Today is World Mental Health Day, a day for advocacy and awareness of mental health issues. It’s a day to help remind us that we have to take care of not only our bodies but also our minds. This is quite true here at UC Berkeley, where practices that harm mental health seem to almost be encouraged. It’s important to remember, however, to not fall into a pattern of harming your mental health, as it can make your time at UC Berkeley miserable. Here are some tips to help maintain your mental health.
Sometimes it can feel like a competition to see who can pull the most all-nighters. But a good trick to help you feel miserable is not only to sleep very little but to never have a regular sleep schedule. If you feel terrible every morning, why not give a little extra sleep a try? It’s probably cheaper than your morning coffees.
Don’t dismiss your problems
It can feel easy to dismiss any issues we have by comparing them to the problems of the people around us. If your problems are making your life worse, however, then they are legitimate problems. Stop ignoring them and instead try to figure out how to deal with them.
Go walk in the sunshine
At some point, your schoolwork will burn you out and you might feel like you need to take a break. Why not do something completely different that has been proven to improve mood? Sunshine and light exercise are two things that help make a person happier, so take a quick walk to cope with the stress of life.
If you feel like you need it, take advantage of free counseling
If counseling feels like something that might be beneficial and you want to give it a try, remember that University Health Services offers counseling to any registered student. There is literally no harm in scheduling an appointment. Don’t ignore this benefit if you feel your mental state would improve with some licensed help.
Do something that will make you smile
Schoolwork and grades can invade your life with doom and gloom. If that is all that is in your life, then you can quickly become miserable. Make sure you still make time for hobbies or activities that you genuinely enjoy doing. At the very least, it can be something to look forward to during the week.
Remember — your mental health is important. You are not alone. We are all moving through this wonderful and terrible thing called life. Do what you can to enjoy the happy things between all the stressful things from your classes. You will get through this.