10 Tips for Engineering Students Who Suffer from Mental Problems
I was once an engineering student and I know very well how it is like to undergo a lot of stress. Not only that, there were also days that I felt depressed due to an anxiety which was deep-rooted in meeting high expectations.
For the record, I had to maintain good grades in my early years in engineering to keep my scholarship. Consequently, I was highly pressured to deliver.
This struggle with my mental health perpetuated until I was unable to meet the grade requirements for my scholarship. While this had financially burdened my parents and I disappointed them for a while, I became more relaxed with my engineering study. The pressure was less: my goal for my subjects was only to pass.
However, it makes me think: what if I went on to battle with stress, depression, and anxiety, among others, for the rest of my engineering school life?
Lucky for me I was able to recover – no matter how unfortunate the way it happened – but how about those who are still on that stage where they are so frustrated as engineering students? What is there to do for that?
There are a lot of self-help articles out there but this one, curated from the Health Service of the University of Michigan, might just help. Here are ten tips:
One of the first things to do when you suffer from mental health problems is to have a mindset of putting yourself first. Do not be so hard on yourself and avoid self-criticism. Treat yourself with kindness and respect for this is an important foundation of how you are going to cope with what’s going on around you.
Take care of your body
This means that you should be eating nutritious meals at the right time, avoiding vices, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Physical health has a big overlap with your mental health.
Surround yourself with good people
Sometimes, it is a matter of keeping up by socializing and keeping connections with the people who make everything at ease. Find your true friends and talk to them regularly. Contact your family and have a get together with them. Or perhaps meet new people to widen your perspective on things.
Another recommended coping mechanism for mental health problems is to share whatever you have. Volunteer! Share your time and energy to someone else in any way you can. That way you will feel a lot better about yourself.
Learn how to deal with stress
There are exercises which help you get by – after all, stress is already a component of life, you only need to adapt. Try doing fun activities to your own liking. What’s important that is that you do not forget to smile and laugh. Research indicates that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.
Quiet your mind
When you think of peaceful thoughts, you are more likely not to experience stress, depression, or anxiety. Meditate. Or pray! It pays to relax from time to time because you need a break.
Set realistic goals
If you have goals, make sure that they are realistic and achievable. You will never feel any accomplishment if you raise the bar so high that you are only frustrating yourself to reach it. It also helps that you are specific about how those goals will be met – do it step by step.
Break up the monotony
Routines can be the one that is messing up our mental health, so try some variety to your daily tasks. If given the convenience, take a break alone or with others. This should give you a rejuvenating feeling if you break up the monotony.
It is never an excuse to use alcohol and drugs to solve any problem, or mental health ones in this case. The truth is that taking vices only aggravates your problems and it never helps. At times that it does help, it will take only a short while before stress, depression, and anxiety hits you again.
Get help when you need it
If all else fails, consult somebody and seek help. This is never a sign of weakness, but of strength. You need to be treated by a professional so that you can recover from any mental illness.
Source: University of Michigan