Just because these are the ‘best years of our lives’ (so far!!) doesn’t mean they’re all warm and fuzzy all the time. There are lows with the highs, and everyone experiences them. Luckily there are things you can do to break the cycle and get back to making memories that your children will be horrified by!
1- Assess the root of your worry
- What is it that’s actually bringing you down? Are you really freaking out about next weeks essay, or have you convinced yourself that if you don’t do spectacularly well, you’re a failure and you’ll always be a failure? Is it your part-time job sending you over the edge, or the fact that you have to have one and none of your other friends do? By finding what is really bringing you down, you’ll be more able to work on the problem and get yourself back to being wonderful you!
2- Work on the problem
- What concrete steps can you take to lessen your worries? If you are spread too thin socially, academically and financially, make a list of all the commitments you have regularly each week (yes, studying does count!) and figure out which ones aren’t actually necessary to your survival, and you could happily live without. Or even better, see if you can do things on a bi-weekly or monthly schedule, so instead of every Monday you’re doing it every other Monday- huzzah! Free time to relax!
- Don’t forget to take a deep breath every once and a while, and do you. You are of way more use to your friends, society and yourself when you’re not teetering on the brink of despair! Get an early night once in a while, stay in and watch a film–find something passive that you can do to bring you back to reality. Caitlin Moran said it best, “nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a a full-on nervous breakdown- you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit.”**
4- Know when to get help
- You know yourself better than anyone else, if you know that something is truly wrong, and you’re worried- get help. It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. Just by being you, you have accumulated an amazing support system of friends, but that’s not always enough. Talk to a GP, a school councilor, Nightline if you’re in St Andrews–anyone you feel comfortable with. These people are trained to help you, and they’ve chosen their professions because they want to help you. Always treat yourself the same way you would treat your best friend. If you saw he or she was in a really bad place, what would you do?
5- Take preventative measures
- An ounce of prevention, pound of cure….etc..etc… The best way to keep yourself grounded and happy is to look out for future you. Eat well and exercise- no, this doesn’t mean suddenly become vegan and join the cross country team, it just means live mindfully. Try to up your fruits, veggies and whole grains (quinoa stir fry anyone??) and take the stairs instead of the lift, or go for an extra walk during the day if you’re not the hard-core gym type. Fresh air can do you a world of good! Get an early night once in a while, or have a lie-in when you can. Drink plenty of water, and stay on top of your school work! Keep it a molehill, don’t let it turn into a mountain.
**The link to Caitlin Moran’s full article: http://brouhahadreamer.tumblr.com/post/55349059350/my-posthumous-advice-for-my-daughter
St Andrews Nightline website: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/nightline/
A great link for mental health support in Fife: http://www.moodcafe.co.uk/