Finally Spring break, the time for beaches, cruises, sleeping, and something a little more serious… Mental Health awareness.
It’s a time to talk about taking a break from what causes you stress, relaxing after a hard day, and learning a little bit about what can cause people to become less in control of their lives. Mental illness and mental health is not a joke. 1 in 5 people may be affected by mental illness in their lifetime (Nami, 2018, https://www.nami.org/mentalhealthmonth ). Why does this matter? Because it could be your friend, your sibling, your classmate, or even you.
Mental health can show itself in various ways, it doesn’t always have to be obvious. Depression may show itself as sad, unable to do everyday activities, tired, and even feeling an overall lack of purpose for life. Lately, I’ve found depression show itself in other forms like seasonal depression. Sometimes winter time can make someone feel lonely, and not as likely to feel like themselves. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to cry, to feel emotional, and to feel a little out of control.
Some tips for finding your way on a tough day:
-Talk to your friends
Talk to your friends. As hard as it may seem, friends will understand. And even if they don’t, they will try. I know for me, that I couldn’t have done half of my life without my friends supporting my decisions. Friends may not know always what to say, but they will be your best listeners.
-Talk to a professional
JMU Health Center offers amazing resources for student counseling sessions, that don’t break your bank! ( https://www.jmu.edu/counselingctr/ )
-Take a day for me
Treat yourself. Have a “self care” day, enjoy a hot bubble bath, and re-watch your favorite movie.
-Take a day to cry
It’s okay to cry. Sometimes you need to just lay up in your bed, eat a tub of ice cream, and just cry your heart out. It’s super therapeutic, and you’ll feel better.
You can break the chain of a negative bias against mental health. Mental awareness should be discussed, because the more we talk about it, the less stigmatized it becomes.
End the stigma. Be THAT person.
Featured Image: (Picture: Therapy, Website: Pexels)