Have you checked in with yourself today? As humans, we tend to forget to practice these moments of mindfulness when it comes to trying to balance school, work, and life. I interviewed Teri N. (name has been changed for privacy purposes.) She is my personal behavioral health therapist and I reached out to her for advice to give to students for attending to their mental health and stress when balancing school, work, and life. 

The first question I asked Teri was, “What are some ways of managing stress between life and school? What can students do for breaks? How can they take a moment to be with just themselves?”

Her response was, “Making sure to have time to tap into either creativity–whatever that looks like to you.  Tapping into some type of exercise, or something active. Whether it’s yoga, walking, or bike riding. Just moving your body, whether it’s dancing, shaking your arms and legs,or anything along those lines. Because it can be so easy to keep focused on school, work, sleep, and trying to have a social life. There is so much that you’re balancing, and knowing how to have a good balance of things is important.”

Teri also mentions how we can become so sucked into being all into school and all into work and when you lose touch or have no social or support from friends and family, that it can feel isolating. If someone is having a more difficult time with any type of mental health diagnosis or even just needing someone to talk to or process with, she thinks that it is helpful to talk to a counselor. To get connected to a mental health counselor, whether that’s on campus, a group at school, or outside of school. 

My next question to Teri was, “What would be some advice to give to students for reaching out for help from other students, or even teachers, if you’re having a difficult time in the class? Or for those who have a difficult time reaching out at all for help?”

Teri said, “Identifying someone that you trust. Like, out of all the teachers you do have, which one do you feel you can trust the most, or feel the most comfortable with? Same with friends or family. If you are like, “Well, I don’t know how to open the conversation. I think being able to just say, “hey, I need a friend” Maybe not with a teacher, it just depends on who you’re reaching out to. Or “hey, I could use a friend right now, can you talk? Do you have any time we can schedule where we can talk for like 15 minutes?”

The reason she said she gives this is advice because she thinks that you’re setting it up for what you need, and you can put a time limit on it if that works for you.