Feeling stuck? 3 ways to better your mental health

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By: Madison Kriege 
I have trouble managing my mental health.  I push it off like a check on my To-Do list and tell myself I’ll come back later; however, I know that I never will and new priorities will take its place.  This mindset is something that I am confident I am not alone in.

Summertime is a great time for college students to reflect and react on all the thoughts that have piled up over the academic year. Feeling stuck?  Want to try something new? The following are three of my favorite ways to introspectively spring clean and launch your best self this summer.

Make New Resolutions

Missing New Year’s?  Summer break is the perfect time to start new goals!  Spend time now forming new habits without the stress of classes.  You’ll be making these resolutions because you want them, not because the world decided you need one.  So take out your favorite sticky notes, type out a plan on your computer, or do whatever you need to lay out the steps to achieving your goal in one year.  Break it down into smaller goals to help motivate you throughout the changing seasons.

Purge It

Marie Kondo is on the right track: if it doesn’t bring you joy – do you need it?  Use the summer to reflect on the things you surround yourself with and get rid of those that aren’t promoting the version of yourself you’d like to be.  Don’t forget to include whom you follow on social media, the kinds of notifications you have on your phone, and other daily reminders. In a digital age, phones play a huge part in everyday interactions, and it is crucial that you surround yourself with the things you want to see.  Bottom line: kick those bad influences to the curb!

Count Your Accomplishments

College students live high-speed lives filled with juggling school work, budding careers, and trying to stay social.  Take some time to reflect on everything you did do rather than the things that are left to do. Create a “done” list at the end of the day, or start a gratitude journal.  Recognizing the progress made every day will help you stay motivated for your goals, and you can look back on those moments when a hard day emerges. The only opinion that matters is yours, so talk yourself up.

Mental health isn’t an easy topic to talk about.  It is something incredibly personal that impacts every individual differently; however, we are all in it together.  Use your summer break to remind yourself that you matter. Go out there, get those goals, and finally make that change you’ve been wanting.

Pearson Students: What new goal(s) are you working on this summer? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

About the author

Madison Kriege is majoring in computer engineering with a focus in software development at Iowa State University. She is an Iowa native and is involved with FIRST LEGO League, Engineers’ Week, and the Program for Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) on campus. Madison works as a K-12 STEM outreach role model for the WiSE office and as a Pearson Campus Ambassador. She is passionate about STEM exposure and loves volunteering at events across the state to further that goal. In her free time, Madison enjoys writing, blasting music, and eating ice cream.

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