Mental Health Check In

With classes winding up into final exams, pressure mounting to do well for the GPAs, the acceptance or rejection letters from master programs coming in, job acceptances or rejections coming in, I wanted to take the time to do a quick mental health check in, and to tell you to do the same. These small mental exercises should help you take a breather in the middle of applying for jobs, studying for exams, or whatever it is you’re currently doing. First, take stock of where you are mentally and physically. Are you getting enough sleep, are you eating enough food, are you in a place where you have people you can depend on? Take a couple of minutes just to figure out these questions. It really helped me realize that I needed to get my sleep schedule back on track and to make sure that I kept in closer contact with my extended family members.

Another nice thing to do if you have a couple of minutes is to take a pause, and do a small breathing exercise. Keep it simple, close your eyes, and just breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, and do this ten times. This lowers your heart rate and can help calm you down from all the stress. I try to do this when I’m studying for a big exam and I’ve been straining my eyes or if I need to take a couple of seconds to refocus my brain. Apparently, its only good to follow the 20-20-20 rule, where every twenty minutes you should stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Finally, I want to tell you to adjust your expectations and that you are not the sum of your grades, or job offers, or anything else. There may be exams that you do poorly in, or jobs that you really want, but are unable to secure, and while it’s ok to get upset, I don’t think that you should let that get in the way of all the positive things I’m sure you’ve accomplished.

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The Concept of Being Enough
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