Tag Archives: mental health

Mind Over Matter: Stay Mentally Healthy at UNC

Carolina is an amazing place to be and learn BUT LETS BE REAL, at times it can feel stressful and challenging. As assignments pile up and exams approach, it is natural that your levels of anxiety and stress rise. Along with academics, being away from home can be difficult to adjust to and cope with, therefore we understand how hard it can feel. However, we want to make your years here as pleasurable and stress free as possible!

Ask For Help!

First thing to keep in mind is that it’s okay to seek help. UNC can be academically challenging at times and we recognize that. That’s why if you’re are struggling don’t be afraid to speak with your Teacher Assistant or even your professor to receive additional help. Luckily, Carolina provides free tutoring sessions in Dey Hall or in SASB North, so take advantage of these resources! Also, ease your mind by speaking with a friend, classmate, Residential Advisor, etc as their is someone always willing to listen. Also since everyone is pretty much on the same boat as you, it won’t be hard for someone to understand what you’re going through.  We understand that the struggle is real but don’t let that hinder your from feeling or doing your best at Carolina! There are also mental health professionals located at Campus Health that are dedicated to ensure you can be your best mentally while at Carolina, so schedule and appointment or walk in to get a chance to speak with them!

For The People, By The People.

There are many mental wellness organizations created by students for the students that are dedicated to promote positive wellness  among the student body. If this is something you’re passionate about or if you need a community that can take time to understand and help you overcome those difficulties then be sure to check out those organizations. HeelLife is a UNC portal that allows students to scope through the surplus of organizations at Carolina. You can filter your search with any keyword to find the one that best fits you. To get you started there are a few popular organizations that we have included here. One of them is known as We Wear the Mask which is a group focused on decreasing the stigma around mental health within the African American community to promote better ways to approach mental health. Another organization is known as Embody Carolina, which was started by a Miss UNC Campaign that now has been established as a organization. The organization strives to portray a positive outlook towards body image and body positivity. Healthy Heels is another group found within UNC that is orchestrated by students ambassadors, who are committed to advocate a healthy lifestyle for students through workshops, pitsits, and other events. So through the highs and lows you may experience during your college career, never forget that we’re all in this together!

Me, Myself and I

We hope you understand that though we are here to get our degrees and pursue our careers,  it’s okay to focus on ourselves, as our health is way more important. So make sure you are taking time to take care of yourself. You can do so by incorporating self care days and time to relax into your schedule! Take some “me” time by doing one of the following self-care ideas or anything else that would better suit you:

  • Watch a few episodes of your favorite show
  • Treat yourself with some ice-cream or favorite desert
  • Go to the gym and get a workout in
  • Chill with your friends

Having a balance between school and your personal time is very essential.  Don’t be shy to use the endless resources around you or your peers for a listening ear or an extra hand. The struggle is something we will all face and there’s no reason you should have to face it alone! Definitely strive to make these the best years of your life. So don’t forget to have fun and let loose but always keep your head in the game!

Be Thankful for Yourself: Brief Perspective on Self-Care

These past two weeks have been . . .vexing, to say the least (and I’m not alone!). I personally had two exams on a Friday, another exam the following Tuesday, another exam the following Thursday, and finally a quiz and a 10 page SINGLE SPACED paper due on the second Friday on top of work and extracurricular involvement. I didn’t want to work anymore. I was being  attacked with a stuffy nose and endless coughs – courtesy of my cold. I also couldn’t function without at least two cups of coffee a day.

The reason I’m telling you all this is not because I just want to complain (okay, a little bit), it’s to make a point. My work load isn’t special – nearly everyone has this amount of work or more. The problem is how college students tend to handle it, and we all handle it differently. I’m the type of person who pushes through- but not without my daily breakdowns. Other people might lose themselves in a sea of anxiety and completely give up. No matter what YOU personally do, there is something we all have in common. Our MENTAL HEALTH matters.

Mental health is something easy to forget about and push aside. We all have to live up to a certain set of expectations, whether its good grades, balancing work and study, etc. We ignore it because it’s not convenient. If we take the time to relax we can’t finish our work. We can’t ace that test. We won’t succeed.

Why should our exhaustion and pain be the measure of our success?

I’m not saying we’re justified in being lazy. I’m saying we should have a right to take care of ourselves. If that means that we miss one minor assignment – so be it! If that means that one grade doesn’t turn out so well, who cares? You are worth so much more than grades, and exams, and clubs, and everything. Don’t fall into the hole of self loathing.

I’m writing this now after the two weeks of what seemed like torture and now, I’m in awe of how much I handled . Human bodies are amazing. We can do so much. There’s no reason to be hard on ourselves. That’s why this Thanksgiving, in the spirit of being grateful for what you have, devote some time to practicing self care, recharging and being thankful for yourself.

Make yourself a cup of tea or hot chocolate! Sleep in until after noon! Take a bubble bath! Spend some time running or dancing! Marathon a few movies! Play a board game with your family!

It’s going to be tempting to study and do work, and you still can! However, you should also make sure you fill up most of your time with relaxation and good food.

Think about it, when you get the flu, you stay in bed, you drink your medicine, and you get better. When you get the mental health blues, your medicine is just some good ol’ fashioned eating, sleeping, and recharging. No need to feel guilty. Statistics show you’re going to be more productive in the long run if you recharge.

Even so, living on campus shouldn’t mean that you save your self care for holidays at home. You can do these things in your dorm. You can sleep, you can eat, and you can watch plenty of Netflix. Use your friends to cheer you up!

Speaking of friends, I had a few of mine share some tips about practicing self care in the midst of all things horrible.

“Take some time in between assignments to listen to a song that makes you feel powerful.”

“Bake something easy and share it with the people you love – like pre-made cookie dough!”

“Make to do lists with little boxes and when you finish something, check it off!”

“Call someone you love and chat for a few minutes.”

“Stretch for five minutes!”

“Praying, if that’s your thing.””

“Talk to your mom. They have so much wisdom and they lay it down straight!”

“Clean or organize your space. Sometimes a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind!”

These are just some things you can do really to quick to make you feel normal. Your life isn’t just studying. It’s up to you to fill it all in with the fun stuff!

However, if you’re in school and having trouble handling it all, visit CAPS to get some help. You matter too much to push your mental health away!

Good luck, kids, and have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!