Your Midterm Mental Health Check-Up

 

It’s the second most dreaded time of the school year.. Midterms! For some reason our professors felt that one week of broken-out skin, stress eating pizza, and late nights at the library aren’t enough, so they give us one more: midterms week. If you are a perfectionist like me, then midterms are your actual nightmare. You'll find me walking around campus like a zombie from lack of sleep, wearing leggings, with my hair in a messy bun, because ain’t nobody got time to waste on perfectly winged eyeliner during midterms (but if somehow you manage to do this, I bow down to you).  

On a more serious note, if you struggle with anxiety or other mental illnesses, midterms can actually be really rough. In a world full of mental-health stigma, and people telling you to just “push through it”, I’m here to tell you it’s okay not to be okay. To some people, it may just be a paper and a couple of tests, but to others it may be something that keeps you tossing and turning all night long. If this is something that is causing a really big impact on your life, I recommend talking to a professional. But for now, I’ve put together a list of a few things that can help ease the stress that midterms can bring.

 

1.  Write it Out

There is something so soothing about writing out your problems. It doesn't have to be neat or pretty, just put pen to paper and let loose. I like to make “anxiety lists” where I just write down every little thing running through my brain, so I can really see what I’m dealing with.

 

2.  Release Those Endorphins

Getting your heart rate up through exercise is scientifically proven to boost your mood. It releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that help improve your mood. Exercising is a healthy way to cope with your emotions, and can be something as simple as taking a walk outside in the fresh fall air. In the famous words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”

 

3. Pull a Colibe Calliat and “Just Breathe”

Taking deep breaths using your diaphragm has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress. Just breathing can even lower your blood pressure when done right. Next time anxiety seems to be getting the better of you, close your eyes and take ten deep breaths. You’ll feel your body start to slow down, and your mind start to clear up.

 

4. Spend Time with People Who Make You Laugh

We all have that one friend, or group of friends. The ones that every time you are with them you have the good kind of tears rolling down your cheeks. The ones who give you those pee-your-pants kind of laughs. The ones who can get away with telling risky jokes, because you end up on the floor every time. When times get rough, these people are your lifeline to a good time.

5. Take the Day Off and Treat Yo Self

In the end we all need to realize our limits,and know when we need to take a step back.

Sometimes you just need a “you” day and that is okay! I repeat, it is okay to take a day off and do something just for you! Clear your schedule and treat yourself! Do something that makes you happy. Whether it’s getting your nails done, or going on a long drive and screaming all the words to your favorite Taylor Swift song. Sometimes we need to give our minds a break, so we can get back in the game at full capacity.

To all of you out there dealing with midterms right now, here’s your reminder to take a deep breath, take a break, and then get out there and rule the world!