Take Charge of Your Health!

Stressed out? Sniffling? Sneezing?

Welcome to College!

Every year the Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness at Florida State University issues a survey asking students what prevents them from succeeding academically. The highest reported health and wellness issues include:

Stress Almost 30% of students said stress affected their academic progress. Symptoms include difficulty coping, feeling lonely and isolated, and not being able to focus.

Anxiety 22% of students said feelings of anxiety affected their grades.

Cold and flu symptoms Almost 20% of students said an illness prevented them from succeeding in class.

Relationship difficulties These include romantic, familial and platonic relationships.

Here’s Relief!

Amy Magnuson, Ph.D., director of FSU’s Health Advocacy and Wellness Center, has some tips for staying healthy and coping with the physical and mental challenges of freshman year.

  • Eat healthfully, and don’t skip meals.
  • Exercise.
  • Stretch daily and practice breathing exercises.
  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule.
  • Get regular checkups, wash your hands often, and stay home when you’re sick.
  • Avoid harmful substances and excessive alcohol intake.
  • Spend time with people whose company you truly enjoy.
  • Avoid toxic relationships.
  • Make an effort to stay in touch with people who are important to you.
  • Seek help in prioritizing and managing time.
  • Give yourself time to relax.
  • Make time for self-reflection.
  • Learn to say NO to extra responsibilities. Don’t bite off more than you can chew!

Beyond Bummed

Depression is an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. It can be brought on by stressful situations, like say, moving away from home for the first time to a new city where you don’t know anyone.

Feeling down now and again is normal. And no one can be happy 24/7. But if your blues won’t go away, it could be a sign of depression.

Know the warning signs:

  • Crying easily or often for no apparent reason
  • Can’t concentrate or make decisions; grades suffer
  • No longer enjoying activities and people you used to like
  • Sleeping problems or changes in appetite
  • Relationships with friends and/or family suffer
  • Using alcohol or drugs to feel better
  • Thoughts about harming self or others
  • Believing no one would care if you were gone

If your symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it may be time to seek help. Many schools have free counseling centers staffed with professionals who can help you manage life’s rough patches.

Remember, you’re not alone. An estimated 350 million people around the world deal with depression. Even the rich and famous! The following celebrities and famous figures have all talked openly about their bouts with depression.

Jon Hamm
J.K. Rowling
Buzz Aldrin
Abraham Lincoln
Demi Lovato
Nicki Minaj
Ellen DeGeneres
Lady Gaga
Miley Cyrus
Halle Berry

Source: Health.com, Buzzfeed.com, Today.com, Theatlantic.com, Seventeen.com