My Mental Health and Me: A Long-term Relationship

As a post-millennial woman in a long-distance relationship and on the journey through college, the work to balance my relationship, class work, family, extra-curricular activities, mental health, and friends is never-ending. The weight of one is sometimes heavier than another and more often than I’d like to admit, equally as important as the other pieces of my life, it’s the mental health that takes the brunt of mostly being left behind.

In the rigor of college, it’s easy to get caught up in everything that’s due at 11:59 that night or the next night. It’s easy to get so into a routine that you forget to check in with your body and delve into how you’re actually feeling surrounded by all of your responsibilities that seemingly continue to pile up. It’s also easy to forget who you are, as you give so much of yourself to the relationships in your life that you still get caught up in the current rushing you away from individuality.

While every relationship in your life may seem equally important, single or boo’d up, the relationship that you have to yourself is a top priority. It is harder to give your all in your social life when you have nothing to take from and taking the time for yourself gives you the space to not only check in, but keep the individuality that doesn’t allow you and your goals to suffer. So, how do you go about checking in with yourself when everything around you is asking for your attention?

Find the time to meditate. Meditation allows you to learn how to observe your feelings and thoughts so that you’re able to better understand them, and ultimately yourself. It’s easy to begin, meditation is something that you can do lying down and focusing on your breathing allowing your body to become relaxed. The benefits of meditation are less stress and anxiety, improved blood circulation, and you’ll feel more in tune with yourself. If you practice meditation consistently enough, knowing exactly how you feel and what’s too much to handle mentally will come like clockwork.

Give yourself some space. This is my personal method of self-check-in. When you take the time to put some space between your responsibilities and your mind, the results are really freeing. Allow yourself the freedom of uninterrupted time with you, put your phone on Do Not Disturb and pick a guilty pleasure of your choice and just spend some time with yourself.

    Ask yourself daily questions throughout the day. A great idea for a daily self-check-in, so you know if what you’re doing to take care of yourself is too little or just right. Ask yourself similar questions to: “How am I feeling? / What is making me feel down?” “What am I thankful for?” “What am I putting off?” “Do I have enough quiet time?” “What is standing between me being my best self?” These questions attack what may plague your emotions throughout the day and the answers are worth exploring. In addition to the questions, you may find it useful to record your answers in a journal, just to keep track of the problems that may arise and how you want to attack them.

It’s a great idea to always work on being the best you that you can be, because your relationship with yourself sets the tone for the relationships that you’ll allow yourself to be in with other people. It’s important to always remember to be nice to yourself and kind to your body, you’re really all you’ve got!