I Struggle, You Struggle, We All Struggle With Mental Health

I Struggle, You Struggle, We All Struggle With Mental Health

Everybody has bad days, it's not just you.

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Since entering college, mental health has become increasingly more prevalent. With the stress of schoolwork, joining clubs, applying to internships, trying to find where you fit in, all on top of trying to live out the "best four years of your life", it's obvious that college has its ups and downs. From anxiety to eating disorders to depression to just feeling 'down', college really does it to ya.

While society is becoming more destigmatized to mental health, I personally don't see many people I know talk about it. Let's face it we all have hard days; I'll admit that November has already started off with a couple breakdowns. Something that makes it even hard is thinking that you're the only one going through these ups and downs, making you feel even more down. I'm writing this article with the hope of shaking that feeling from you all.

I asked several people to share their opinions on mental health: what it means to them and how they've had to deal with it through college:

What does mental health mean to you?

  • "Being free of depression, anxiety, and other disorders."
  • "It means taking care of myself and making sure I have the means to survive and succeed"
  • "Something that our university does not offer enough resources for."
  • "Not much."
  • "Feeling content, fulfilled, and confident in myself and my abilities."

When/what has been the lowest you've felt since entering college?

  • "Not having friends and realizing how fucking lonely it is sometimes being in a big university."
  • "Feeling completely alone and unwanted after realizing I had so much free time because I didn't have any plans with anybody at the end of my first year."
  • "The lowest I've felt is probably right now because of anxiety and uncertainty about the future and just having too much on my plate and feeling like I'm not enough."
  • "I think I've had low points during each part of college, just in different ways. My freshman year I was at a very low point because I was struggling to find where my true friendships were. My sophomore year I was very low because I was dealing with unrequited romantic feelings. Even now during my junior year, I'm struggling because I'm wondering if I've made the most of my time here, considering it's already half over. Every point in my college career has brought me a different struggle, none necessarily better or worse than others."
  • "The stress of five classes during midterms which caused me to drop a class."
  • "My winter quarter of freshman year, I was going through a breakup, I had no friends at school, I felt completely alone... I also got really sick, and I hit rock bottom overall, my grades dropped and I had little/ no motivation to even get up in the morning."

The point of this article isn't to make you feel bad for these people and take pity on them, it was to point out that everyone is going through things. Just because you see everyone on social media having a ball, don't let that bring you down. Just because you see everyone smiling and looking dandy on campus, doesn't mean they're happy 24/7. You're not alone with how you feel, however you feel. Mental health is a work in progress for everyone.


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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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Am I Going To Survive This Long Winter Break?

The feeling you get when you spend too much time with your family and you're ready to be back with your friends from school

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Yay! I am all finished with my final exams and projects for my classes this semester. I made it through the first semester of tis year when I was becoming worried and stressed. Now the grades are put in and I get a nice long break to relax, celebrate the holidays and spend time with family. However, I did not think that I would be craving to go back so soon after spending a few weeks with my family. I love them dearly, but since I am used to being away from them while at school to now having a whole month and a half off from school away from my friends, I know that there are going to be times when I get frustrated with my siblings or my even parents.

Thank goodness that I have a job this seasonal time or else I do not know what I would do. This will give me some time a couple of days out of the week to have some alone time and even meet new people at my job. It is not a bad thing to need this time away from family because it's normal, so if you are feeling guilty DON'T! Now that I have a part time job I will be making money to go and spend for myself or for Christmas presents for my family and friends. This is exciting because now when my mom, sister and I go shopping I can use the money I earned instead of feeling bad when I ask if my mom can purchase it.

The sad part about being out of school for so long is that I won't be able to see my friends because they live far away. For a whole semester of seeing them whether it was in class, going on our daily scheduled breakfast, lunch or dinner date, spending countless hours in the library, or just spending time together over the weekend. Now having a whole month and a half break of not seeing them is going to be so hard. When I need to call them because I am in need of someone to talk to besides my family I know they will answer and plus I will want to know how their break is going.

The most important thing for me to remember when I do get frustrated is that my family loves me very much and this is the time of year that brings us all together. When we pray for patience in stressful situations, God gives us the spirit and opportunity to be patient. In scripture in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter seven verse eight it states, " The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride". What God is telling us here in this scripture is that no matter how the frustration or argument may have started what matters is the end. God wants us to come together in love and forgive one another. Also He tells us that patience is better than pride because when we have patience for each other that is reflecting God's love.

This winter break may be long and I am thankful for it to use it as a time to relax and enjoy my family and I hop you do as well.

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