It is definitely possible to lead a happy life with a mental health illness or problems, though it may require discipline, self-reliance, perseverance, and a remarkable amount of support from friends and family. Everyone is different, and while some may manage their mental health problems with ease, others may have more difficulty, and may require more support. Remember that there is no shame in asking for help.
There are many ways of taking care of your mental health. These include:
It's easy to get caught up in the action and stress of student life, so it's important to remember to take some time to yourself every once in a while. Even taking a few minutes away from your normal routine can help you to feel calmer and distract you for a while. For the mind to be calmer it also needs the body to be so and we often don’t even know when our body is feeling stressed. Some relaxation activities might include:
Mindfulness is a technique that involves making a concerted effort to give your full attention to whatever is happening in the present moment — whether it be in your body, your mind, or your surroundings — in a non-judgemental way. This means to allow for all feelings and ideas to come through you and just feel them. Mindfulness can help you manage your mental health or simply gain more enjoyment from life; it can help you approach your thoughts and feelings in a way that allows you to become more aware of them and react appropriately. Mindfulness can help you:
It's not unusual to feel lonely when you start college, and as an international student far away from home, maybe for the first time, you may find that you're even more susceptible to loneliness at first. Feeling lonely isn't a mental health problem, but the two are closely linked; feeling lonely can definitely have a negative effect on your mental health.
Everyone has different social needs. You may be content with a few close friends, or you may need a large group of friends and acquaintances to help dispel loneliness. Either of these--or a mix of both--is totally valid.People usually describe feeling lonely for one of two reasons: either they don't see or talk to other people very often, or they don't feel understood or cared for, in spite of being surrounded by people. Figuring out which of these applies to you can help you find a way of feeling better. Think about your interests or hobbies. Is there a class or a group on campus that can help you meet people who share your interests? This has the added benefit of providing you with a built-in icebreaker; you already know you have something in common with the people you meet. Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people, and helping others can help to improve your mental health.
Starting college brings a lot of changes into your life, especially as an international student. Hopefully these changes will be enjoyable and interesting, but they can also be challenging if you're living with a mental health illness. You might face challenges such as:
Studying can be extremely overwhelming, so it's helpful to feel as in control as possible. To help with this, it's useful to find out as much information as possible about what will be expected of you and what resources are available to help you. Try to find out:
Building a social life is a big part of starting college. To help make friends, you might: