by FIONA MACK '22
With third quarter exams around the corner, spring sports coming into play, and the spring musical in the works, it is easy to become overwhelmed. While schedules are growing busier and busier, it is important to find time in the day to relax or do something beneficial towards your mental health. With homework or other sources of stress piling up, something as simple as taking a five minute break to benefit your mental health could make a big difference in your day. Here are some tips and tricks to benefit your mental health from mental health professionals:
Write your thoughts down. This could take many forms, such as a gratitude journal or a way to let out frustrations from the day.
Keep a positive mindset. In times of chaos and stress, trying to put a positive spin on the situation can help boost your mood.
Take walks. Taking a walk will force you to take a break when you need one and help you step away from the stress and into nature.
Make a list of your loved ones. Build a list of people you trust to show you that you’re not alone and there are people who care about you and want you to succeed.
When you find yourself caught in an anxious thought, ask yourself “and then what?” This will force you to push your thought process forward.
While these tips from professionals are certainly beneficial and should definitely be put into practice, help can be found right in your community. After interviewing Grace Milton '22, a member of Saint Ursula Academy Hope Squad, I found her top five simple self-care tips that she would give:
You have to be there for yourself before you can effectively be there for others. This could mean doing self-reflection throughout your day to listen to what would most benefit you rather than benefiting others or simply taking a step back for a weekend and focusing on yourself.
Get enough sleep. TEven two more hours of sleep will benefit you and your mental health more than staying up late to finish homework or to study for a test.
Find things that interest you or bring you joy. This could be as simple as waking up earlier on a weekend to see a sunrise to exercising or enjoying a hobby such as painting or singing.
Be honest with yourself and others about how you are feeling. Finding time in your day to self-reflect or talk with a loved one can help you feel more grounded and secure when life seems out of control.
Create tangible goals for yourself. These goals could be big or small but it is important to stay focused on the end goal and keep your mind open. There may be obstacles on the way to reaching your goals but a positive mindset and a strong support system will help you overcome these challenges.
While these goals can seem cliché, in overwhelming times they are often overlooked or forgotten, especially in times where they are needed most. During the stressful time of exams or in other times of challenge, take time to focus on yourself and your mental wellbeing.
Miller, Korin. “11 Little Mental Health Tips That Therapists Actually Give Their Patients.” SELF, 9 Nov. 2017, https://www.self.com/story/11-little-mental-health-tips-that-therapists-actually-give-their-patients.