Take a break for mental health

Ashlyn Korienek

The end of the semester is approaching, projects are building up and the workload is becoming overwhelming for some students on Grand Valley State University’s campus. Let’s be real, even if we are often held to high standards, we cannot always be super human.

Being a student is not easy, especially with the plethora social and political issues going on in 2016, but it’s important to remember to focus on your mental health.

When you wake up in the morning and scroll through Facebook, it’s likely you will run into a variety of news articles and social commentary by your friend list that might leave you feeling down. If you’re finding it difficult to focus on school work or daily tasks, remember to refocus and take care of yourself. You might not have time to plan a day at the spa, but simple changes in your lifestyle can be monumental.

Self-care is extremely important to maintaining a clear mind and a healthy lifestyle. Maybe you have an hour in between classes, you don’t have any homework due until Thursday and you haven’t slept in almost 24 hours, then that nap you have been thinking about might be the best option.

Treat yourself every now and then, eat a healthy snack or drink some green tea and watch an episode of “Friends” on Netflix. Most importantly, do whatever makes you happy whenever you have the chance.

Another act of self-care involves taking the time to recognize the positive things in your life. Take notice of your successes, and give yourself a pat on the back for the 10-page term paper you wrote all semester. Call up your friends and plan a movie night or tell a loved one you are thinking about them. Small actions can sometimes turn a bad day into a fairly decent one.

Often, it’s a struggle remaining positive with a mass amount of bad news and a long list of tasks to complete, but simple acts of kindness can make a difference in someone else’s day as well, even if this means offering a shoulder to lean on to a friend or giving out free hugs to strangers.

More importantly, mental health is not a topic to take lightly. If you need someone to talk to, the GVSU Counseling Center provides services to students and might be beneficial. If you are too scared or nervous to make that step, then try reaching out to a close friend or someone you trust. It’s not easy asking for support, but these groups and systems can save lives and make a difference in numerous ways.

This semester, take the steps you feel are necessary to ensure positive mental health. While in college, it’s easy to get lost in your schedule and forget about the small victories in your life. Remember, you can’t always do everything and sometimes you just need to give yourself a break.