Originally Posted Apr 3, 2018
Over the past few years the social climate at our university has become much more sensitive to the topic of mental health and although as a community we are slowly breaking down the stigma of mental health it is still prevalent in the pre-med community. In this increasingly competitive community it can be difficult to take care of and be aware of your mental health. We all know a lot of habits in college are not conducive to mental health which is why we need to talk about it, and specifically how it applies pre-med students.
Managing stress and mental illness is like balancing on a tightrope; it takes practice and trial and error. Sleep deprivation and chronic stress make people more susceptible to spells of depression or anxiety. Constant stress and lack of sleep is pretty common among college student which is why it is so important we try to limit the unhealthy habits we find so normal. Managing your time better will help you get more sleep and cut down on stress. Getting the hang of time management can be difficult for pre-med students because so much is expected of us, so here are some tips that can help dealing with stress:
1. Try to take at least one non STEM course a semester to cut down on your workload.
2. Only join clubs/groups on campus that you’re passionate about.
3. Give yourself some personal time each week (Actually schedule in time for yourself that is not just free time).
If you feel like you’re experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety you might feel less motivated, feel like you’re falling behind in class, or not meeting your goals. You can try making list of all the things you need to do and cross them off as you go. These don’t need to be big goals or academic assignments but can be everyday things like “go to the gym,” “shower,” or “pay credit card bill.” This can make you feel more accomplished and organized, reducing stress and symptoms of mental illness. Meditating has proven to reduce anxiety and exercise is known to release endorphins and if done regularly can reduce feelings of depression.
Remember that there isn’t really a cure for anxiety and depression. There are treatments and lifestyle choices that will reduce the role that mental illness plays in your life but this means you need to constantly be taking care of your mental health and not just after a bad spell.
Also, try not to close yourself off from friends or family and if you feel yourself withdrawing from social situations try reaching out to someone you trust. If you’re not sure who to turn to, CAPS is an amazing resource on campus.
3100 Michigan Union
(734) 764-8312 – (24hrs)
“Managing stress and mental illness is like balancing on a tightrope; it takes practice and trial and error.”