After last week’s “break in transmission”, I have to apologize. I have never had to send out a message at any point over the course of the last couple of months but last week, I had to because well… life. The amount of assignments and work I have had to deal with these days has been counterproductively paralyzing.
However, the one good thing that came out of it was a blog post that I feel everyone in pretty much any school can relate to right now. Also, yesterday was World Mental Health Day. In case you don’t get the topic, it stemmed from a tweet I saw online one time that said the “h” in university stands for happiness.
Essentially, it implied that happiness in the university is unachievable and from the way I see it, the person just might be right.
With the stress of school and the fear of failure and the constant isolation to complete your work which leads to an abject feeling of loneliness and relationship/love problems amongst other things, I think it’s safe to say that the university is pretty hard on your mental health.
Having realized that, I decided to put out a post that’d be helpful to anyone who is feeling some kind of way about his/herself, especially a feeling they can(not) explain. Here’s five ways to cope with all of that:
1. Reach Out and Stay Connected
You have heard this a million times but I am here to state the obvious again. It’s like trying to fight a war and keeping all the strategies to yourself. My gee, it doesn’t work that way because nobody would know what the heck it is you’re going through. Best case scenario which is actually the worst case scenario, they’ll leave you to your problems. You’re probably thinking “but the last time I told Mustapha about my crush, he slied me and went to toast her instead. I can’t trust anybody”.
Well, first of all, Mustapha here is a sly and not everyone is like Mustapha. Simply find someone else you can trust. It’s a lotta work but it’s worth it. Second of all, before you find someone you can trust, you can always write them down, dance till your thighs are sore, sing until your voice is coarse, while doing these, cry until you feel absolutely dehydrated. The whole point is to find a means of release.
2. Do Something You Love
You’re probably thinking I’m writing on this blog because pays but naa fam. I’m here because I love it. More often than not, you’re sad and overwhelmed because you’re alone and you’re not doing anything and your mind is idle. As such, it has leisure time to drown in self-destructive thoughts.
A good way to fend off those thoughts is by finding something you love doing. Being sad usually leaves you feeling fatigued even when you’ve not really done anything and as such, it’ll be hard to follow this piece of advice here but nothing good ever comes easily. Get off your butt, sketch, write, sing, play games. Do something, anything! Do it and don’t stop.
This probably seems like the dumbest idea ever because you can’t even find enough strength to get out of bed for food and here I am, asking you to go and do something that would leave you even more tired but just trust me.
As a secondary school kid, I was a tad overweight but at that age, you tend to blow things out of proportion and as such, it had me looking down on myself a lot. So, mindlessly, I started working out and listening to music and what I noticed was that I found peace there. In working out, stressing every muscle in my body, sweating, panting and drying out my throat, I found a sort of peace and for extended periods of time afterwards, I would feel better.
So, if you’ve not been doing it before, it might be a good idea to include some exercise in your daily routine. Especially some cardio that gets you sweating and panting like walking or running. Trust me, it does wonders for you.
For your mental space. Usually, the thoughts and emotions overwhelm you such that you feel hopeless and helpless against them but you aren’t. Think of it this way. If a lot of sugar ants climb your hands and swarm you till you literally can’t see the skin underneath anymore, would you lay down on the floor, crying, hiding that arm from everyone else or would you actually start dusting them off your hands like the puny insects they are?
Personally, I’d probably scream blood of Jesus for the first five minutes but that’s not the point here. The point is that no matter how bad it gets, it is still your mind and you own that place! Stop acting like a tenant in your brain and fight back those thoughts.
For a very long time when I was coping with issues of my own, I struggled until somehow, I found the mental fortitude to actually stand up and fight back those thoughts. Funnily enough, it wasn’t by reciting some retarded mantra like “you are strong and your abs look like Zeus carved them” in front of the mirror. I just found a way to be at peace with it and when it couldn’t bother me anymore, it kind of left. I hope you get this. It’s hard but everything that’s good always is.
5. Seek Professional Help
When all is said and done, I’m still just a writer with no professional training on these issues and as such, they might not always work. So, if symptoms persist for too long which can be anytime you are unable to endure it, seek professional help. Pretty much every school has a counsellor. You can always go to them unless they want to kiss you violently.
It’s a process. You never really win. Like the “H” in university, it’s impossible to find but who’s to say that you can’t redefine your spelling of this word? Who’s to say you can’t find your own happiness.
On an unrelated note, I’ll probably be taking an exam break after next week.
But before I leave…
- Did you find this helpful?
- At points in time in your life when you were sad, how did you cope with it?
- Would you like me to discuss the topic further?