Mindful Learning: Tips for Prioritizing Mental Health in Bachelor’s Programs

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Pri­or­i­tiz­ing your men­tal health in bach­e­lor’s pro­grams is extreme­ly impor­tant. Near­ly 76% of US col­lege stu­dents suf­fer from depres­sion and anx­i­ety. Accord­ing to CNN, over 40% of under­grad­u­ate stu­dents con­sid­er drop­ping out because of emo­tion­al stress and men­tal health.

If you’re one to burn out eas­i­ly, this arti­cle is for you. We’ll give you quick and effec­tive ways to prac­tice mind­ful learn­ing in col­lege, which means bal­anc­ing men­tal health and academics.

Relat­ed Resource: Healthy Habits: Easy Nutri­tion and Exer­cise Tips for Col­lege Students

Strategies For Managing Stress and Anxiety

Col­lege admis­sions are hard, but it’s only the begin­ning of the jour­ney. The real chal­lenge starts when you’re sit­ting in a lec­ture hall with hun­dreds of stu­dents. You must focus on earn­ing your bach­e­lor’s degree and excelling in your career of choice. The pres­sure can be over­whelm­ing. This is exact­ly why pri­or­i­tiz­ing your men­tal health in bach­e­lor’s pro­grams should start with man­ag­ing your stress and anx­i­ety levels. 

A lot of stu­dents wor­ry that if they focus more on their well-being, they might fall behind their class. The truth is, you need to pay atten­tion to your men­tal health in order to excel aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly. The NHA reports that 30% of stu­dents suf­fer from low aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance because of phys­i­cal ail­ments, rang­ing from aller­gies to bronchitis.

#1 Practice Regular Medical Checkup

Sched­ul­ing reg­u­lar med­ical check­ups helps you iden­ti­fy and address health issues prompt­ly. This proac­tive approach pre­vents those prob­lems from esca­lat­ing and inter­fer­ing with your studies.

You should also stay away from peo­ple with con­ta­gious ill­ness­es. Wash­ing your hands reg­u­lar­ly is your first shield against basic health issues. If you become ill, give your­self time to heal prop­er­ly. Get as much rest as you can before get­ting back to your reg­u­lar aca­d­e­m­ic schedule.

#2 Get Enough Sleep

Col­lege sched­ules can be very hec­tic. Stu­dents become so busy dur­ing exam weeks that they become sleep-deprived. In fact, many col­lege stu­dents find them­selves with­out prop­er sleep for 72 hours.

Sleep depri­va­tion puts you at a dis­ad­van­tage. It results in less pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, low­ered cog­ni­tive func­tion, and impaired deci­sion-mak­ing abil­i­ties. Get 7–9 hours of sleep each night to allow your body and mind to reju­ve­nate and pre­pare for the chal­lenges ahead.

Estab­lish­ing a con­sis­tent sleep sched­ule will reg­u­late your body’s inter­nal clock. Do you find it chal­leng­ing to get enough rest due to aca­d­e­m­ic demands or oth­er com­mit­ments? Learn relax­ation tech­niques. Cre­ate a con­ducive sleep environment.

A beau­ti­ful rest or a good night’s sleep is not a lux­u­ry. It is a neces­si­ty for aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess and over­all well-being.

#3 Build Your Support Network

Many stu­dents face extreme pres­sure to excel in their bach­e­lor’s pro­gram. Get­ting sup­port and encour­age­ment can help you thrive in the high-pres­sure col­lege envi­ron­ment. Join a sup­port net­work and max­i­mize stu­dent men­tal health sup­port ser­vices in your school. Shar­ing expe­ri­ences with like-mind­ed peers is key to over­com­ing your aca­d­e­m­ic challenges.

#4 You Are What You Eat

It’s not uncom­mon for col­lege stu­dents to eat unhealthy food. To com­bat stress, we look for quick and easy solu­tions, like take­out. Peo­ple under stress tend to eat more, which results in mind­less, indis­crim­i­nate eating.

Man­age stress and anx­i­ety in col­lege through a well-bal­anced, nutri­tious diet. Eat­ing right can curb light­head­ed­ness and mood swings. It’s also a great way to stay in shape, which is a con­cern for many col­lege students.

Here are quick tips that will help you make healthy choices:

  • Car­ry a water bot­tle and drink at least 3.7 liters a day.
  • Eat three times a day.
  • Buy healthy snacks.
  • Do not take caf­feine if it is not necessary.
  • Avoid nico­tine and alcohol.

#5 Be Mindful

Some col­lege stu­dents blame aca­d­e­m­ic rig­or or the school sys­tem for their men­tal health issues. While they are not exact­ly wrong, it also pays to reflect on and cor­rect your habits as a stu­dent. Stu­dents who are self-aware and know their pri­or­i­ties are less like­ly to expe­ri­ence burnout. 

Pro­cras­ti­na­tion is one of the major con­trib­u­tors to stress and anx­i­ety. It can feel like a nev­er-end­ing cycle. Break­ing free from this cycle starts with small, inten­tion­al steps. It all starts with set­ting spe­cif­ic goals and dead­lines to accom­plish what you need to.

Break an over­whelm­ing project or assign­ment down into small­er, more man­age­able tasks. Doing this can light­en your work­load. You’ll find that it is more achiev­able because you see your progress as you com­plete each small task.

Oth­er things you can do to reduce stress are to prac­tice pro­gres­sive mus­cle relax­ation and dai­ly exercise.

Pro­gres­sive mus­cle relax­ation is a sim­ple yet effec­tive tech­nique to over­come stress in col­lege. It involves tens­ing and relax­ing dif­fer­ent mus­cle groups to release ten­sion. It pro­motes relax­ation to alle­vi­ate stress and calm the mind.

Importance of Self-Care During College

Main­tain­ing great men­tal health in bach­e­lor’s pro­grams starts inside of you. A bach­e­lor’s degree and men­tal well-being should come hand-in-hand. While col­lege degrees aim to give you a bet­ter future, they should­n’t cost men­tal well-being. Self-care dur­ing col­lege isn’t just a lux­u­ry; it’s a necessity.

The most com­mon men­tal health issues expe­ri­enced by col­lege stu­dents in the Unit­ed States are depres­sion and anx­i­ety. Oth­er prob­lems include eat­ing dis­or­ders, low self-esteem, sui­ci­dal intent, and sub­stance abuse.

Men­tal health issues result in poor aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance, result­ing in dropouts. In con­trast, self-care enables stu­dents to man­age the chal­lenges of col­lege life.

There are sev­er­al types of self-care you should prac­tice in col­lege to ensure a high-qual­i­ty learn­ing experience:

  • Men­tal health self-care focus­es on nur­tur­ing your psy­cho­log­i­cal well-being. Each stu­dent should prac­tice stress man­age­ment tech­niques. They need to engage in activ­i­ties pro­mot­ing men­tal relax­ation and clarity.
  • Phys­i­cal self-care involves car­ing for your body’s phys­i­cal needs. It boils down to eat­ing right, get­ting enough sleep, and exer­cis­ing reg­u­lar­ly. Healthy habits boost your ener­gy and con­cen­tra­tion, strength­en your immune sys­tem, and pre­vent ill­ness­es that hin­der aca­d­e­m­ic progress.
  • Emo­tion­al self-care involves acknowl­edg­ing and pro­cess­ing your emo­tions in healthy ways. This cul­ti­vates emo­tion­al resilience and self-awareness.
  • Spir­i­tu­al self-care encom­pass­es prac­tices that nur­ture your sense of pur­pose, mean­ing, and con­nec­tion. This can include attend­ing church, pray­ing, or join­ing a faith-based group.

Seeking Mental Health Resources on Campus

Men­tal health in bach­e­lor’s pro­grams is now a pri­or­i­ty in major col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties. The pri­ma­ry goal is to address the sky­rock­et­ing rates at which stu­dents expe­ri­ence men­tal health issues.

The increase in cam­pus coun­sel­ing cen­ters sig­ni­fies a pos­i­tive shift in atti­tudes toward men­tal health. Rather than suf­fer in silence, stu­dents are encour­aged to get the treat­ment they need.

You don’t need to wait until you’re suf­fer­ing from extreme anx­i­ety and depres­sion. Today’s col­lege stu­dents can seek help if they’re expe­ri­enc­ing home­sick­ness, strug­gling with aca­d­e­m­ic pres­sure, feel­ing over­whelmed by social expec­ta­tions, and fac­ing oth­er chal­lenges affect­ing their well-being. Cam­pus coun­sel­ing cen­ters offer a range of ser­vices. You can get indi­vid­ual ther­a­py ses­sions. You can also join sup­port groups and workshops.

Col­leges typ­i­cal­ly offer free coun­sel­ing ser­vices for stu­dents. The Afford­able Care Act pro­vides free health and parental insur­ance options until age 26. Most col­leges offer health insur­ance, but some may only cov­er the aca­d­e­m­ic year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it impor­tant to take care of my men­tal health as a col­lege stu­dent?

Stu­dents who pri­or­i­tize their men­tal well-being not only reduce their risk of aca­d­e­m­ic fail­ure and dropout but also enhance their abil­i­ty to nav­i­gate the chal­lenges of col­lege life. By main­tain­ing a healthy mind, you’re equip­ping your­self with the resilience and strength need­ed to thrive aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly and personally.

How can I man­age my men­tal health in col­lege?

Avoid pro­cras­ti­na­tion. Pro­cras­ti­na­tion can con­tribute sig­nif­i­cant­ly to stress and anx­i­ety, mak­ing it essen­tial to devel­op strate­gies to over­come it, like break­ing tasks into small­er, more man­age­able steps.

How can I cope with stress as a col­lege stu­dent?

When col­lege stress feels over­whelm­ing, remem­ber that you’re not alone. Seek­ing sup­port from peers, fam­i­ly, or class­mates who are also nav­i­gat­ing these chal­lenges can pro­vide a sense of val­i­da­tion and per­spec­tive, mak­ing the jour­ney less daunting.

How do I stop wor­ry­ing about col­lege life?

Do not over­think things. It is eas­i­er to respond appro­pri­ate­ly if you are more con­scious of your feel­ings at the time rather than over­think­ing the future. Mind­ful­ness-based stress man­age­ment prac­tices can reduce stu­dent stress, anx­i­ety, and depres­sion in college.

What are five ways to take care of my men­tal health while in col­lege?

Man­ag­ing your men­tal health in col­lege does­n’t have to be com­pli­cat­ed. Sim­ple activ­i­ties like reg­u­lar med­ical check­ups, get­ting enough sleep, seek­ing peer sup­port, main­tain­ing a nutri­tious diet, and prac­tic­ing healthy study habits can go a long way in ensur­ing your men­tal well-being.