Guess what? It’s Mental Health Awareness Week! (wooo!) And in case you didn’t know, wellness is an integral part of taking care of yourself and feeling grounded, especially when dealing with a mental health issue. Well Woman is here to remind you:
Do people ever talk to you about “wellness,” and you say, “Oh of course super important yes” but you’re really thinking, “How do I do that because I have three essays and an advisor meeting and a club event and I have to Skype my dog/cat/ferret back home”? Practicing wellness can be tough and seem intimidating, especially when dealing with a full course load, friends, and everything else life can throw at you–it can be really hard to put yourself first. But there’s hope! There are ways to make practicing wellness easier and take the burden off your shoulders a bit. Given the fact that it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, what better time to reiterate my life motto with a couple of suggestions? It can be tough to treat yo self, but there’s no shame in taking a second to breathe. Here are a couple of simple ways to get started!
- There’s a really wonderful online flow chart I came across in my Facebook news feed (shout out to Evie if she reads this). Sometimes putting yourself first is difficult when you’ve got a billion other things to do. This interactive guide is a way to take the pressure off of yourself. It prompts you with questions about self-care, and you can answer them at your own pace. It also gives you time to accomplish self-care tasks throughout. Check it out if you think about showering, sleeping, or taking medicine, but you tell yourself: “I’ll do it later.”
- The Furman Counseling Center at Barnard has a great page of online resources. You can choose what you’re looking for in the sidebar (support for depression, anxiety, sleep trouble, etc.) and it leads you to a ton of cool exercises, links, videos, and other ways to take care of your mental health. So even if it’s 2 AM and you’re feeling funky but can’t go to see a counselor, this is always available.
- If you have a smartphone, and you are able/down to pay $2.99 for an app (ugh), there is a fabulous one called The Mindfulness App, which can lead you through guided or silent meditations, schedule meditation times, and do lots of other rad things.
- Practice wellness with a friend! Convenient, fun, and almost certainly more likely to get you to do it. If you have a roommate, you can make a pact to hold each other accountable for getting to bed at a certain time. Make a deal with a friend to go Jogging with Jacey on Thursdays at 4. Even schedule some time in your day (literally, put it in your calendar) to read, draw, sing, or do whatever else with a friend that makes you feel good. And this way, you’ll be held accountable and can’t skip. You can also come to Well Woman during our Peer Ed office hours and work with any one of us to make a Wellness Plan. If Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle from Parks and Recreation can make sure they practice wellness, you and your buds can too.
Taking care of yourself is a pretty necessary part of taking care of your mental health. This Mental Health Awareness Week, take some time to make sure you’re, as The Beatles say, “feeling fine.” And remember, during the other 51 weeks of the year: it is always important to treat yo self.