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Mental Health Tips: Back to School

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” 
Albert Einstein

In-Person Classes

Good morning and happy first day of classes! Getting back into a school routine can be very challenging after experiencing an online platform during the pandemic. It is important to have a plan set in place so your on-campus experience can prosper. Going back to in-person classes can trigger anxiety and depression. It is recommended to set goals for yourself in order to have a healthy routine on campus. As an incoming Junior, I can’t wait to share all of these awesome tips and tricks to combat anxiety on the first week back to school!

Remote Vs. In-Person

Throughout this semester change should be expected! It is very possible that at any moment we can go back to all online schools and that’s why I am encouraging you to take advantage of being in a classroom setting. For those of you who don’t know the difference, remote learning takes place all online and In-person takes place in a classroom setting on campus. If you have any classes that are hybrid you also have the chance to take advantage of some in-person learning. Push yourself to get to campus, you will feel much more successful having a steady routine.

“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” 
Tom Bodett

5 Tips to Prepare for In-Person Learning

Remember that you are not alone in this experience. You can easily justify your feelings by considering how all your peers may also be feeling. Going back to school is an anxious time and your emotions are completely valid.

  1. Get into a Routine
    • This first tip is a no-brainer. After your first week of classes, you should be well enough adjusted to come up with a stable routine. You don’t necessarily have to schedule your day by the hour, but to have some structure is an awesome way to stay organized. 
  2. Set Goals
    • Making a bi-weekly list of goals is very important for your drive in college. In creating these goals you will be enticed to reach them. Therefore you may become more active with your studies or workouts. Keeping yourself in check is very important for your mental headspace. 
  3. Organization is Key
    • Every week things can get misplaced and messy! Make sure to constantly keep re-organizing yourself and your space. A clear mind is a happy mind. 
  4. Stay Connected
    • Staying connected to a support system when you are away at school is very important. Whether you are confiding in your parents or home friends it is recommended to keep someone updated on your goals and life. 
  5. Be Optimistic
    • Not everything is going to go as planned when you are back on campus! Remember that that’s okay and life can sometimes throw you a curveball. If you are staying positive it will be easy to pick up that curveball and throw it right back at your life. Staying optimistic is the key to success in your on-campus journey.

Concluding Thoughts

Going back to school can definitely bring over some overwhelming feelings. If that’s the case for you, follow the tips shared above for a much more planned out semester on campus. Keeping yourself in check can lead to a much more positive mental space. Good luck with classes, you’re going to crush it!

Sources

https://www.kwqc.com/2021/08/10/dealing-with-back-to-school-anxiety-tips-mental-health-professionals/

https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-back-to-school-mental-health-tips/

https://www.inquirer.com/health/kids-return-to-school-mental-health-tips-20210729.html

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Mental Health Tips: Normalizing Therapy

“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” 
Shannon L. Alder

Therapy is a Great Solution

In the present day, many individuals have mixed feelings and concerns when it comes down to therapy. Imagine having a person who will listen to all your problems, anxieties, and fears with no judgment. Imagine being able to tell someone your deepest darkest secrets with total confidentiality. Even imagine having someone to support and guide you through your most stressful endeavors. Let’s be real, most of us struggle each and every day with stressors and unexpected situations. This is why it’s important to have someone outside of your inner circle to confide in about different issues. In 2021 it is plain and simple, therapy should be completely normalized and I am here to tell you why!

What is Psychotherapy?

When it comes to therapy many people have different ideas about what it is. For the purpose of this blog post and the tips, I am planning to share I believe it’s important we all think of the same definition when it comes to psychotherapy. According to the American Psychiatric Association “Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is a way to help people with a broad variety of mental illnesses and emotional difficulties. Psychotherapy can help eliminate or control troubling symptoms so a person can function better and can increase well-being and healing.”

“All children should be taught to unconditionally accept, approve, admire, appreciate, forgive, trust, and ultimately, love their own person.” 
― Asa Don Brown

How Can Psychotherapy Help?

Psychotherapy can help alleviate mental struggles that cause problems in your daily life. For example, this type of therapy is proven to help with difficulties coping with everyday life, the impact of trauma, depression, anxiety, etc. In the current state of the world, it is normal to be stressed and struggle to get through your day. If this pertains to you, it is important to ask for help. A psychotherapist can be the solution to your daily problems. Help yourself by speaking to a professional!

5 Tips to Maximize Your Therapy Session

When you finally acknowledge that your daily life is constantly being interrupted by any of the struggles listed above then you should begin to seek help. It is important to find a therapist that you connect with and feel comfortable opening up to

  1. Choose Wisely
    • When you recognize your need for a therapist don’t just settle on the one 5 minutes from your house. It is encouraged that you find someone that you really connect with. Your therapist should be confident in you and be very accepting. You should feel very comfortable speaking to your therapist. Search online and set up a couple of different consultations to find someone you adore.
  2. It Takes Two to Tango
    • Once you pick the therapist you like and schedule your first meeting it is important to remember that your therapist is there to help you. Your therapist isn’t there to instantly change the way you behave, this therapy journey is a collaboration of the two of you. Grasp onto any advice that is given to you and actually use it in your everyday life! Your path to wellness and success is a team effort. 
  3. Set Goals
    • This step is extremely important. When you go into therapy it is important to set realistic goals about what you want to get out of it. In doing so it is easy to track your progress and allow your therapist to help you to their maximum ability.
  4. Talk About Your Past
    • This tip may be the most challenging, but at the end of the day, it is the most healing. Speaking about your past can explain why you react to certain situations in the present day. Filling your therapist in on sad or traumatic events of the past can open up countless doors to solutions in the present. After speaking about these types of experiences a weight feels like it has been lifted off your back. 
  5. Be Honest
    • Your therapist isn’t there to judge or talk about you behind your back. Your therapist is there to solely listen to your problems and to help you work to better them. Therapy is a safe space to completely let loose and speak freely. In doing so you will definitely get the most out of it. 
“The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain.” 
― Gabor Maté

Sources

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/psychotherapy

https://psychcentral.com/lib/therapists-spill-tips-for-making-the-most-of-therapy#tips

https://www.twochairs.com/blog/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-therapy

https://www.self.com/story/what-to-talk-about-in-therapy

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Mental Health Tips: It’s Okay to Take a Self-Care Day

“Be you, love you. All ways, always.” 
Alexandra Elle

Back to Reality

As we get back into the speed of everyday life it is important to prioritize our mental health. Quarantine was a great time to reflect and focus on one’s self. This is why it is of the utmost importance to bring good self-care habits back into our daily lives. Whether you’re going to be in the office or you’re going back to school make sure you are prioritizing yourself. I know this is easier said than done, but in reality, our lives project stressful situations. It is completely valid to take a mental health day when overwhelming feelings or anxiety are consuming you. Treat a mental health day just like a sick day. Even if you are not physically ill, emotions and feelings can create an internal battle that feels equivalent. Today I am happy to share some awesome tips about taking a ‘self-care day!

What is a Mental Health Day?

For the purpose of this blog and the tips I would like to share with you it is important that we all think of the same definition when it comes to a Mental Health Day. According to Merriam-Webster, a Mental Health Day is “a day that an employee takes off from work in order to relieve stress or renew vitality.”

“Just when you feel you have no time to relax, know that this is the moment you most need to make time to relax.” 
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive

5 Tips About Taking a Mental Health Day

When you decide to take a self-care day it is important to remember its value. I am excited to share these trusted tips about different ways you can spend your time during these important days.

  1. Get a Good Night’s Rest
    • This first tip is key to having the most successful mental health day. Sleeping the recommended 8-10 hours will allow you to feel completely re-energized and ready to conquer the day. Although you might not choose to be very active throughout the day, it is important to feel well-rested in order to mentally feel better. 
  2. Write Down Your Goals for the Day
    • In taking a day off from work or school, it is important to want to accomplish different goals. When you set up a plan for the day you will feel much more balanced and in control. When you successfully complete different goals you should treat yourself with a Netflix episode, treat, or a hobby you like to do. 
  3. Relaxation is Key
    • If you are not the type that is plan-oriented do not worry! A mental health day can mean binge-watching a TV show all day long or taking a walk in nature. Whatever it is you feel at peace doing, I encourage you to do that. Different professionals  recommended the following activities for mental health days: a yoga class, massage, swimming laps at the gym, reading a good book, and meditating.
  4. Unplug From Your Stressors
    • If you are taking this day to take a break from school or work, you should make it a priority to completely unplug from those stressors. Don’t answer work emails or focus on those entities whatsoever. This day is about you so definitely make it a goal to fully relax. 
  5. Make Self-Care a Priority
    • On your mental health day, it is important to take care of yourself. Make sure you eat three nutritious meals and set aside some time to do something for yourself. Whether that’s a face mask or napping for a few hours this time is vital in helping your mental health state. 
“Just because you take breaks doesn’t mean you’re broken.” 
Curtis Tyrone Jones

Concluding Thoughts

Taking a mental health day can completely change your mindset for the future. It is important to remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. When you have poor mental health it is very hard to function. Taking a mental health day can completely re-set your mood and can have extremely positive outcomes. Choose a mental health day next time you feel like your life is falling apart and remember to be kind to yourself!

Don’t forget to check out my most recent blog post on cyberbullying prevention!

https://soul-dogs-inc.org/mental-health-tips-cyberbullying-prevention/

Sources

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mental%20health%20day

https://www.verywellmind.com/when-and-how-to-take-a-mental-health-day-3144754

https://www.self.com/story/mental-health-day-tips

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Mental Health Tips: Cyberbullying Prevention

“If you’re insulting people on the internet, you must be ugly on the inside.” 
Phil Lester

Prevention

In 2021 with advanced technology and access to communication it is easier than ever to become a victim of a bully. If you’re an adult this may sound silly, but humans of all ages are now targets because of the internet. The more information we tend to put out there the more negative feedback we receive. For some people, negative comments and opinions can really get to them. Cyberbullies find it easier to create backlash because they don’t have to face you directly in person. It is easier for them to hide behind a screen like a coward. In the long term, it is achievable to learn tips and coping mechanisms so these horrible people don’t affect your mental health. Your opinion is the only one that matters, so don’t let someone tell you differently!

What is a Cyberbully?

For the purpose of this blog and the tips I am planning on sharing with you, I would like us all to have the same definition in mind when it comes to cyberbullying. StopBullying.gov states that “Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.” Bullying can now follow you anywhere that you have access to the internet, this is why it’s important to embrace these tips for the rest of your life.

“There’s no room for hate and violence in this world. We must learn to be more kind, compassionate, empathetic, and sympathetic to humanity.” 
Germany Kent

5 Tips to Cope With a Cyberbully

It is important to remember that cyberbullies are usually a victim of some sort of bullying as well. These individuals already feel small and abused so they want to make others feel that way. It isn’t personal!

  1. Don’t Retaliate
    • In the heat of the moment when someone targets you online the first thing you might want to do is jump right back at their throat. It is important to ignore the comment they made and delete it if possible. In doing so the cyberbully is getting nothing out of his negative intent and will most likely move on to someone that will get a rise out of his or her comment. 
  2. Don’t Take it Personally
    • Advanced technology doesn’t have to make us victims. When someone comes at you online it is important to remember that it isn’t personal. The cyberbully is consumed with anger and only wants to expand his or her negative energy elsewhere. Rude comments should be ignored, deleted, and forgotten about. 
  3. Switch to a Private Account
    • To avoid cyberbullying as much as possible, it’s important to have a private account. On top of having a private account, it is important to only accept friend requests of people you know and feel comfortable with. There is nothing wrong with having a public account, but there is no censorship on what others can say or comment. The best way to avoid cyberbullies is to follow this tip. 
  4. Report Any Negative Comments
    • Overall social media pages have been very proactive about dealing with cyberbullies. On most platforms you can report a comment for bullying and the comment will be taken down by the administrators of the whole network. In doing so the cyberbully is being told that their criticism and negative backlash won’t stand. 
  5. Take a Technology Break
    • In a world full of high-speed technology and social media, it is important to give yourself a break from time to time. 30 years ago cyberbullies didn’t even exist! Unplugging from social media for a night or a couple of days will give you a chance to breathe and clear your head in a more peaceful setting.

“Replace cyber-bullying with cyber-believing.
Let us build each other up instead of bringing others down. BELIEVE & BUILD” 
Janna Cachola

Concluding Thoughts

Cyberbullying can, unfortunately, lead to feelings of depression, loneliness, and anxiety. It is important to proactively react to cyberbullies by following the tips above. Seeking help from a professional can also be extremely beneficial to your mental health. It costs $0.00 to be a nice person. Being a bully costs you your time, effort, and energy. Make the right decision and be an upstanding citizen. If you are a target of cyberbullying you can use this hotline, 800-273-8255, to get immediate help. 

Don’t forget to check out my most recent blog post on staying happy and healthy!

https://soul-dogs-inc.org/mental-health-tips-how-to-maintain-your-physical-health/

Sources

https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it

https://www.welivesecurity.com/2020/06/19/cyberbullying-adults-can-be-victims-too/

https://www.connectsafely.org/tips-to-help-stop-cyberbullying/

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Mental Health Tips: How to Maintain Your Physical Health

“Health is hearty, health is harmony, health is happiness.” 
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

You Are in Control

I know this is a mental health blog and physical health is different, but it is proven that physical health has an effect on mental health. In a world where most things are out of our hands, I am happy to inform you that you are in control of your physical health. We all individually decide what to fuel our bodies with. Exercising, getting a good night’s sleep, and eating the right way can improve your mental health. It all starts with you and what you want from yourself. If you are unhappy because you have gained weight you are able to make the decision to lose the weight. With effort and drive, you can definitely build the mental health confidence you never had.

Good Physical Health

For the purpose of this blog I want us all to have the same understanding of ‘good physical health.’ According to Medical News Today, “A person who has good physical health is likely to have bodily functions and processes working at their peak. This is not only due not only to an absence of disease. Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest all contribute to good health.”

“Your words control your life, your progress, your results, even your mental and physical health. You cannot talk like a failure and expect to be successful.” 
Germany Kent

5 Tips to Stay Healthy

Good health leads to happiness!

  1. Stay Active
    • Staying active is the key to maintaining good physical health. When I refer to staying active I don’t mean going to the gym every day for 2 hours. If that’s your thing, go you, but there are many other ways to stay active that aren’t so vigorous. From nature walks to swimming or playing a sport there are definitely fun ways to stay physically fit. Find something that appeals to you and stick with it! By doing so you are giving yourself an outlet to destress and create a better mental headspace.
  2. Eat Healthily
    • Eating the right way is all about a well-balanced diet and portion control. Over-eating is very common among humans. In order to have good health, it is important to consume nutritious foods. You don’t need to cut out all the junk food from your life, but I recommend consuming small amounts. If you are making s’mores with friends have 1 or 2 rather than 5. Eating the right way can make a large difference in your overall health.
  3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
    • Getting 8 hours of sleep is optimal for good physical health. Letting your body rest for that amount of time allows a period for you to re-energize. Poor sleep can cause overeating, exhaustion, poor mental health, and weight gain. I urge you to try and sleep 8 hours a night, you will feel like a new person.
  4. Stay Hydrated
    • This tip seems silly, but in reality, drinking water is extremely important for humans to function. Staying hydrated keeps you alive. There is not an exact amount of water that you should be drinking a day, but make sure you drink enough so you’re never quenching thirst. 
  5. Don’t Be Lazy
    • When you are given the option to take the stairs or the elevator, take the stairs. These extra steps can easily make or break good physical health. Try to be as active as you can and get creative! Forget ordering food, motivate yourself by walking to go get it. Motivation comes easier when we are not being lazy. 
“The greatest wealth is well-being.” 
Lailah Gifty Akita

Concluding Thoughts

At the end of the day, you need to remind yourself that you are in control of your own body. Practicing good physical health habits will only lead to better mental health. Find something active you love to do and set goals. Setting goals will allow you to see your physical health flourish. A healthy person is a happy person.

Don’t forget to check out one of my most recent blogs about Self-Love! https://soul-dogs-inc.org/mental-health-tips-how-to-love-yourself/

Sources

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/physical-health

https://www.nih.gov/health-information/physical-wellness-toolkit

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/27-health-and-nutrition-tips#TOC_TITLE_HDR_7

https://www.rush.edu/news/10-simple-ways-improve-your-health