You Don't Need To Be 'Mentally Ill' To Go To Counseling Or Therapy

You Don't Need To Be 'Mentally Ill' To Go To Counseling Or Therapy

Honestly, everyone should seek support for their mental health at some point in their lives.

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We never talk about mental health enough. In part, this does have to do with the stigma surrounding mental illness. Some people think that mental illness isn't real. Some people think that people with mental illnesses are crazy. Obviously, it's hard to talk about something so personal when you're afraid of being judged and looked at differently.

As you probably already know, counseling and therapy can be utilized to help people with mental health concerns. (To avoid saying "counseling and/or therapy" 100 times, I'll just refer to mental health support here on out as therapy.) But you may not know that therapy isn't just for people with anxiety, depression, etc. And it's not just for people who have recently experienced tragedy, either.

I recently went back to therapy to learn better coping mechanisms for emotional distress. I was tired of feeling emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed every time something went wrong. I wanted to change my life for the better. I felt like my behavior not only affected me, but also the people that I loved. I had to take responsibility for that. And it wasn't something that I could fix on my own. Love yourself enough to do what's right for you.

If you're really stressed about all of your school work, go to therapy. If you just got into a new relationship and you're experiencing a lot of new insecurities and fears, go to therapy. If you want to sort your family problems, go to therapy. If you have unresolved, repressed thoughts that you want to address, go to therapy. And if you know someone who is struggling with something, recommend that they go to therapy.

Honestly, everyone should seek support for their mental health at some point in their lives. If you're a college student with mental health resources on campus, please make use of them, especially if the services are free or low-cost. After you graduate, you may not have access to the same facilities. Or, if you do, you're going to have to pay a lot of money to seek help. Addressing concerns now is the smartest option. If you're a Rutgers University student, you can find aid from Counseling, Alcohol & Other Drug Assistance Program and Psychiatric Services (CAPS).

We all need someone to talk to about our problems. Yes, having friends and family is definitely beneficial. A good rant can help you blow off some steam. But keep in mind that these people are not licensed therapists. They can only offer you advice, not authentic step-by-step treatment.

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100 Ways To Practice Self-Care In Your Everyday Life, In 20 Minutes Or Less

Simple ways to start taking care of yourself.

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Life is overwhelming and distracting so it's easy to forget about yourself sometimes, but practicing small self-care acts is easy. Making time for yourself every day isn't selfish and is really good for your mental health. I think it's important for everyone to spend time doing things that make them happy and more calm, even if you only dedicate 20 minutes each day. Putting yourself first can lead to growth so many other aspects of your life.

Obviously, each person is allowed to practice self-care in their own unique way, but here are some ideas to get you started!

1. Do something new. 

2. Make a list of things you need to get done that week. 

3. Drink some hot tea. 

4. Go for a walk on a scenic trail.

5. Paint your nails.

6. Have a good laugh.

7. Buy yourself flowers.

8. Light a candle.

9. Do some tidying up.

10. Don't feel bad for saying 'no.'

11. Listen to music.

12. Slow down.

13. Drink a smoothie.

14. Run mindless errands.

15. Write down your goals for the week.

16. Talk to someone about the future.

17. Wake up early and get coffee. 

18. Take care of a plant. 

19. Take a bubble bath. 

20. Give yourself a compliment.

21. Give a stranger a compliment.

22. Watch a movie.

23. Put your phone down.

24. Declutter your personal space.

25. Go to bed early. 

26. Pray or meditate. 

27. Go for a drive. 

28. Make it a habit to stargaze. 

29. Read a book. 

30. Read poems. 

31. Sing loudly. 

32. Make a list of things you're grateful for. 

33. Drink a lot of water. 

34. Put on make-up for no reason.

35. Watch funny videos. 

36. Take a deep breath. 

37. Distance yourself from negativity. 

38. Unfollow people you don't care to follow on social media. 

39. Have a pajama day. 

40. Read an inspirational book. 

41. Call your parents/ loved ones. 

42. Donate old clothing. 

43. Dedicate a day out of the week to not eating meat. 

44. Do a fun craft or DIY project. 

45. Put on a face mask and relax. 

46. Do a small workout. 

47. Take a power nap. 

48. Listen to a podcast. 

49. Open a window. 

50. Open your curtains in the morning to let in natural light. 

51. Make your bed. 

52. Cook dinner instead of eating out. 

53. Play/ cuddle with an animal. 

54. At the end of the day, think of all the positive things that happened.

55. Moisturize. 

56. Buy a comforting blanket. 

57. Give someone a hug. 

58. Create a vision board. 

59. Have some alone time.

60. Enjoy the sun on your skin. 

61. Dance like nobody is watching.

62. Walk in the rain every once in a while. 

63. Drive with the windows down. 

64. Give someone a gift for no reason. 

65. Get a massage. 

66. Do something that gets your adrenaline running. 

67. Spend the day at the library or a book store. 

68. Organize your work space/ binders. 

69. Spend a weekend in. 

70. Recognize hard work and reward yourself. 

71. Sign up for a work out class. 

72. Eat lunch with a friend. 

73. Spend the day helping others. 

74. Get your hair done. 

75. Have a good cry. 

76. Use sticky notes. 

77. Color code your planner. 

78. Print out pictures and hang them up. 

79. Hang motivational quotes on your mirror and read them when you get ready. 

80. Do random acts of kindness. 

81. Buy fuzzy socks. 

82. Redecorate or rearrange furniture. 

83. Be present. 

84. Set a new years resolution. 

85. Make a bucket list. 

86. Stretch in the morning. 

87. Watch an interesting documentary. 

88. Make a music playlist.

89. Watch the sunrise or sunset. 

90. Explore somewhere new.

91. Be slow to respond to negativity. 

92. Have a game night with friends. 

93. Buy concert tickets. 

94. Have a nightly routine before bed. 

95. Eat your favorite dessert. 

96. Do something you've been putting off. 

97. Invest in essential oils. 

98. Manage your finances. 

99. Buy a new outfit. 

100. Make your own gratitude list. 

Try at least one of these every week and see how you feel! I guarantee you will notice a difference in the way you are living your life.

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The Art Of Falling In Love With Yourself, Again

Because the world gives us pain but we're making gold out of it.

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I started my self-love journey when I turned 15-years-old. Right at the brink of when life threw a curveball that I was not ready to catch with my own two hands, again. And I say again because now that I'm in college curve balls are thrown every chance they get.

But when I first began this journey, I looked up every video and every article that told me how to love myself, again. Every list that said to meditate, to embrace fears, to write sticky notes on mirrors, to write daily in a journal, I did all of that. I set a "goal" saying that I will love myself deeply and truly by the age of 18.

Here I am, 18, and still sometimes cannot grasp the concept of self-love.

Still cannot grasp the concept of falling in love with myself.

Pouring love into empty vessels, not of my own.

And falling in love with ideas of perfection.

To say the least, it's difficult. To say the most, it ebbs and flows.

Social media gives us glimpses of peoples' lives' and we call that perfect.

We call every smile, body, hair, skin, life, filter, and place, perfect.

It gives us fabricated images of what we aspire to be or look like so well that we fabricate it into our own lives.

But it's not just social media.

Or any kind of media.

It can be our friends.

Our family.

Our jobs.

The college we attend.

The organizations we're a part of that can make us feel like we have to live up to a certain standard.

A standard of love we never defined for ourselves to even understand.

A standard so fast-paced we don't even give ourselves room to slow down.

Room to grow.

Room to forgive.

Room to look into the shadows of our own hearts.

Slow down from thinking that you have to love yourself at a certain time, date, or year. It's never-ending.

Grow from the situations that made you feel not good enough.

Forgive yourself from the toxicity and self-doubt.

Look into the shadows of your own hearts and within the darkness, you'll find the light.

I promise you

You are the painter of this masterpiece you call self-love.

You hold the paintbrush and you hold the colors that create love, patience, perseverance, and resilience.

Don't confine yourself by videos you watch or articles you read to define what self-love, self-care, or falling in love with yourself looks like.

The art about falling in love with yourself, again is that you take control of what that love looks like.

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