Mental and Emotional Health
College life is full of opportunities for personal growth, greater independence and exploration of new social and academic experiences. New experiences make college an exciting time, but one that may also be stressful. Stress may come from keeping up with academic demands, forging new relationships and managing greater independence. Changes in stress levels, along with new sleep patterns and eating habits, can have a big impact on your mental well-being.
Many students face insecurity, loneliness or disappointment during college; others may experience bouts of depression, anxiety or the start of other mental health conditions. You are not alone!
- 1 in 5 youth and young adults experiences a mental health condition.
- 75% of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 24.
- 30% of college students reported feeling so down at some point during the previous year that they found it difficult to function.
Experiencing emotional distress or developing a mental health condition while in college can be lonely and frightening, but it doesn’t have to be. Feelings of anxiety, depression and mental health conditions are common, and recovery is possible. Building connections to others and having a strong network of support can help—and so can talking. The more you talk about mental health, the easier taking care of your health and well-being will be.
Tips for feeling like your best self!
- Build connections with other students on campus. Join a club or attend a campus event to meet new people!
- Exercise. Whether strenuous or not, moving your body is important. Check out group fitness classes or intramural sports at Cal Lutheran.
- Be in nature. Take a mindful walk around campus or in town. The serotonin and Vitamin D boost from the sunshine will improve your mood.
- Eat a balanced diet. Be mindful about what you eat; educate yourself to learn more.
- Sleep regularly. Try going to sleep and rising around the same times every day—even weekends.
- Limit screen time. Too much time spend with computers, smartphones, and televisions have been linked with depression.
Studies show that mindfulness practice can have the many benefits for students:
- promotes empathy and optimism
- helps students regulate stress, and calm down when upset
- improves focus, attention, and executive function
- leads to lower levels of depression and aggression
- improves impulse control