Depression is considered to be one of the most common mental illnesses in the US. In fact, in the United States alone, more than 16 million adults have experienced depressive episodes in the past year, and the average age of its onset is between 20 and 30 years old. Thus, people in their college years are usually at risk of experiencing depression. Considering how serious its effect has been, and what its outcome can eventually be, prevention is definitely better than cure when it comes to this disorder. Check out this list of helpful things to consider to avoid experiencing depression.

Make Your Nutrition a Priority

Health is wealth is not just another old saying. Without a healthy body, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to live a fuller, happier life. That’s why you should always put your health first in everything you do. Before involving yourself in some college activities, make sure that you have eaten right, hydrated, had enough sleep, and is feeling good. This way, you get to make the most out of all the scholastic or social activities you get yourself into at college.

Exercise Daily

The best way to get those endorphins flowing is by getting your blood pumping. And exercising is the perfect way to make that happen. Aside from helping improve your level of happiness, it also improves your overall health by decreasing stress and boosting your immunity. Plus, it’s a great way to lose weight, detoxify your body and reduce risk of cancer and heart diseases.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Another great way to avoid stress is by getting enough sleep daily. In fact, research shows that consistently getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is a key to a healthy lifestyle. It improves your mood and concentration and boosts your immunity.

Create and Maintain Healthy Boundaries

At this point in your life, you might have already taken in the idea of making the most out of your college years. You might be thinking about taking on every single opportunity that comes your way. But this isn’t always healthy. Taking on too much responsibilities or exerting yourself too much may take a toll on your overall health. Expecting too much from yourself may put you under too much pressure and this might affect your mental state. Sometimes, it’s also healthy to learn how to say no, especially if you’re already swamped with important things to do.

Practice Mindfulness

The state of mindfulness is all about putting one’s attention to everything that is happening in the present time. At the state of mindfulness, you get to assess if your thoughts and feelings if they are good or bad. By adopting this practice, you get to give yourself a break and spend some quiet time appreciating your life just the way it is at the moment. This form of meditation helps reduce stress and promote overall well being,

Take Nature Trips

The best way to encourage mindfulness and reduce stress? Appreciating nature. Being one with nature or even just by seeing and experiencing the beauty of nature helps reduce stress and boost your creativity. Taking quiet nature trips also gives you the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of nature. Whether it’s the sound of the waves, the smell of pine trees, the feel of the morning sunlight touching your skin, the fresh air that enters your lungs, the sound of birds tweeting up in the trees — these wondrous experiences give a better sense of appreciation for life.

Say no to Drugs and Alcohol

There are many forms of vices that college students tend to get exposed to, including drug and alcohol abuse. Addiction to drugs and alcohol can create a severe impact to the quality of your life. Prolonged usage of these substances will affect how you think, act, perceive life, and deal with other people. These substances can trigger a variety of negative events such as self-harm, accidents, violence, rape, and more.

Preventing the onset of depression is very important. Knowing how to deal with the different situations in your life may make or break your overall mental health. Surrounding your life with positivity helps keep the shadow of depression at bay. But if you think you have it and would like to seek professional help, do not hesitate to speak up about it and face the truth.