I know we all want to be included. We want to be invited to things, even if we don't plan on going. But, if you're like me, you have a hard time declining the invitation, even if you're really not in the right mindset for it.

I've taken a major hold on my mental health these past couple of years. These past few months have been trying, though. Between changing where I live, making new friends and stressing over rocky relationships with old friends, I've had a few slip-ups. I have also grown through them.

It took a month of being in college before my anxiety got the best of me. I was with my friends every single day, for as long as I possibly could be. We love spending time together. I had a hard time going to bed early because I wanted to still hang out. I was always tagging along, just to be there for the experience — even if I knew I had stuff that needed to be done at home.

A month in, it got to be too much. I was tired and grew overwhelmed. Everyone was over my apartment doing homework, and it was a lot to take in. Everyone was yelling over one another, laughing loudly and blasting their music. My senses were overloaded. I couldn't breathe, and I felt like I had to get out of there right away. But I still didn't want to say no.

I sat there, trying to control my breathing, until I couldn't take it anymore and went to "sleep" — aka, going to my closet to cry and have a minor panic attack. It all got to be too much for me. I was overwhelmed and I wanted to just be in the quiet.

That night opened my eyes. I always wanted to be included and to be around. If I wasn't, I feared that I would miss something. But you know what? It doesn't matter if I "miss something" or not. My mental health is more important, and so is yours.

You don't have to always hang out. You're allowed to leave early and go to bed to rest your brain. You're allowed to say no and to just enjoy your "you time."

Don't feel bad about declining their offer. It's testing, but I promise you that it will be worth it. You will have a much better time when you are well rested enough to hang out and enjoy the people around you.

Please, for the sake of your mental health, say no when you don't feel up to hanging out. Your friends will understand. You don't have to always be there for every little thing. Make quality of time, not quantity of time.

Take it from the girl who struggles with this — from the girl who wants to be included in everything and make as many memories as she possibly can. It's better to take time to rest and focus on you than it is to push yourself too far, just to be included.