5 Ways to Help Ease Depression in College

By Ashley Logan on February 13, 2018

If you’re struggling with mental health issues, you’re not alone. Depression and anxiety affect one in five college students within the United State and it’s very common for a college student to get the blues every now and then.

In 2017, the Center for Collegiate Mental Health noted the increasing amount of college students who’d really struggled with their mental health.

via Pixabay.com

Often brushed under the rug or wrote off as just a temporary feeling, depression can really take a toll on one’s psyche. It is important for your voice to be heard and for your emotions and feelings to be validated. When in college, or just becoming a young adult, it’s inevitable to become overwhelmed with new responsibilities and the stresses of life. Depression can consume you but it does not conquer you. Through experience and my own trials and tribulations, I have compiled a list of things that help me when I’m feeling down in the dumps. In an effort to stay afloat when it feels like your boat is sinking, check out these five tips that could help ease your depression:

1. Do Something You Love

Have fun! Whether you get out or stay in, find the time to do something you enjoy. What makes you smile? Depending on your own hobbies and interests, this can include a wide variety of activities. Whether it be playing your favorite video game, reading a book, getting your hands dirty, or binge-watching a new series on Netflix, something that you enjoy will always help when life starts to feel mundane. This may seem self-explanatory, but I know how hard it may be to find the motivation to do much of anything besides sulking when battling depression.

It’s very important to remember who you are and what drives you in moments of sadness. For me, I spend probably way too many hours playing The Sims 4. Half of the time I’m building homes and commercial buildings, the other half I’m playing out the lives of my virtual friends. At the end of it all, I feel better than when I started. However, escapism is an option but not the only way to combat those spouts of depression.

Woman Listening to Music (via Pexels)

2. Listen to Music

There’s nothing like having your own dance party in your room, or anywhere, while listening to your favorite tunes. You should go ahead and free your mind through song and dance, even if you can’t really sing…or dance. I’m pretty sure the girls that live across from me in my hallway don’t appreciate my daily afternoon Beyoncè performances, but hey, it’s a necessity.

There’s just something about music that evokes so much emotion with every beat, lyric, and melody. Belching your way through the pain can make for a freeing and fun experience. Check out this playlist I made that helps me feel better in hard times, FeelGood.

3. Talk it Out

It’s important not to shut everyone out and deal with your depression and anxiety on your own. It can be easy to feel like no one understands, or that no one is listening. However, one of the best things you could do for yourself is to talk it out. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with family or friends, there are counseling services and therapists that could do the trick.

Most college campuses offer counseling sessions in which you can unload everything that’s been on your mind lately. There are also online alternatives like the online therapist site TalkSpace as well as forums on Quora and Reddit. If these sources aren’t enough, there are depression hotlines where you can vent to a complete stranger and remain anonymous.

4. Clear Space, Clear Mind

The last thing anyone wants to do is be productive, or at least that is the last thing I’d want to do. However, I’ve found that a clear space makes for a clear mind. Just like my head, my room is usually disorganized and full of clutter which can make me feel more stress than I’d really need to. When I’ve completely had enough of tripping over my shoes and not being able to find anything, I clean.

Cleaning really makes you feel productive and takes your mind off of things. Typically at the end of it all, you’ll feel a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, like another thing has been checked off the to-do list. With a mind decluttered you’d be able to process your thoughts and feelings in a way that is effective and achievable. It’s crazy how simple tasks can bring the light back into your eyes just through temporary distractions.

Yoga Class (via Wikimedia Commons)

5. Work it Out

I know that in times like this exercising may be the furthest thing from your mind. I mean, nothing beats lying in bed and watching Netflix. Even though the comfort of your own space and routine is ideal, exercising can take some of the load off of your mind. A mental health study at Harvard University came to the conclusion that exercise can be an all-natural alternative to taking antidepressants.

It doesn’t have to be an intense workout regimen, but a little yoga, cardio, or even a Zumba class might help in low moments. If you can’t make it to a gym or fitness class there are many free YouTube workout classes. Check out Yoga with Adrianne for a variety of yoga poses and workouts.

At the end of the day, there is no one end all be all remedy for feeling the blues. When in college, depression can sneak up on you and become an experience that is reoccurring. If you or a loved one is battling depression and doesn’t seem like themselves, please check on them. Help could be one phone call away. Stay strong out there, everything will be okay.

SafeHelp Line: (877) 995-5247

Suicide Hotline: 1-(800)-273-8225

By Ashley Logan

Uloop Writer
My name is Ashley Logan and I'm a Communications/ Journalism major studying at Albright College. I'll be graduating in 2018 and I'm so excited to enter the workforce and put all my ideas to use. I love writing about music, fashion, inclusivity, and whatever has been on my mind lately.

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