College or university studies can be incredibly stressful, especially within a competitive program.
Internalizing too much of this stress can lead to serious mental health issues, which could negatively affect your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others around you.
Fortunately, there are many different ways to de-stress and keep your mind healthy so that you can stay on the top of your academic and social game.
Below you’ll find our list of mental health activities for college students. Find a few you think you’d enjoy and try them today or later this week.
You just may find that you’re more relaxed and ready to take on coming challenges as a result.
Relaxing with Friends
This de-stressing method comes naturally, especially in a college environment. Even if you find yourself with a massive amount of work to finish, make an effort to take a break and join your friends in the common room or the dining hall.
Talk about anything but your class work. Try to focus on the world outside of school.
This will help you gain perspective, making your immediate problems seem relatively small and insignificant.
Going for a Walk
One of the great advantages of many college towns is that it’s safe and pleasant to walk just about anywhere.
Put on some comfortable athletic shoes and bring along some headphones if you like to listen to music or podcasts while walking by yourself.
Try to walk around the campus, or beyond it, for at least 30 minutes at a time. This can help clear your head and allow you to process information more honestly and in a healthy manner.
You may have heard the phrase, the best kind of positive thinking is thinking of others. And we agree.
Spending just a few hours a week volunteering for a local non-profit can be an excellent means of taking care of your mental health and helping others at the same time.
Do some research on local institutions that accept volunteers and decide on which type works best for you.
Here are just a few examples of charities that typically accept volunteers, especially on weekends.
Animal shelters are often understaffed and appreciate the help of weekly volunteers. You may be asked to help individuals adopt pets or you may just need to walk some of the dogs and clean enclosures.
If you’re already a fan of cats and dogs, then an animal shelter will be a great place to help affect positive change.
Food Banks and Soup Kitchens
Local food banks and soup kitchens work hard to help provide basic meals for those in need. They also require many volunteers just to stay open.
If you don’t have enough time to volunteer each week, you can still make an effort to attend as many volunteer events as possible.
Over time, you’ll get to know other staff members who may even become close friends.
Many large cities offer free or low-cost after-school tutoring programs for grade school and high school students.
Such programs are a great way to help kids get through their homework and enjoy the rest of their day.
This can also be a great way to learn the ropes of teaching and tutoring. More experienced tutors will be happy to show you their own techniques and methods.
Enjoy the Town
Many college students find themselves sticking pretty close to campus for most, if not all, of each week.
After all, your classes, your meals, and your room are all centered around a convenient campus. And if you really wanted to, you could stay on campus through the whole semester, never leaving to see the town itself.
But each town, no matter how big or small, has its own special strengths and offerings.
Check online to see how many museums are located near your college campus. Many museums offer discounts or free admission to college students.
Simply bring your college ID with you, as well as a friend who appreciates art and/or history. You’ll have the chance to see some incredible displays while also giving yourself some peace and quiet.
Famous Local Restaurants
Each town has its own famous food spots that are considered must-visits by locals. Even if you’ve lived in the area for a few years, let yourself be a tourist for a day and check out these restaurants on a day off.
Bring a few friends and make it a night out. It can be a great way to get out of your normal routine, and you may love the local cuisine, too.
Many colleges and universities take the mental health of their students very seriously. Certain schools provide counseling for students, free-of-charge.
Other schools may have a health office that can refer you to a nearby therapist or psychiatrist.
Most importantly, if you find yourself in a position where your school-related stress is starting to negatively affect your grades or social life, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Asking for help can even start with a simple conversation with a close friend who’s willing to listen.
You’re definitely not the only one who’s been feeling stressed out by school. There may even be several personal and family matters contributing to your anxiety.
The first step to feeling better is admitting that you want to feel better.
If you find yourself to be incredibly fatigued after school or work, you may want to read this article on how to better de-stress and manage your energy.
If you just can’t handle being on your college campus anymore, then you may want to plan a trip home.
Try to plan ahead and set the trip around a holiday break already built into your academic schedule. This way, you won’t miss any schoolwork or fall behind any further.
Visiting your family is the perfect way to get back in touch with your roots and put your problems in perspective.
You may want to visit some hometown friends in the process or visit some of your old favorite spots.
Most importantly, give yourself plenty of time to do nothing at all. The stress will inevitably start to fall away.