In a time of political tension, social media frenzy, and societal anxiety, the mental health of young adults is severely affected. As a 19-year-old enrolled in a university filled with 20,000 hopeful young adults, I'm excited, yet anxious, to see what awaits me in my future. Similar to many other young adults my age, I worry continuously about whether I'll make it out in the real world and survive the harsh realities of being financially responsible, economically successful, and happy in the career I pursue.

As society has naturally become more tense, we, as young adults, strive to make a difference in politics, human rights, and the technological industry. With such high hopes and expectations, young adults are bound to make themselves go mentally adrift in a state of stress, anxiety, and worry. It was recorded just last October that "anxiety has surpassed depression as the leading mental health issue facing college students". In colleges nationwide, 19-year-olds are told to put their "dreams" and "hopes" on hold for 4 years to study, learn, and grow before they finally step out in the real world. This "pause" in young adults' life undoubtedly make students have nothing to do but wait for their future. As a result, we wait, study, and worry. As a student who has overcome great deals of stress and anxiety, I have experienced the physical tolls of what poor mental health can do to the body. Through these health obstacles, I have begun to realize the significant need to bring awareness to the mental health of young adults. Although my voice is small, I believe there are voices just as small as mine, who are eager to find a supportive young adult community that provides feedback and daily encouragements on how to deal with the rising effects of mental health. 

Luckily, I have access to platforms like Spoon University, where I can broadcast my experience and share any advice for anyone in need. However, in no means am I "experienced" in the mental health of young adults. As much research and personal experience I pursue, I'm not an expert. Just like everyone else, I'm figuring it out. These 10 tips are simple guidelines I follow to stay on track. 

1. Find Balance 

As it's commonly said, "everything in moderation". The key to a happy and balanced lifestyle is to find a comfortable equilibrium when faced with several commitments. Finding balance takes time and planning. It's easiest to start with a couple of commitments that you're comfortable in handling before you jump into an overloaded schedule. By easing into several commitments, your mental health will feel much less attacked and more in control of what it can handle.  

2. Be Honest with Yourself

If you're questioning whether you can squeeze in a job interview before an important test, it's time to confront yourself with what you can actually handle. In life, there's nothing wrong with pushing yourself. However, if you're prone to high stress and anxiety, don't try to push yourself to the point of a mental breakdown. Be honest with what you can handle mentally, and then set up a schedule. 

3. Be Honest with Your Friends/Family 

There's no need to make up excuses if you feel your mental state can't handle something. If you feel your friends and family can understand, tell them your concern. If you're willing to vent, vent. If you're not comfortable explaining a detailed "run-down" of what's going on, keep the explanation short and sweet. 

4. Find Yourself an Output 

Find someone you can share your feelings with. There's nothing more relieving than letting your feelings out to someone you know you can confide in. Whether this person is a professional or a friend, it doesn't matter. As long as you're comfortable and content, you'll feel much less pressure once your feelings are out in the open. 

5. Find Something that Clears Your Head 

If you find yourself constantly worrying and creating a mental "To-Do" list in your head, having an activity that lets you zone out will give your brain a break from the stress. These activities can include working out, going for a walk, meditating, reading a book or watching a funny TV show. These activities can finally let your brain take a breather. 

6. Find the Right Company 

Why spend time with people who make you stress and worry even more? Surround yourself with people who make you happy. In 2012, there was a study conducted by Dr. Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School and Dr. James Fowler of the University of California in San Diego that evaluated how an individual's social network affects their happiness levels. It's plain and simple that "individuals who associate themselves with cheerful people have a happier demeanor and consequently a better sense of well-being". Good Vibes=Good Health.

7. Procrastination is Your Enemy 

If you're prone to stress under pressure, eliminate procrastination from your life. If you're worrying about a strict deadline in 2 weeks, plan out and spread out the things you have to get done. Set reminders on your phone, create a planner, and make a timeline. Be proactive with what you're feeling anxious about. Once you look at a planner or a timeline, your brain will feel much less intimidated.

8. Limit Your Screen Time

It's hard to steer clear of technology nowadays. However, it's essential that we let our brain take a break from the screen. Live your life as it comes and look up from the phone. 

Lily Sackman

9. Keep a List of Things That Make You Happy 

In times of stress, it's best to hold on to the optimism in our life. A simple way to finding optimism is by writing down a list of things that make you happy. Once you write down what makes you happy, your brain will substitute your worries for things that make you smile. 

10. Let Go of the Things That Don't Make You Happy 

Are you currently in a major that you can't stand? Does the workload not feel worth it anymore? Can you not see yourself content with doing this down the road? Are you hanging out with people that only make you more stressed, more blue, or more tense? The list of questions can go on, but the point remains the same. Although it's hard to let go of our commitments, at the end of the day, if something in your life is not making you happy it's time to respectfully let it go. The happier we are in social settings or academic settings, the less we'll feel that our life is a "hassle" and an inconvenience. Instead of pushing through our commitments, we'll just simply live it.