13 Relaxing Things To Ameliorate Your Mental Health This School Semester

13 Relaxing Things To Ameliorate Your Mental Health This School Semester

It's time to put yourself before others.

As we approach the second semester of school, the anxiety of AP tests, SATs and simply keeping an A can be a mentally-challenging ordeal. Thus, here are 13 things to make your life easier and more enjoyable this 2018.

1. Make a bullet journal.

Take a moment to reflect and channel your artistic creativity into a journal of your personalized ideas, and perhaps you'll find something special about yourself! Set aside five or 10 minutes of your time each day, and at the end of the year, there's nothing more satisfying than riffling through a filled, aesthetic notebook.

2. Create your own playlist.

Feed yourself with true soul food by creating your personal Spotify playlist, complete with a color-themed cover photo. When you are then feeling alone, turn up the volume and be immersed within your own world. Everything will be alright.

3. Invest your time into something you truly enjoy.

Whether it's eating a bowl of ice cream in deep self-reflection or cuddling with your dog on a cold winter's night, find something that takes your anxieties away, even if it's just for a second.

4. Realize your capabilities, and go for them.

When the time comes for major decision making, understand your own capabilities. Do not let other people muddle with your confidence, and take underestimation as constructive criticism. The more you think about a decision and take other people's opinions literally, the more you will only hold yourself back. Once you find yourself and that inner drive, there's nothing stopping you.

5. Take a moment to rant.

Do not be afraid to vent. Let everything go, and clear your mind. The burden of deep thoughts and never-ending uncertainty will only dig a deeper hole for yourself. Once you spill out all the problems to someone else is when you can access the final solution of the problem.

6. Build an organized social media page.

In times of stress, being distracted may be the bane of existence; however, whether it's creating a blog page or reorganizing your Instagram feed, revisiting your favorite memories is the ultimate stress-reliever. Just don't let yourself carried away!

7. Do a mini-project.

This is not just any project. This is a project that is worthy of sharing on your Snapchat and Instagram. It can be art, photography or anything interesting to get your brain thinking outside the box. Perhaps, your mini-project may turn into an award-winning excursion. You'll never know until you try, right?

8. Create a bucket list.

The future may seem scary, but if you fill your future with moments of your dreams, maybe a trip to Paris or a skydive 13,000 ft above the ground will be filled with more exhilaration and adrenaline-pumping destinies.

9. Let go of toxic relationships.

Let yourself be the one to save the future of your relationships. Do not let others drag you down or make you feel unworthy, for he or she is unworthy of you. Keep that in mind, and pursue your true passion without hindrance.

10. Go to a concert.

It's time to let yourself go and enjoy, even if it's for a day. Going to a concert is the perfect way to experience something new and surround yourself with dynamic energy. Here's to all the lonely hearts who do not see life at its worth.

11. Take care of something. Yes, it can be a plant.

Cheers to a new addition of my desk — my very first succulent. Easy to keep and pleasing to look at, there is nothing more magical than watching something grow with your own heart.

12. Go exploring.

In your own town, in the nearby park or anywhere that is new and unfamiliar. Grab a friend and a camera, and prepare to learn something new!

13. Add something new to your daily routine.

Add a new food, a new song or even a new Netflix show to your daily routine. This way, you can expand your interests and find new obsessions to add a twist and a pop of spice into your life, so go for it. And don't turn back!

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash / Christopher Cambell

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Your Health Journey Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Perfection takes time.


When you first start to do something, you have all of the motivation in the world to accomplish that goal set out in front of you, especially when it comes to being healthier. The problem is as you continue through this journey and food and laziness kick in, motivation slips. It's human, and it happens to everyone no matter how physically strong they are.

Trying to be healthier doesn't always mean losing weight. It can be so your knees don't ache as much, so you don't feel as out of breath climbing stairs, or any goal you have set for yourself. Being healthier is personal and different from person to person.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of changes I would love to make about myself. From my weight to my body type and many other things about myself inside and out. I am by no means the most confident person about how I look, but I have worked hard for the past year to be an overall healthier person.

Becoming healthier isn't about looking thinner or fitting into a specific size of clothes. It is about taking care of yourself from eating better to working out more. There comes a feeling of confidence in what your body can do if you put a little love in it.

Perfection takes time, and I know firsthand how frustrating trying to be healthier can be.

Pizza tastes so much better than salad. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of something that seems never to change whether that is your weight or your mile time. Sadly, you can't build a city, or become healthier overnight.

We see people who are thinner, curvier, smarter, faster, and so much more than us. We all waste time comparing ourselves to people around us and on our timelines, but some of our biggest strengths are our individuality and the gift of getting back up after falling down.

All I can say is, please don't give up on your goal of being healthier because this is solely for you. We can have a great support system in the world and have everyone in our corner, but that isn't enough.

You need yourself. You need to know that if you don't entirely put yourself in this journey, then you won't fully succeed. Your commitment to bettering yourself can keep you going even if you want to give up.

Your motivation may not be at its peak level right now, and you may have every cell in your body screaming at you to quit. Don't do it. Prove to yourself that you can keep going no matter what. Not giving up will be worth it. The results and taking the hard way will make you a stronger person inside and out.

You can do this. You can do anything you want to accomplish if you just believe in yourself. You need to understand that becoming healthier takes endurance. There will be periods where you slow down and may not be going at your fastest pace. The difference is that you are not giving up and you are still trying and moving.

Don't treat becoming healthier as a sprint: short term and quick. That mentality will only leave you feeling deflated and defeated. It is a life-long marathon of pacing yourself and pushing yourself further than ever before.

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