Don’t get me wrong, I choose to be busy. I like to fill my day with rewarding activities that leave me feeling like I have put my best effort into helping others. But some days, after the midterm and on the walk to the club meeting, I feel a heaviness. I notice I am not as easy to smile, it takes some effort to show up to the next event, and I feel like I have to force the heaviness back down. Those are the days when I get home and realize that my mental health is not where it should be, and as much as I should be writing the research paper that is due soon, it is time to give myself a break.
Sometimes, I just need to cry. The tears come out, and my heart starts to feel a little lighter. Sometimes, I decide that I deserve a frappuccino from Starbucks. Sometimes, I bring out my journal and write about what is on my mind. Sometimes, I call my best friend who is abroad in France. Sometimes, I talk to my mom on the phone for hours. Sometimes, I look at a picture of my puppy and smile. Sometimes, I bring out my paintbrushes and put my heart onto the canvas.
Sometimes, when I don’t have the time to go home and write, I sit down somewhere peaceful and take deep breaths. I focus on peace, what I am thankful for, and calming my mind. Sometimes, on the walk to the library, I glance around my campus and remind myself how amazing it is that I even have the opportunity to attend this university.
Even in the busy days, I prioritize taking small moments for myself. I remind myself that it is OK to feel down, and that I have the right to express my emotions. I deserve to take mental health breaks. I focus on creating a healthy balance in my life. Over time, I see my own growth. I have come to realize that controlling your mentality is one of the most powerful things you can do. Even when I feel myself falling into a spiral of overthinking, I remind myself that I control my responses to different life events and that I have agency over my own life.
It is in these moments when I feel stronger. Not always happier but honest. Genuine.
In these moments I remind myself to think positively and be thankful for all the good in my life.
Today, as you get on the bus, show up at work, order coffee, eat a meal, or pass people in a busy corridor, stop to remind yourself to take time for peacefulness, deep breaths, and gratitude, before the loop of life continues.