Scrabble tiles spelling out “mental health.”

Let’s Talk About Mental Health

By Brittany Anderson
Web Content Contributor

With another semester underway, it’s normal to dread the inevitable stresses involving classes, deadlines and a laundry list of other responsibilities that will last for months. Naturally, these things might cause you to panic under the pressure. But this uneasiness can quickly make a turn for the worse— and ignoring it or putting it off to the side won’t help.

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that these feelings are not only normal, but completely valid. The reality of being a college student can have a negative impact on anyone’s mental health, and while it seems to just come with the territory, it’s why being transparent when it comes to your own mind is more important than ever. Making it a point to take care of yourself should come before everything, but sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start.

If you find yourself feeling stuck, try and implement a routine as simple as practicing mindfulness— it’s basically a less-intimidating form of meditation where you keep yourself from being overly reactive to your present situation. It’s a great way to clear your head and rid yourself of stress, self-criticism and judgment. Headspace is a meditation app that will help you practice controlling your breathing, anxiety levels and sleeping patterns through guided sessions that can be done in as quickly as 10 minutes. They have a free version of the app, plus a student plan that only costs $10 a year.

A group of six people on a beach at sunset.
Meditation can help reduce stress, control anxiety and promote emotional health. Photo by Betty Nudler via Creative Commons.

Sometimes, being stuck turns into feeling hopeless and out of control, and reflecting on your own isn’t enough. That’s why reaching out to someone you trust and talking through your thoughts is so important. It’s something that often gets overlooked, but is one of the best ways to work through your worries. It’s also a really vulnerable thing to do, but try and remind yourself to not let all of the bad stuff sit inside you: it’s as simple as letting someone know what’s going on so they can help you through it.

There’s also no shame in utilizing the counseling services that are available for free on campus. These services were implemented so students could have an outlet if they’re financially unable to seek out a therapist, and are a great resource to have so readily on hand. If you’re uneasy about making an appointment but still find yourself needing to talk and don’t know where else to go, you can text HOME to 741741 for free, 24/7 anonymous support from a trained counselor via the Crisis Text Line.

No matter what, you should never feel embarrassed to seek out help. It might be hard, but you owe it to yourself to take the first step in keeping your mind in check. And no matter how cliche it sounds, remember that we’re all in this together— no matter how big or small it may be, you’re never truly alone in your struggle. Let’s have a happy and healthy semester.

Featured image by Wokandapix via Creative Commons.

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