Mental Health In College

This post is long overdue but I have actually been working on writing it for a month. I apologize for this extended absence but I am back and plan to post weekly blogs for you all! Follow my social media for more frequent updates! I started writing this during the first week of school and have just continued to add to it. Hopefully, you find some of these words about mental health helpful and if not, that’s perfectly fine, just take em with a grain of pepper!

WEEK ONE:

From bipolar weather conditions to bicycle accidents, the first week at my new home has been a stress-ball of excitement. After moving into my college apartment TWICE (yes there was a room change), I am sufficiently settled and overwhelmed with homework. However. you know what I love about college? One minute you’re getting pressured by four different religious clubs to go to church, and the next minute there is a truck with people yelling at you to take some free toilet paper parked where the religious clubs used to be. Meanwhile, I’m just sitting here trying to eat my 15 dollar lunch because all the dining hall had was half a bowl of rice and some soggy waffles with the school mascot on them.

All overly priced lunches and free toilet paper aside, I am thoroughly enjoying college and all the comedic writing material it has given me. I am going to attempt to post once a week starting whenever this post goes up, and share with all of you (AKA my grandma, the only person who actually reads this) a story from my week. Said stories will most likely have topics ranging from what it is like to go to college with a chronic illness, to me struggling through simple adult tasks.

MENTAL HEALTH COPING SKILLS:

For a real quick sec, I would like to write about mental health. As someone who has struggled with various health issues including mental illness, I want to say that no matter where you are currently at with your mental health I am proud of you and I hope you continue to fight the good fight and prioritize yourself. I did a poll on my Instagram a while back to see how many of my followers had healthy coping skills to use when one is feeling down or stressed…A surprising amount said they did not have a single coping skill to use during a hard time. So, I am going to post a list of my coping skills and a link to my Spotify because listening to music is a big way I cope with everyday life and the struggles “adulting” brings.

Erinn’s Healthy Coping Skills:

Writing

Knitting while watching tv or listening to music ft. a hot cup of tea and some vanilla wafers.

Mindfulness walk

Reading

Cooking/Baking

Listening to music/Audiobooks

Hanging out with a doggo

Go to therapy!

Exercising:

Playing basketball

Swimming

Dancing

Pilates/Zumba

Hiking

These are just a few of a wider variety of coping skills that you can use. I hope you found this list somewhat helpful. Life usually serves us a large scoop of stress every day and it is important to have a healthy way to channel it.

MENTAL HEALTH AND EATING

Specifically, in college there are tremendous amounts of social and academic stressors. I just spoke with my neighbor who is struggling with eating a healthy amount throughout her busy school day. I struggle with making healthy food choices as well so I thought I would share some ways I make sure I am getting enough calories throughout my day. I make most of my own food but I also have a meal plan and making healthy choices in a dining commons is important as well! Most of all it is so important to be your own number one fan, it is nice to have support from friends, family, and significant others but you’re the only person stuck with your brain so take care of it and keep it healthy!

Erinn’s Favorite Quick Meals/Snacks:

Breakfast (The most important meal of the day that most college kids SKIP)

Smoothies — I like to buy pre-made pre-made frozen berry packs and add vanilla greek yogurt, apple juice, and a very small amount of kale or spinach if I am feeling particularly healthy!

Beagle and Cream Cheese — Particularly onion beagles or anything from Panera Bread!

Yogurt, strawberries, and granola,  (Pretty self-explanatory)

Avocado toast — Because what kind of 19-year-old Californian would I be if this wasn’t on the list (P.S. add a fried egg if you want some protein)

Panda Puffs … Living across the street from a Trader Joe’s is both good and bad for my diet…

Lunch

DIY Salad — Lettuce and whatever else you like to eat with your lettuce. (I am allergic to tomatoes so I do not put those in with my lettuce)

“StarKist” Lunch To Go mix your own tuna — Not the healthiest buy really forking good and fast!

Ritz + Tillamok Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Welch’s Fruit Snacks

Random Fruits and Veggies — I eat smaller lunches that will consist of random fruits and veggies (Asian pears are really good right now) and then I will eat a more balanced meal for dinner.

Kraft Mac n Cheese

I realize that my lunches are not the most healthy thing in the world but at least I am eating in the middle of the day and keeping my blood sugar up! We really out here keeping our brains healthy!

Dinner

Literally anything from the “Tasty” App — If you do not have this app I am not sure how you’re doing in life and I’m worried about you.

An assortment of rice dishes — rice, chicken, veggies, etc. (yeh I have a rice cooker and I think it is the best 50$ I’ve ever spent)

Frozen dinners because sometimes I’m lazy and it just be like that.

I know eating can be really difficult especially for those of us battling mental health issues. If you cannot finish a whole meal and all you can eat is a couple bites of your mac n cheese, that is OKAY. Everyone is at a different place mentally and physically and wherever you are is perfect, just remember to listen to your body and nurture it the best you can and everything will be just fine! Keep drinking water and kicking ass!

WEEK SIX

There are a lot of painful things happening around us in the world right now and it has been personally impacting my past few weeks pretty heavily. From our political leader’s opinion of the fires in California to school shootings still not being properly addressed my heart has been throbbing with pain for those around me. However, it is important to remember to live in the present and work hard to soothe your own personal anxieties. Mental Health is not a joke and keeping your brain and body healthy should be a number one priority. Do not let me fool you, I am no pro. I took a random depression nap at like 2 pm today! Whatever it is you may be dealing with remember to use your resources. Once I realized the number of people that only wanted to help me, even if they didn’t understand, the world became a different place. I believe in you all!

Here is a link to my Spotify if you’d like some music therapy!

erinnyepiz

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes about mental health:

“We are all a little broken. But last time I checked, broken crayons still color”

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