Socialization for Mental Health
There is a stereotypical myth that college students spend all of their time socializing and attending parties. While there are a few who do lead this type of life, in most cases this is simply not true. The majority of college students have the exact opposite problem. They generally are extremely busy with studying, attending classes, and working. Students often get so caught up in their responsibility and deadlines that they begin to neglect their social life. This is a mistake which can lead to mental health issues.
Several universities have conducted studies to explore the problem and find effective solutions that college students can reasonably implement. One solution that many agree on and individuals have find rather easy to implement are combining exercise and socialization. Exercise is another element that is often neglected during college life.
Joining a gym can provide an opportunity to participate in physical activity which is extremely important to both mental and physical health. It offers a wonderful social outlet to meet interesting people and make new friends. Exercise also supports positive mental health by reducing stress and providing an emotional sense of well-being and productiveness.
Even though college students are no longer children, they are still very young adults who will continue to develop emotionally and physically for the next several years. It is very important that they exercise both the mind and the body. Individuals who live with tight budgets should consider joining the local community center or taking advantage of university fitness programs. These are generally inexpensive and, in many cases, they are free.
The Prim Care Companion by J Clin of Psychiatry states that exercise improves sleep, mood, and actually increases energy levels. It relieves stress, increase mental alertness, and improves cognitive activity. It only stands to reason that participating in physical activity with other individuals who also enjoy it can result in a higher level of all of these results.
Put Fun into Physical Activity
The above mentioned article goes on to state that exercise does not necessary have to be intense weight training and it does not have to be performed every single day at the same time. Dancing is a form of exercise which is great for the cardiovascular system. It is another excellent social outlet as well.
One thought is to investigate whether the university has a community garden program or if there is some such program with the biology department. Gardening is definitely physical activity and it offers many rewards. It is can relieve stress and lend feelings of accomplishment which boosts confidence. At the end of the season it can provides fresh, healthy, and tasty vegetables. Group gardening provides yet one more type of productive social outlet.
Finding healthy and productive ways to socialize is not difficult and does not necessarily cost money. Some students opt to join religious based groups of their faith to meet people in a safe environment. Others find interest groups offered through the university campus such as political, justice, and book organizations. Students should look for clubs and activities which align with their own beliefs and interests to socialize.
Sharma, M.D., Ashish. “Exercise for Mental Health.” Pub Med. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 1 Jan. 2006. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/