How to Deal with Depression in College
Tips from Students and Therapists
College is a time when many people struggle with depression. Between the pressures of classes, exams, and socializing, there may not be much time left to take care of yourself. Left untreated, depression can lead to difficulties in school and other personal relationships.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage your feelings and support your mental health. Read on for tips from fellow students and therapists that can help you deal with depression in college.
Talk to People You Trust
There is a stigma around mental health, which can make it difficult for students to come forward when they are struggling. However, one of the best ways to deal with depression is to talk to people you trust. Talking to a friend, roommate, or family member can help you process your feelings, work through them, and make progress toward overcoming your depression.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you develop strategies for dealing with your depression. Talking to a therapist is completely confidential and it can provide a space for you to express your feelings without the pressure of judgment or expectations that often come with talking to friends and family members.
Exercise can help lift your mood, relieve stress and anxiety, improve sleep, self-esteem and body image. Certain types of exercise can also help boost serotonin and endorphin levels, which can help with anxiety and depression symptoms. Even a few minutes of exercise per day can make a difference. Exercise can be especially helpful for students who are experiencing stress related to their studies.
You can exercise alone or join a class at your college, or you can even exercise indoors while you’re studying. Investing in a few pieces of gym equipment, such as a jump rope, mini-trampoline, resistance bands, and a yoga mat, can help you get started.
Learn to Manage Your Stress
Learning to manage your stress can help reduce some of the pressures that are contributing to your depression. You can do this by exploring your stressors and finding ways to reduce them. One way to do this is by keeping a journal where you write down your thoughts and feelings. This can be a helpful tool for exploring your stressors and identifying ways to reduce them. Exercises like mindfulness and meditation can also help reduce stress and find a sense of calm.
Develop a Coping Strategy
Examining your past experiences with depression and other challenging feelings can help you figure out what works best for you. Learn to identify the signs of depression in yourself so you can take action before it gets too serious. Some signs to look out for include feeling hopeless or trapped, having low energy, feeling irritable, and having trouble sleeping.
People’s experiences with depression can vary greatly, so there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. You’ll want to get to the root of your depression and find ways to address those issues so you can experience relief. Explore different ways of managing your depression with your therapist so you can find what works best for you.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself can help lower your risk of developing depression and can also help reduce the severity of your symptoms if you are struggling with depression. Take care of your mental health by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and reducing any substance use.
Additionally, taking care of yourself can help you reduce feelings of shame and guilt that often occur during a depressive episode. When you’re feeling depressed, it can be easy to start blaming yourself for your symptoms. But if you take steps to care for yourself during this time, you can alleviate some of that guilt and shame and start moving forward again.
College is an exciting time, but it can also be a stressful time. If you are feeling depressed, it can be helpful to reach out for help and to try to find healthy ways to cope. It is important to remember that you are not alone. Many people go through depression, and there is always help available if you need it. With support, you can get through your college years feeling healthier and happier.
This article is written by a therapist from Sensera – a self-help app that provides daily CBT audio sessions and exercises. The app helps people deal with a variety of mental issues (anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship problems). Download Sensera now to become happier!