There are many times when we all feel sad; however, this doesn’t necessarily lead to depression. You need to be concerned if you notice the following things are happening:
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Withdrawal from social and academic participation
- Significant decrease in quality of work
- Low energy level
- Poor personal hygiene and/or appearance
- Crying, outbursts of anger, unusual irritability, road rage
- Boredom, restlessness or poor concentration
Even though you can’t control all of the demands in your life, you can learn to control your reactions to them. Sometimes the multitude of life’s changes that occur during your college years can trigger emotional changes resulting in depression. You may find it helpful to seek help from the Counseling Center and Student Health Services. Here are some additional things that will make life easier:
- Carefully plan your day. Prioritizing your work can give you a sense of control over what you must do and a sense that you can do it.
- Cramming is counterproductive. If you are exhausted, your depression can worsen and academic performance can suffer.
- Participate in fun activities.Sports, theater, fraternities/sororities, social and sport clubs and volunteering are examples of activities that make you a well-rounded student. These are an integral part of your college experience and important resume material.
- Ask for help.Make an effort to reach out and get to know your campus community. Friends, family, professors, staff and peers can provide necessary support systems.
- Do fun things which may include dancing, exercise, sports, reading, music, deep breathing, warm baths, long walks and positive thinking. Good thoughts can take you to a relaxing place.
- Take “Me Time”. Make special time for yourself — even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day. Focusing on yourself gives you a feeling of purpose and control over your life.