggle with mental health issues. It is a time where exceptionally high standards are placed on students - often resulting in hours and hours of studying without breaks, lack of sleep, lack of appetite, limited social engagement, limited to no engagement in hobbies, and so on.
Anxiety is a common mental health issue among university students, with around one-third of students experiencing anxiety during their academic career. Anxiety can impact an individual's academic performance, social life, and overall well-being.
Here are some tips for managing anxiety as a university student:
Prioritize self-care: Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential for managing anxiety. This includes getting enough sleep, eating regularly, engaging in movement, as well as engaging in other stress-relieving activities such as hobbies and positive social connection.
Manage your time effectively: Feeling overwhelmed by coursework and deadlines can contribute to anxiety. Creating a schedule and prioritizing tasks can help manage time and reduce stress. It can also be helpful to create study schedules and plans with friends or other students in your course.
Seek support: It's important to reach out to friends, family, or mental health professionals if you are struggling with anxiety.
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, can help reduce anxiety by calming the nervous system and promoting relaxation. Even if you only practice mindfulness for a minute or two, there are benefits to regulating the nervous system and engaging fully in the present moment you find yourself in.
Take breaks: It's important to take breaks from studying and other responsibilities to give your brain a rest. This can include going for a walk, spending time with friends, or engaging in a hobby or activity that you enjoy.
Self-compassion: University is a challenging time, filled with a lot of changes and new things that you are adapting to.. Be kind to yourself during this process.
It's important to remember that anxiety is a common experience for university students and that it is possible to manage and overcome. Seeking support and practicing self-care can help students cope with anxiety and lead fulfilling lives while in university.