There are many things the pandemic showed us, but one of the most significant is the importance of taking care of your mental health.
According to the College Confidence Index, a July 2022 survey by GradGuard and College Pulse, 91% of college students have experienced feelings of anxiety or stress, and 81% have trouble falling or staying asleep. These are just two examples of how mental health challenges are distressingly common among students.
College life is a non-stop moving train; students may start to lag and get overwhelmed at some point. Among the top mental health issues affecting college students are depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. These can be disruptive and hard for students to manage independently, which can negatively affect their performance in school, and their physical health. It can be challenging to understand your students’ struggles when they’re away from home and how you can best support them. Here are some suggestions:
10 Mental Health Tips to Share With Your College Student
- Practice self-care. And it isn’t always what it seems! Taking a walk, reading a book, or even talking with a friend can be forms of self-care. What’s important is that you take a moment for your body and mind to relax.
- Keep a calendar to stay organized. It may seem simple, but prioritizing and organizing everything going on in your life will help decrease stress levels.
- Eat well-rounded meals. A healthy meal is one of the first things to go out the window when we’re busy. Keeping fruits, vegetables, proteins, and carbs in your diet is vital. They fuel our bodies and brains, and missing these can contribute to feeling sluggish, memory issues, and a bad night’s sleep.
- Exercise regularly. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout, however, keeping your body in shape also helps your mind. Regular exercise releases endorphins.
- Lean on family and friends in times of need. Even if it seems like there’s nothing anyone can do to help, sometimes just talking about what’s upsetting can ease our stress and help us work through it. Stay connected to friends and family–they want you to succeed!
- Set boundaries when you need them. Be honest and open about your boundaries, and consistent about when you are and are not available. Healthy boundaries can give you the space to flourish as a student.
- Avoid people or things that make you uncomfortable. In college, you’ll meet many different people, and there’s a good chance you won’t get along with everyone and may be pressured to participate in things you don’t like. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and encourage you in positive ways.
- It’s okay to say no. First and foremost, students are on campus to get an education. With only 24 hours a day, there isn’t enough time to do everything we want. Prioritization and saying no are two skills that can improve stress levels.
- Use mental health services. Many campuses have increased their mental health services in recent years in response to college students’ needs. Though for some it may seem embarrassing to go to therapy, your well-being should be top priority.
- You’re not alone. By staying connected on campus, you’ll soon find that its no uncommon to feel overwhelmed as you transition into college life. By joining clubs or participating in your community, you can meet new people who have similar interests and passions as yourself.
If your college student is experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition, it’s imperative to reach out and offer them your support. There are many ways for them to get the help they need, such as on-campus resources, virtual therapy appointments, and mental health apps.
GradGuard is an authority on protecting students and families from the risks of college life. Trusted by a network of more than 400 participating colleges and universities, today, GradGuard is the number one provider of tuition and renters insurance for college students. Since 2009, GradGuard has protected more than one million students at more than 1,200 unique institutions.
Tuition Insurance can protect up to 100% of your family’s education investment for a small fraction of your overall tuition costs should a student withdraw for a covered medical reason.