You just finished college. This is supposed to be the best time of your life! So…why are you so sad?
Post-graduation depression (aka post-grad depression) is a common experience after college or graduate school. Some high school seniors also face depression before entering college. What is post-grad depression, and what can you do to combat it? Here are some tips from Urban Balance counseling centers.
Common Causes of Post-Grad Depression
Post-grad depression is rooted in anxiety. You’re embarking on a new chapter in your life, filled with unknowns. Will you be good at your new job? Will you like the city you’re moving to? Will you actually find a job you loved? Was your education worth all your hard work?
The depression may also come from the recent changes in your life. For instance, graduating may have pushed you into a new environment, away from your old support system. Your college friends may be moving away to start their own journeys. You may feel like your progress is delayed in comparison to your fellow classmates. Self-doubt, loneliness, unfamiliarity – these are all factors that contribute to depression.
Signs of Post-Graduation Depression
Now that we know the sources of post-grad depression, we can evaluate the warning signs of it. You may be…
- Disorganized or easily flustered by a new task
- Unmotivated to do even the smallest tasks throughout the day
- Tired, regardless of how much sleep you get
- Wasting time and procrastinating
- Reaching out to negative influences, just to achieve some sort of support system
- Irritable or experiencing frequent mood swings
Some graduates say they just feel ‘off.’ If you’re not feeling like yourself, you might be in the midst of a depressive episode. Follow the tips below to learn how to move forward in a positive manner.
How to Overcome Post-Grad Depression
Every person has a unique experience after graduation. You have to find the coping strategies that work well for you. Here are some tips to overcome depression after graduation:
- Establish routines. You had routines in college, and now those routines are gone. The mind and body thrive in a structured environment. Establish meal times, sleep times, fun times, and other scheduling elements that work with your new life.
- Maintain contact with your old support system. You can develop a new support system as well, but be careful who you trust. Don’t lean on a toxic person just because you feel lonely right now. Instead, keep in touch with your old friends while you work on finding new ones.
- Talk to a therapist. A therapist can help you find coping strategies specific to your lifestyle, personality and experiences. Therapy also gives you a reliable foundation for your support system. Work through your mental health struggles, and find solutions for obstacles in your future.
- Acknowledge your accomplishments. You’re a college graduate! Remember how hard you’ve worked to get here, and be proud of where you are right now.
- Set realistic goals. If you feel unmotivated, make a list of personal goals. Break them down into small, manageable steps. If your goal is to get a certain job, commit to filling out a certain amount of applications per day. You can’t predict the outcome of those applications, but you can control the effort you put into them.
- Find something to get excited about. It could be something as simple as having a washer and dryer in your new apartment. You need a light at the end of the tunnel – something that showcases the positive side of this life transition. Look for positives through every change, and you’ll find the drive to get through the day.
If you’d like to see a depression therapist near you, contact Urban Balance: (888) 726-7170.