As we head back to school –in a midst of a pandemic– it’s important that we remind ourselves to check in on our mental health. Beyond the stigmatizations, mental health is real and must be acknowledged. A well mind is a valuable asset –the first step towards all other success.
I’m no mental health expert. I questioned how I could be speaking on this topic when I myself have struggled long and hard with the subject, until I realized that is exactly why I should be talking about it. I am the average college student who needs to keep herself in check. Like many others, I battle stress and anxiety on a daily basis, and the occasional breakdowns aren’t foreign to me either. Here’s what works for me:
Personally, school is one of the greatest sources of my anxiety. As someone who likes to keep their GPA steady, I always want to be on top of my schedule and deadlines often make me quiver. After years of struggle, I realize that what makes it worse is my lack of acknowledgement. The key for me was to recognize what troubles me, and then devise a method that would help me gain mental stability.
Because I know that deadlines give me major anxiety, I started planning out my work schedule to get things done ahead of time. If an assignment is due on Wednesday, I need it done by Monday. Obviously, it’s easier said than done. Keeping up with a planner itself is a challenge, but with time I find consistency. As a new academic year begins, I am bound to find myself in a rut, but I remind myself to power through.
But just because I’ve found a loophole to my anxiety doesn’t mean it’s always sunshine and butterflies. This is just something that helps me lessen it. Bad days are a part of life, and no human can eradicate their stress completely. There will always be something or the other that will make you lose yourself, but finding the little things that make it easier will always be worth it. We can’t cure our anxieties, but we sure can help them.
This is where priorities come into play. No matter what the situation is, be it school or your love life, it’s important to make yourself your first priority. You need to make the world work around your well being instead of conforming yourself to the world. This sounds impossible, I know, but it can be done. Take it one step at a time. Recognize your anxieties, recognize your stressors, and then find what works for you. It’s a game of trial and error. When you find your flow with your mind, everything else will fall into place. Trust the process!
As the Fall 2020 semester convenes, I encourage you to face your challenges head on. Be it with online classes or social anxiety, I want you to acknowledge your weaknesses and play them against your strengths. You are so much stronger than you think you are.
Last but not least, remember that there’s always resources for you to reach out to. There is always a helping hand. And if you seem lost, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email either. We need each other.