Just Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Just Put One Foot in Front of the Other

And soon you'll be walking out your dorm room door.
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When I first came back into my dorm hall and saw posters galore of "How to Avoid the Winter Blues" and "Staying Positive" I was set aback. How bad could being at school in the winter be? Are the winter blues a real thing? To answer that, yes. There's no more sun shining walking to your classes but a bitterly cold breeze blowing on your spine when you're rushing to your 8 am or heading out for a night with the girls. You want nothing other than to lay under your covers and avoid all responsibilities to stay out of the cold. Here are a few tips to keep you going even when you feel like your feet are frozen to the floor.

1. Pick up a hobby

Find something that interests you and that you're passionate about to keep you excited and refreshed in between those long cold days that seem to drag on forever. Wether it's a new Netflix show, a new workout class, or going shopping (although this one is highly dangerous and you may waste all of your money). I fell in love with yoga when I was home and have brought that hobby to school with me. It's something to have a few minutes of your day to focus on you, let go of any stress, and you feel rejuvenated when all your joints are stretched out. Jam to a new playlist that keeps your energy high and gives off some good vibes to push you through your week.

2. Keep your favorite foods stocked in your dorm room

Although you may not have the comfort of one of your mom's home-cooked meals anymore, you can keep some of your favorite treats in your room to keep you cozy and happy. Mac n' cheese, tortilla chips with some quality guac, Starbucks macchiatos galore. It's okay to pig out every once and a while. It all makes us feel good every now and then, don't deny it.

3. Stay around your friends

*"We're all in this together" theme song plays in the background* Don't isolate yourself you'll only get down and feel lonely. You have some awesome people around you to distract you from the stress, homesickness, or to share a fuzzy blanket with. Have a few dance parties, explore off campus, or get involved together on campus. You don't have to go too far to have fun and distract yourself for a few hours.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Sweeney's Photo

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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7 Ways To Calm Your Mind, Body, And Soul During An Anxiety Attack

It is OK not to be OK.

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Everyone gets anxiety attacks whether you will admit it or not. Seven little things that help me find my inner peace are ones I feel everyone should be aware of.

1. Try the "5, 4, 3, 2, 1" grounding exercise.

Answer these five questions out loud for sensory awareness:

What are five things you can see?

What are four things you can feel?

What are three things you can hear?

What are two things you can smell?

What is one thing you love about yourself?

2. Try out this breathing .GIF.

Breathe In Help GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy

3. Listen to a song that reduces your anxiety.

4. Use some lavender oil.

Rub it on your temples.

Put some on your wrists.

Inhale.

*Calming.*

5. Tense up your muscles (and then relax).

This may sound counter-intuitive, but just give it a try:

Start tensing at your toes and move up through your body — legs, abdomen, arms, neck, and jaw. Hold it for four counts. Then, relax your muscles. Feel the tension melt out of you.

6. Download an app on your phone.

There are my top apps for helping with anxiety (and they are FREE):

"Recolor" (a coloring book app).

"Wordscapes" (like a crossword puzzle).

"PicrossLUNA" (kind of a play-off of sudoku).

"Words With Friends 2" (just like Scrabble).

7. Reach into your freezer and grab an ice cube.

Just one of many distraction methods.

Reach into the freezer and grab an ice cube or an ice pack.

Hold it firmly in your hand.

Place it on your toes.

The idea is to distract your mind from anything else.

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