12 Mental Health Activities for College Students  

Ginger Abbot

Aug 11, 2022
mental health cover

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College students have a lot to juggle from classes to extracurricular activities. It’s also a transitional time where you start to think about your career path. That’s why taking care of your mental health is so important. Anxiety and depression are the most common issues. In fact, 41.6% of students deal with anxiety. Here are twelve mental health activities for college students to try. 

1. Take an Online Quiz 

Taking mental health quizzes can help you understand how you’re feeling. It may be hard to identify your mental health issues on your own. While the test isn’t a diagnosis it can help, give you a baseline. Once you acknowledge your challenges, you can work on ways to fix them. 

You can find these quizzes by searching online. For example, sites like Mental Health America offer tests. You can also read books discussing mental health topics, such as “The Art of Not Falling Apart.” 

2. Speak Up 

If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, talk to a trusted friend. Releasing your emotions is important for your overall health. Keeping in negative emotions can lead to anxiety or depression. It can also put stress on your body causing diabetes or heart problems.

Plus, there is often a stigma surrounding mental health. By speaking up you give hope to people struggling and let them know they’re not alone. 

3. Be Grateful 

Practicing gratitude is one of the mental health activities for college students that reduces stress. It involves showing appreciation and kindness. Take time out of your day to reflect on the experiences and people you’re thankful for. This can make you happier and more compassionate towards others. In addition, it can cause you to be less reactionary. If you can find the good in any situation your surroundings have less control over you. 

4. Color or Draw

As you color, focus on your design choices. This allows you to let go of your stress and be present in the moment. Plus, it’s a fun activity to engage your creative side. You can order adult coloring books on sites such as amazon. 

Here are some more benefits of mindful coloring:

  • Improves your vision and motor skills
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Improves your focus 

5. Embrace Nature 

Going for a walk outside can boost your mood and is good exercise. Spending time in nature can reduce anxiety and lower your blood pressure. Consider taking a walk in between classes or before dinner. 

If you’re feeling more energetic, go on an outdoor adventure. Gather some friends and spend the weekend hiking or camping. This outing can help reset your mind and prepare you for the week ahead. 

6. Practice Mediation 

Mediation is one of the mental health activities for college students that relaxes their minds. The goal is to be in a clear and emotionally calm state. Mediation is valuable for many mental health issues such as anxiety. Also, meditating helps you healthily deal with your emotions. That way you can handle difficult situations in the future. 

Here are some more of the positive benefits:

  • It lengths your attention span
  • It improves your self-awareness
  • It reduces memory loss

7. Gather Friends for a Game Night

Spending time with friends can relieve stress. Playing games allows you to connect with others and release feel-good hormones. Plus, game nights can lead to lots of laughter and smiles. Consider popular card games, such as Cards Against Humanity or Codenames. 

8. Head to Your Campus Gym

Going to the gym is a good way to exercise. Exercise can lower your stress and help you sleep better. You can use the center’s equipment or take a fitness class. To make it more fun, bring along a friend. That way you have someone to motivate you and hold you accountable. 

9. Join an Intramural Sports Team 

Even if you aren’t a top athlete, club sports are fun, and an easy way to meet new people. Plus, exercise is great for your mental health. Also, attending games and practicing gives you an excuse to leave your dorm. 

10. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well

Carrying around a water bottle and healthy snacks is important. Women need about 11.5 cups of fluids a day and men need 15.5 cups. Consider bringing a reusable water bottle to your classes. Also, have it on hand when studying. 

Another thing to watch for is your eating habits. It may be tempting to grab an unhealthy snack in between classes. Instead try carrying around nutritious treats, such as apples or nuts. 

11. Take a Study Break

Sometimes you may get so wrapped up in your work, you forget to take a break. However, these are important to prevent mental fatigue.  Periodically step away from your assignment to clear your head. 

Go for a walk or at least get up and stretch. Once you get back to work you’ll be more energized and productive. If you tend to push off breaks, set an alarm to hold yourself accountable. 

12. Have a Dance Party

Dancing can be a fun way to shake off stress and showcase your skills. As you move around, you release endorphins that improve your mood. You can grab your roommate for a spontaneous dance party. If you want more structure, you can take a fitness class or follow an online video. 

The Best Mental Health Activities for College Students 

As you enter college it is both an exciting and stressful time. That’s why taking care of your mental health should be a top priority. So, try out these mental health activities for college students.   

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