Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

In high school, I struggled with my mental health. I always felt a blanket of tension over my chest, feeling like I could never feel a sense of peace. I realized that I was in a constant search for a breath of fresh air. Although coming to this understanding was the first step in the right direction, it was not easy to find things that recharged my battery. After surviving through a few more years and having a bit more experience about myself, I have developed a few strategies and found activities that felt like my breath of fresh air. If you are feeling the same way and in search of something that will energize you, maybe some of the things I have learned could help you. You are never alone!

Vitamin D, Vitamin D, Vitamin D

When I was younger, I never realized a repeating pattern in my life. However, as I got older I realized that the times I struggled the worst mentally was during the winter months. I often felt just about as good as it looks and feels outside during the frigid winter in Illinois. The gloomy days made me feel gloomy. Being snowed into my room made my mind go wild. Not being able to sit outside on my front porch made me feel trapped. I would argue that I struggled with seasonal depression, as SO many people do. It’s hard to stay happy when it’s -20 outside! Although I’m not mother nature and can’t change the weather, I have come to appreciate any ounce of sun that I can get. Sometimes that’s all you need. A literal breath of fresh air. Even when it’s cold, I’ve learned how important it is to get outside and get a daily dose of sunshine. 

Learn to be OK Alone

Another thing that I struggled with before I learned how to control my mind was being alone. I hated being alone because that’s when my mind would never stop. When I was socializing, having conversations, doing homework, literally anything else, I could keep my mind occupied. On the other hand, when I was alone trying to relax in my room, it was the exact opposite. I would dread the 30 minutes in between school and when my parents got home for work because I knew it would just be me and my thoughts. I feel sad for that girl, scared to be by herself. Because now, I get scared when I don’t have alone time often enough! I have learned that in order to calm my brain down, I need to calm myself down. I need time to recharge my social battery. My brain can’t be occupied 24/7. I wonder if that almost made my mental health worse. After realizing how much I treasure and need alone time, it started to feel like my breath of fresh air. I made my room a safe space, not one that I felt anxious in. It made a world of difference for me.

Put in Your Headphones

The last breath of fresh air I want to mention today is the importance of music. Although not everyone is a big music fanatic, it can help calm you down. No matter the instance, I found that music was something that could stop my mind when I was alone and it wouldn’t stop running. It helped me focus on my homework when I couldn’t stop stressing about something else. I found that there is not only one type of music that helps me. I don’t type in “calming music,” “relaxing beats,” or anything of the sort. I listen to what makes me happy! Or what makes me sad! Whatever I want because that’s what music is supposed to be. Let your favorite song become your breath of fresh air!

Kate Hatlestad

Augustana '24

I love HC and I love the freedom it allows for all kinds of creativity. Happy to be apart of this team and a group that supports so much of what I do!!!
Similar Reads👯‍♀️