Going home at the end of the semester can tend to take a negative toll on people’s mental health, especially when dealing with a pandemic semester. There’s a lot to unpack and cope with, and realistically, a change in environment can be difficult for anyone to adjust to, so here are some tips for ways you can take care of your mental health while you’re home for break.
- Establish a routine – Over break, it’s easy to stay in bed and watch TikToks all day, but it can take a toll on your mental health. According to AltaMed, humans depend on having a stable and dependable routine in order to be productive and function normally. Try sticking to a daily routine to make yourself feel a little more grounded.
- Journal about your feelings – Journaling is a great way to sort through your thoughts and understand how you’re truly feeling. Whether you do it every day or just when you have some emotions you need to process, journaling is a great strategy for mindfulness that can help improve your mental health.
- Utilize Syracuse University resources – Even though we’re not on campus, 24 hour counseling is still available from the Barnes Center. This is a great resource if you’re struggling with your mental health and could benefit from talking to a professional. The Barnes Center even has a guide specific to dealing with anxiety while living in a global pandemic.
- Go for a walk – If it’s nice enough where you live to go for a walk, take advantage! The fresh air will do wonders and it’s a productive way to be alone with and process your thoughts.
- Find a distraction activity – Sometimes when you’re struggling with mental health, the best thing to do in that moment is find a distraction. Anyone who knows me well knows I tend to use Webkinz as a distraction, but the possibilities are endless. You could read a book, watch a movie, bake some cookies, or honestly anything that’s going to distract you and make you feel a little happier.
- Talk to friends – You have an entire chapter of friends who are always there to help you when you’re feeling down. Don’t hesitate to reach out when you need someone to talk to.
- Prioritize yourself – It’s so easy to get caught up in the stress of finals and the holidays, but remember it’s okay to set boundaries and it’s okay to say no to things sometimes. It’s important to put yourself first and make sure you’re getting the self-care you need.
- If applicable, stay on top of your medications – This obviously does not apply to everyone, but it’s incredibly important. When your routine and environment are changing, it’s not uncommon to forget about taking your medications, so set reminders for yourself!
- Be transparent with your friends and family – No one expects you to be okay 100% of the time. If you’re comfortable, letting your family and friends know how you’re feeling can allow them to give you the help and support you need.
- Remember you’re not alone – Whether you have mental illness or your mental health is just struggling a little, there is someone out there who relates and knows exactly how you’re feeling. There’s always people there to support you and help you through the tough times.
Happy holidays and if you ever need someone to talk to, you can text me whenever!