Vidura shares his top tips for battling depression and managing student life.
I have suffered from mental and psychological problems since early childhood. In particular, I suffered from depression from my early teen years through my third year of college. It’s been some of my worst years. However, in my last two years at university, I turned things around when I began to recover. I have become a successful graduate engineer, dancer, and motivational speaker. In this blog, I’m going to share the things I did to get through the toughest time of my life. I won’t get into my story too much, but I will share some tips based on my personal experiences. I know saying “get out” to someone who is depressed is not going to work, it’s a journey.
Ask for help or seek professional help.
Go to your GP and try counseling. Ask your workplace or university for additional support. I was released from university four months before my third year because of my depression. For health reasons, the university did not charge me any tuition fees for the third year and allowed me to repeat them from the beginning. I then took a year to dance, which helped me with my recovery. Hadn’t I spoken to the university and asked for help? I would have failed my exams. Let your instructors know you are having problems and want additional time / support. It is not shameful to seek help. We all need it.
to get support
Find someone to help you talk about your goals. I turned to one of my dance teachers as a mentor who guided me to my goals in difficult times. You may find a career counselor at the university to speak to on a weekly or monthly basis. Finding support is important.
When you really have problems, give yourself a few small tasks. These can be as small as cleaning your room, dining with friends at university, submitting an order, or stepping into the local store. Those little victories count. You will feel better with a sense of achievement.
Activities and hobbies
Hobbies can go a long way in helping you deal with mental health issues by distracting your mind. Playing pool, lying down and reading a book or watching a movie can make you feel better for a while. I also found that things like doing calculations, learning, or coding all get bad thoughts out of my head. Universities also have many clubs that you can join and try out. These clubs are a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle.
Write down healthy things that make you feel better and repeat these tasks daily. Personally, I find that drinking tea while relaxing calms my brain. You have to enjoy the little luxuries.
Remember the good moments
It can be easy to think about all the negative things when you are depressed. Instead, try to think about all of the good times you’ve had in your life. Personally, I think of all the fun I dance with my friends and the experiences I have shared with people who are close to me. Wonder, were those moments worth it? They are! It is worth living for these moments.
Make good decisions
When you have depression, you can constantly waver between feeling very high and feeling very low. It is best to wait for these periods of time before making an important decision. Check with your friends or a professional when you really need to decide on something important. I’ve trained my mind not to make important decisions without having a clear mindset.
Exercise has been one of the most helpful things in helping me overcome my depression. If you don’t have the motivation to do so, ask to join a friend. Ask them to let you know when they go to the gym or go for a walk. I always have more motivation to exercise when doing it with a friend. In particular, try leg exercises. Studies have shown that leg exercises are beneficial for a healthy mind.
Retreat to a place of comfort
Find a place of comfort to retreat to. This could be a quick stroll in a local park, relaxing in a university location (a bar or library), or visiting a friend’s place or a friend.
Visit the Student Space for further assistance. Explore online resources, access direct support via text, phone, web chat, or email, and find support at your place of study..
I am an engineer and a street dancer. I have dealt with mental health issues and depression and have become successful at what I do. I wanted to share my top tips for dealing with depression and student life.