We are at the time of the year where there is a lot of stress and anxiety in school. Midterms are over, but that does not mean we are in a position to rest. Finals are looming in December and stress levels are probably rising.
I know for myself, I am extremely stressed out and overly anxious about school. I have had times where I do not go to class and it feels horrible before, during and after missing class. That is why I feel that to help my fellow classmates, I want to do a mental health check-in. There are a few areas that have always helped me remain at a manageable level of stress.
These areas are your emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being; it is important to attend to these while attending school. First, we will look at emotional.
With your emotional well-being, it is important to remember that you come first. If you need to take time for yourself, do that, and do not feel bad about it. In order to help others, you need to take care of yourself first. If your self-esteem and self-confidence are low, work on activities to boost those. They are foundational blocks to being a better you.
Do not be afraid to ask for help though. Recognizing that you may need additional support is a huge skill for a lot of people to have. It shows self-awareness and maturity. I have asked many times for help and I have no shame in doing so. I would not be here on this planet if I would have never asked for help and I am proud of myself for being able to do that.
Emotional wellness is important and I believe it to be one of the more important aspects of self-care. Physical wellness is also important. This does not necessarily mean exercising. It can mean taking care of what you eat: for instance, eat a lot of junk food. Drinking water is a vital part of staying physically healthy. I am not saying that you need to completely change your physical lifestyle, but small changes can go a long way in making you feel better about a lot of issues that may be affecting you.
Your mental health is important and a part of that is taking care of your mind. Overthinking and dwelling on single issues can be daunting to deal with. I am like this a lot. I will focus on one issue and think about it to death. It is not good for me at all and I wish I had the mental fortitude to deal with it a lot better. Holding onto your anger about anything can be detrimental to your mental health as well. Anger festers and will eventually overflow and an issue could pop up that is not beneficial to anyone.
Let your frustrations out in healthy ways. One activity that you could do is to journal. I do this myself, but I do that through my blog. I admittedly have not blogged in a while and not blogging has become unhealthy and my stress levels are getting a little too high for me to manage some of the time. I believe it is one of the healthiest activities I personally can do and I feel that a lot more people should do it.
The last one I would like to look at is spiritual well being. This does not necessarily have to mean religion. If your spirituality means your religion and that helps you, I am all for it and I support your right to practice any religion you want. If it is not religion that builds your spirituality, do not allow that to make you feel bad. I have a spiritual connection with this planet and I do believe in a higher power, just not the Christian god. I have no way to actually describe what I believe in, this being due to a huge amount of cynicism for myself. I have recently rediscovered my spirituality and I am happy that I have been able to do that. As I said, spiritual does not mean religious.
Regardless of how you feel about religion, do not dismiss spirituality. It is a defining pillar of wellness.
I hope that everyone on campus is having a good semester and I truly hope that some of you find solace from this article. Please take care of yourself. It is important, you’re important and do not let others dissuade you from that fact.