Managing your mentality

Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re stressed out. Being a student means taking on a lot of responsibility and extra work in a life that more than likely already has quite a lot to deal with.

From family, to work, to any other anxiety inducing incidents that can spring up unexpectedly in this crazy thing called life, it’s no wonder people today have more problems finding the time and the energy to take care of themselves.

But as many health care providers will tell you, taking care of yourself is an important part of life that doesn’t have to be difficult to fit into a hectic schedule. So hopefully this story can give some tips to all those out there who have too much on their plate and need help balancing it all.

The first and most obvious piece of advice is that if you’re feeling stressed out you should go talk to a counselor or health care provider. Getting help from a professional is the best thing anyone can do to help work through life, and just being able to talk to a third party is a great way to help sort things out.

The college even offers free sessions with counselors on campus in the community center for any current students who just need to talk or get some resources for whatever is going on in their life.

Though there may be a stigma that sometimes surrounds seeing a counselor for mental health problems, it’s truly not an abnormal thing. Seeing and talking to mental health professionals is something that’s suggested for everyone to help with day to day stress and it doesn’t mean something’s wrong.

After all, people go to a doctor for check ups to make sure their bodies’ health is normal, why should your mental health be any different?

As CCC counselor Tamara Randall said “There’s still a lot of stigma about mental health, and I really want students to know that if they access our services that their identity and content of counseling is confidential.”

Besides talking to a mental health provider, one of the biggest things that can help you deal with stress is simply getting more sleep. As cliche as the advice is, scheduling enough time to get a full eight hours of sleep is one of the best things you can do both for your health and to help recuperate from anxiety.

Of course it’s not always so easy to keep a sleep schedule with work and studying; but scheduling your time around getting enough sleep and avoiding staying up late to cram can be a good way to help your body.

Making a schedule to help keep yourself organized can also be a good way of reducing anxiety. “The more organized the more you’re able to manage your course load, your workload; all of that stuff that’s going to lessen the anxiety,” said counselor Lupe Martinez.

But overall the most basic things you can do to get started of tackling anxiety are the more predictable things we’ve all heard before, things like eating well and taking breaks to prevent burn out and give ourselves time to relax help our systems stay healthy.

And those things can sound difficult to plan around and fit into a busy schedule, or just plain old boring to do. But as counselor Esther Sexton said, “Those are the things that are really boring, but they’re kind of cliche because they’re true.”

They’re necessary starting places for taking good care of yourself, and they don’t have to be hard to implement into your life. A good way to get started is by trying to make a schedule for yourself so you can get your school work done in an organized manner.

You don’t even need to write it down, try just setting a time or times in the day when you want to work on your assignments and do your best to stick to them; have some built in breaks and free time for yourself so you can relax and make consistent progress without cramming or trying to rush through the work all at once.

Another good trick to use is setting some time aside someday during the week to cook a meal and do it with others. Invite some friends over for a study session and make some spaghetti for all of you, or sit and make something nice for you and your significant other.

You can even use it as a great opportunity to spend time doing something fun with the family or kids and get some face time while making a nice meal. Whatever you make, and whoever you make it with, just make sure to make plenty of extra that can be your lunch sometime that week. Or a quick reheatable meal when you don’t have the time to cook and want to avoid fast food.

But more than anything, make sure to set some time aside for yourself as often as you can. Maybe even find a hobby you can do to relax between literally every other crazy part of your schedule. Because as hard as it can be to do, the only way you can take care of yourself is if you take the time to do it.