Everyone at one point or another has had to face some sort of adversity, that’s undeniable. Whether it’s a breakup, a rift in a friendship, familial problems, school stress or mental health struggles, we’ve all been in a dark place at some time in our lives. Over the last semester, I’ve experienced a lot of personal hardship within my relationships and my mental health. Being a second semester senior has really caught up to me and the impending phase of change in my life has weighed on me heavily. However, it’s okay to accept that some points in your life will feel really shitty. On the flip side, it’s important to figure out what you can do to help yourself come out of those periods of time a stronger, more independent and all around better version of yourself. Not everything works for everyone, but here are some of the things that I’ve been doing to keep myself from succumbing to my current stressors.
1. Start or continue exercising
Obviously we all know that exercising is a good thing to do to benefit your overall health; it not only benefits your physical health, but also your mental health (yes, yes we know). I found that pushing myself to stay consistent with my workout routine really boosted my mood and allowed me to release any bad feelings I was having in a healthy way. Exercising releases endorphins, which contribute to your happiness, as well as helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. Whether you prefer running, biking, walking, yoga or HIIT, getting up and moving every day at least for a little while can drastically help you to keep going and push through your issues.
2. Don’t socially withdraw
Sometimes pushing yourself to go out and have a good time with your friends is difficult when you’re feeling particularly down, I get it. I’m a firm believer in knowing when your social battery is too drained to go out, but I also think it’s really important to avoid withdrawing completely from your normal social scene in times of stress. Going out for a drink or having a girls night in might allow you to forget about your internal stressors for a little while and release some pent up energy. Being surrounded by friends and people who can support you through your difficult periods is important for your growth.
3. Start or continue a healthy diet
People handle stress in different ways; some lose their appetite while others feel hungry at all times. Regardless of how you tend to react, push yourself to fuel your body with nutritious food. If you’re eating well, you will no doubt feel better inside and out. A healthy diet can not only benefit your figure, but also your skin, hair, nails and even your mental health. Eating healthy foods consistently should be a priority when you’re at a difficult point in your life.
4. Self care, self care, self care
Taking care of yourself and doing things that you enjoy are essential to growth and healing. Whether it's taking yourself to get your nails done or out for a nice meal, journaling or even just going for a drive to scream along with your favorite music, listen to yourself and do whatever will make you feel better. Taking the time to do something you genuinely enjoy will boost your mood and self esteem more than you might think.
Listen, life sucks sometimes, there’s no getting around it. The good news is, all pain is temporary and there are ways to cope with it before it’s finally exited your system. Find what works for you and always keep it in mind. Taking care of yourself in all respects will only help you blossom into a better version of yourself. The bottom line is, you have to value and take care of yourself. Keep yourself as your top priority, do what you want and all the other stress will slowly start to fade; just be patient.