By Jessica Forehand and Erin Jackson
Being a college student can bring about many unique pressures. There’s a lot going on in the life of a student. There are deadlines, presentations, tests, boring lectures, and endless studying. For some, it may be the first time you’ve been away from home and you find yourself struggling with the newfound freedom. For others, you may be juggling a hefty work schedule on top of your education. For still others, you may find yourself bogged down with the expectations of yourself and/or your professors/parents/advisors.
Let’s face it: school is stressful. A great opportunity and a necessity for a lot of us, but still – stressful.
Over time, these pressures can build up and cause symptoms of mental disorder. When you’re in survival mode, it can be a challenge to remember to take care of yourself. Sometimes it’s hard to even know where to start. At the end of this post, you will find a short list of quick tips on how to lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression, which are two of the most common mental disorders among college students.
First, let’s talk about what to look for.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
There are many signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression to look out for. For instance:
- Trouble concentrating or focusing: You may find it difficult to pay attention in class or stay focused on your homework.
- A persistent feeling of nervousness or tension
- Racing thoughts: Having several thoughts go through your mind at once and being unable to slow the thoughts down
- Avoidance of things that make you nervous such as social situations, traffic, or giving a presentation
- Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness like nothing will ever get better or change.
- Loss of interest in daily activities or lack of motivation: You might lose interest in going to class, completing assignments, or doing things you usually enjoy like hobbies.
- Feeling angry and irritable even towards those you love like friends and family
- Feeling tired or sluggish all the time
- Trouble remembering things or making decisions
- Low self-esteem: Feeling bad about yourself and being unable to celebrate accomplishments
- Trouble experiencing joy
It is important to note that you may not experience the traditional symptoms of anxiety and depression and that they also present through physiological symptoms such as:
- Muscle tension and back and neck pain
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Gastrointestinal problems like upset stomach
- Clenching or grinding teeth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you may want to talk to your doctor as well as make an appointment with a mental health professional.
With the options of in-person office visits or Telehealth sessions, the counselors at New Vision are ready and able to work with you! Call us at 405-921-7776 and we will answer any questions you may have and connect you with the right therapist for you.
With Telehealth, you have the option of connecting with your therapist between classes. No need to leave home!
There are things you can do that help lessen symptoms of anxiety and can also prevent them from occurring, such as:
- Give yourself enough time to sleep or rest. It is easy to put off sleep when you have so much to do but getting enough sleep will help your mind stay clear and sharp.
- Make time to do things you enjoy. It is important to schedule time to do things you like to do outside of class. Give your brain a break every now and then!
- Eat healthy! It can be tempting to grab something quick and easy but meal prepping healthy meals will make a difference in how you feel both mentally and physically.
- It’s important to spend time with friends and loved ones. You need human connection!
- Minimize screen time. Give yourself a cut-off time and then don’t go over. Make sure you’re getting face-to-face time with real, actual people and that you’re going outside and soaking up some vitamin D.
- Get help. Counselors are there to help you with anything you may be facing. If you feel overwhelmed and are experiencing any of the above symptoms (or just not feeling like yourself), contact New Vision Counseling today! A counselor can help you process your emotions, help you find coping skills that work for you, help you with time management and relationship difficulties, etc.
Are you ready for more peace and joy and less stress and overwhelm? We are here and ready to help you get started today. All you need to do is go to newvisioncounseling.live or call 405-921-7776 to begin. We look forward to meeting you soon!