After what can only be described as a incredibly stressful first semester, members of the UVa community have been striving to ensure that the current semester fosters a much smoother transition. The events of the previous semester – marred by untimely deaths and a national scandal – coupled with the stresses of college life, have certainly taken a toll on the student body. In response, there has been an increase in events, such as those organized by the Patronus Project, meant to bring about a sense of dialogue and awareness in regards to mental health and how students can remain both informed and in control of their mental health.
Mental health is often stigmatized and something that people choose not to talk about. This is largely because there is a lack of information and knowledge on how to approach the matter, but it is evident that it is an issue in which we are all affected. As college students, the pressures of pursuing a post-secondary education as well as matters concerning our personal lives can prove to be too much and for many, it is not immediately palpable. However, seeing that these four years are a test of both our mental and emotional health, it is incredibly important to remain in check of all the forces acting within our lives and know how to respond to them accordingly.
Chilling out and keeping yourself relaxed may seem easy but at times, the belief that this feat is so simple makes the entire act quite difficult. The important thing to do when trying to reach that state is to not think and to simply let go.
Tip 1: Go For A Walk
This seems to be the go-to suggestion when you are trying to get someone to relax – and there is a reason for that! Not only are you getting in some exercise but also taking a break from the things that are troubling you. Breathing in the fresh air and taking in the new sights can definitely aid in bringing you to a state of calm as well as change the way in which you approach your issues since they are not directly in front of you.
Tip 2: Listen To Music
Classical, pop, rock, folk – it does not matter what you choose to listen to but music is definitely an agent that can help you relax. Getting lost in the music allows you to connect with all facets of a song (be it the lyrics, the beat, et cetera) and to take your mind off of the things that are overwhelming you.
Tip 3: Read and Write
As college students, we may not always have time to read for fun as much as we would want, especially with readings that we already have to do for our classes. However, taking even thirty minutes to read a book, magazine, or periodical that you enjoy can help brighten your mood and serve as a means of escape from your troubles. You can also write as well, whether it is a story or detailing the events of your day. Journaling is a wonderful way to compile the thoughts that, at times, can feel dizzying and never-ending within our heads. What you compose does not even need to be in complete sentences or phrases – the goal is to get your thoughts and feelings out when verbalizing them does not feel like an option.
College is one of the most transformative parts of one’s life and it allows us to come into contact with individuals from varying walks of life and backgrounds. It also allows us to think about who we are, what matters to us, and how to best approach the issues within our life. With the intense desire to be the best that we can be – and, at times, better than everyone else – we forget that our well-being is important and we should never lose sight of that.