May was Mental Health Awareness Month, yet for many of us, mental health discourse and education don’t stop right after the month ends—it’s an everyday struggle. According to the NIH, 1 in 5 adults live with mental illnesses which means we all know someone who is going through these difficulties. How exactly can we support our loved ones?
Don’t forget to take care of your own mental health as well. As you help, it can be overwhelming or possibly triggering. Make sure to take time, check in on yourself, and get help if you need it. Even after mental health awareness month ends, don’t stop the conversation or spreading awareness! It’s everybody’s job to ensure that we can support each other and ourselves and break from the idea that we need to live with these struggles alone.
“Mental Illness.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human
“Showing Support.” Campus Mind Works,
Sometimes when I write I like to imagine a painter painting exactly what I imagine directly onto the paper. But after essay and essay on end the painter runs out of paint and their brushes begin to break. I know I can not always challenge myself but when everytime I try to feels like a sculptor trying watercolors when all they know is clay and not being able to blend the colors correctly my mind simply will not wrap itself around the very whisper of the words that I am not immediately perfect at every task I set out to do. When a painter runs out of paint they can not possibly paint anymore. Yet still I question myself why I sit after finishing 5 assignments back to back unable to do the 6th. Perfectionism is a disease rooted in every corner of every generation and yet we still are unable to uproot and dispose of the unforgiving branches. Your words and work should have meaning and purpose and it is ok if it takes longer to do so. Although it may be hard to process at times.
Content Warning: Self harm/Suicide is mentioned towards the end
High school can easily be some of our most awkward and embarrassing years. Between figuring out yourself––what you like to wear, your hobbies, your future jobs, your likes, dislikes, and anything else anyone may ask you––and balancing extracurriculars, grades, and college applications, life can get very stressful. And this does not even begin to describe the awkwardness of being surrounded by a bunch of people your age for the majority of your time there. Everything all together is basically a recipe for disaster, or at least a lot of stress. Although stress can be good to an extent, too much stress never is.
The easiest way to kill time is to endlessly scroll through social media, and just like that, your 5-minute study break has turned into hours and hours. With over 800 million users worldwide, TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms at the moment. The platform is filled with short 15-60 second videos that don’t require much commitment to get through, especially with the repetitive nature of some of the content. The feeling of missing out is one that can be quickly fixed, with videos at the top of each popular audios easily explaining what’s going on. Yet, as more and more content is created, the app is seeming to reflect much of the toxic attributes of other social media platforms, like Tumblr and Instagram.
Days go by that continue to feel different, but it’s important to know that we’re all in the same boat. During these unprecedented times, it’s essential to establish healthy habits and a new sense of normalcy that makes us feel less stressed. Implementing structure into our daily routines can go a long way in helping increase and maintain productivity, while also helping our social and emotional well-being. The simplest things we do can help keep life feeling somewhat normal, structured, and fulfilling. Some habits and parts of your routine you should incorporate include:
With the many problems COVID-19 has brought, rising tensions is one of the most prominent. Oftentimes we find ourselves getting annoyed over little things like one too many questions from our little siblings, or our friends saying something in a slightly aggressive tone.
During the pandemic, I, like many other people, have found myself with more time on my hands than usual. In some way, that is a good thing—I can fill my time with things I enjoy doing and live on my own schedule for the most part. However, I also found myself with a lot more time to myself and my own thoughts than before. To fill that time, I found myself taking in a lot of media—podcasts, television, music… you name it. It got me thinking—is that healthy? Are distractions from our mental state healthy in the long run? From my research I learned that experts say that if used in a healthy and managed way, distractions can actually be good for you.
There’s a train that goes through my body every day. I wake up every morning and get ready to stare at the scenery that goes past the window. I know I am inside myself but I see pictures of pretty blue houses in suburban neighborhoods and ice cream trucks with lines of children waiting for their turn.
This pandemic has taught me one thing, and that is to appreciate having a bathroom next to my bedroom. I can’t explain how thankful I am to be able to run to my bathroom and have the excuse of my bowel system to get away from the madness that can explode in my house.
By Gillian Mulder
Have you ever scrolled through social media or even read a book and felt like your mind was drifting elsewhere? Perhaps you were in an uncomfortable, stressful, or boring situation, where you zoned out and watched the world around you go on, but you yourself weren’t interacting with it in real-time? That's dissociation, and everyone’s done it at least once.