Megan Solensky | Staff Writer
Students and staff experience a variety of stressors in our daily lives. How are you coping and managing your mental health? Below are a variety of ways to incorporate mindfulness in your daily life.
Taking mini breaks throughout the day allows for the work you are doing to not get quite as repetitive. Taking mental breaks allows for the task at hand to be broken up and leave you more energized after each break. Students that take mental breaks during study sessions or long lectures tend to focus better and retain more information. Taking a walk, eating a snack, and conversing with friends and family are just a couple ways to step away for a few minutes and give your mind a kickstart. My most productive days at work are when I take a quick walk for a minute or two in between tasks.
Sometimes you may need a longer break.. which is OK! Eastern offers a variety of clubs and other opportunities for you to pursue your hobby outside of class. Having interests outside of work and classes allows for a great distraction. By engaging in other interests, you not only get a mental break, but you give yourself something to look forward to. I personally find playing pool in the student center as a great way to socialize with my friends and cope with any stressors.
Meditation is one of the many ways to relax your mind. The act of meditating leaves many students feeling more calm and energized. I find myself in a happier state immediately following a simple 5 minute meditation session. The app store has many free resources you can download that helps guide meditation and mindfulness practices.
Your physical health impacts your mental health. Although easier said than done, people tend to feel better and more confident after eating healthy, exercising, and staying hydrated. I always have way more energy on days I have my water bottle with me and I am drinking water regularly!
If you find yourself stressed or overwhelmed, getting some of these thoughts and feelings out may be beneficial. A common way students vent and share their feelings is by journaling. Keeping a journal gives me an outlet to express my thoughts and feelings. I can write as if I'm sharing with another person, but at the same time I have the security of my journal being private and for me. This way, I am confronting an issue and bringing myself to a resolution that some situations cannot give me without writing.
Slow down. Typically, when people feel anxious or overwhelmed it is because they feel out of control. I tend to feel this way when things are moving too fast and I don’t have control over the particular situation. You can’t slow down the busy world around you, but you can stop and take a moment to notice things around you to ground yourself. What do you hear, see, or smell? When you are having negative thoughts, try to sit and focus on your breathing. Sitting and deep breathing for even just a minute can help.
How do you practice mindfulness? What are your coping strategies? Let us know!