Taking Care of Your Mental Health

  • Today, we’re talking about mental health. Why? As Doctoral students and individuals within the workforce, it is important to check in with yourselves and your mental well-being. It’s also important to continue to de-stigmatize mental health and create a community that supports the process of taking care of ourselves and those around us.
  • The most common mental health issues that arise, especially for Doctoral students, and even people in the workforce, are anxiety, depression, and distress. No matter how often you experience mental health issues,  your process matters.

6 Helpful Tips:

  • Don’t be ashamed.
    • Mental health is still stigmatized, and different societies across the nation may disregard mental health issues, which can create embarrassment and shame. However, it’s important for you to know that as students and individuals in the workforce, your mental health process is valid. Don’t be ashamed to acknowledge you may need some support, which leads us into our second tip!
  • Seek support from friends, family, and therapists.
    • Family and friends can help by listening. Talking to someone can really help put one’s emotions in perspective, and thus can help better understand how to move forward with coping mechanisms. If family and friends aren’t an option, than therapists and online support chats can also help you gain different perspectives and support. Sometimes, being heard can create all the change!
  • Know your boundaries.
    • Many of you are not just Doctoral students, but you also work. Know your limits and say “no” if you are at capacity or have too many commitments. Leave some time for yourself, but also for your family if that applies to you.
  • Positive Affirmations.
    • You are all doing such different but amazing work, both locally and globally! Affirm yourselves every day, more than once if possible. Examples can include:
      • I am doing amazing and valuable work!
      • It’s okay to cry; vulnerability is powerful too.
      • I can do this if I set my mind to it.
      • My feelings are valid.
    • You can say these affirmations out loud in the morning, afternoon, or evening. You can also write them down on a post-it note and stick them in different places around the house or room as a reminder.
    • Don’t forget to also affirm others!
  • Check in with yourself, always.
    • Ask yourself how you’re feeling, and if ready, ask yourself why you’re feeling this way? This can help you identify the reason you’re feeling a certain way, and maybe also help you find coping mechanisms.
    • Listen to yourself. With all of your responsibilities, family, and school work, time for yourself may run out, but checking in with yourself and listening can help you realize you may need some minutes, hours, or even days for yourself and your mental health.
  • Self-care.
    • This is the process of taking care of yourself. You can do this by allocating 30-minutes for lunch, 1 hour to read your favorite book, a craft night with your friend and/or family, or even a couple extra hours of sleep. Practice self-care!

Remember, mental health is not an event or outcome, but a process. Following these 6 steps as needed can help you better navigate your feelings and emotional state. Together, we can continue to de-stigmatize mental health and support one another!

 

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