February 4, 2023

How to Take Care of Your Mental Health at University

It’s normal to face mental health challenges whenever you go through a major life change. University brings all sorts of changes at once: you’re living somewhere new, you’re surrounded by people you’ve never met before, and your entire schedule is completely different. Plus, you’re away from your support system of family and friends. Taking care of your mental health now is the responsible thing to do, as it can help you avoid larger problems down the line, including burnout, depression, and even the need to take a break from your education. Here are several things you can do to be proactive about your mental health.

1. Focus on Your Physical Health

Your physical and mental health are closely linked — taking care of one will benefit the other. Eating a healthy diet, exercising on a regular basis, and sleeping enough hours each night can all have a big impact.

2. Ask for Help

If you feel unable to deal with your problems alone, seek support. Therapy is often affordable for university students, as there tend to be counsellors on campus offering low-cost or even free services. Talking to a professional can prevent problems from becoming worse. For instance, the counsellor may provide you with strategies you can use to cope when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

3. Accept Your Imperfections

Grades are important at university, but you do need to put them in perspective. It’s not worth becoming stressed because one exam goes less well than you had hoped, especially if the class is an elective and won’t ultimately have a big impact. University is much more difficult than high school — you need to accept that you may not always receive the grades you want, even when you work hard.

4. Spend Time with Other People

When you’re struggling with your mental health, it can be tempting to spend more time alone, particularly if everyone around you seems to be managing fine. In fact, being around other people can be a huge help, even when they’re not your close friends. Always search for opportunities to socialize, such as by attending clubs, hanging out with your roommates, and striking up conversations with people in your classes. There’s a good chance other students are feeling much the same as you and will appreciate the chance to interact with someone.

5. Take Frequent Breaks

When you have a huge amount of schoolwork to complete, it can be tempting to power through until you’re done. However, this will often make you feel more drained — and you may not even finish sooner, as you’ll find it difficult to concentrate after a while. Short breaks can boost your mood, especially if you go outside for some sunlight, do a short workout, or take advantage of the free activities on campus.

Students often find it more difficult to take care of their mental health because they lack a place to call home. Dorm rooms are cramped, lack privacy, and never feel like your own space. However, there are other options: for apartments near Carleton University, there’s The Revalie. You can have your own room or an entire bachelor apartment to yourself. You’ll also have access to a wide range of community amenities, onsite retail options, and services, including electric vehicle charging stations, bike storage, and a free daily shuttle to campus.

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