Managing Mental Health at University

"Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out." -Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

In University, it’s easy to get lost in daily routine. It's easy to start to crumble from pressure and the overwhelming realization that there are not enough hours in the day.  Often, it's easy feel alone even when you are consistently surrounded by people. You prioritize grades over your personal well-being because you need a high GPA for med school or co-op. It’s far too easy to become swarmed with extra-curricular activities. Easy to lead an extremely busy social life, become overloaded with work hours to pay tuition and forget inevitably about yourself. However, the key to surviving environments of high pressure is realizing that “you time” is okay.

Making "You Time"

Personally, I started going to the gym alone this year. I gave myself an hour a day to focus entirely on myself and my body. When I concentrate on my breathing during a set or push myself past my limitations, I clear my head and gain the confidence I need for the day ahead. Everyone is different, but putting aside an hour a day for yourself is doable for even the busiest people. Make time to reflect on your day before you sleep instead of scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feed on your phone. Rather than concerning yourselves with what other people are doing, use those 20 minutes before bed to journal about something positive. You could even write as an outlet for frustration. It's hard sometimes to share your feelings with others but the first step is being honest with yourself. When you are ready, support is always available either on campus or through a service such as TranQool.

The hardest part was learning I was worth recovery – Demi Lovato
Reaching Out

Learning you are worth your own time can be challenging, but it is something you don’t have to do alone.  If you are uncomfortable reaching out in person, try calling Good2Talk- a free, confidential helpline providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to post-secondary students in Ontario. (1-866-925-5454). Tranqool offers counselling services via video therapy and has therapists that specialize in various fields of mental health.

It is never too late, or too soon it is when it is supposed to be. - Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

It’s ok to get wrapped up in the world of being a student, co-worker, teammate, or leader and it’s also okay to be overwhelmed. It’s also okay to not be okay - the important thing is to actively seek a change and work towards a better you.