I am not okay.
I thought I would start off this post with that statement so I cannot lie to others and to myself. January has come and gone, I’m back in classes, I started my practicum, and I am on a work and life schedule. Having the chance to reflect on what happened during my first semester of graduate school and in the year 2014 was refreshing at the time, but recently I have not been feeling like I am in a good place.
One night I just cried. I cried on and off the entire night and I could not figure out why it happened. From that point I still feel a bit off. I can’t sleep through an entire night without waking up at least once or twice at random times. I feel like I am withdrawing from a lot of the people around me and questioning their intentions. Minor worries seem like major worries.
Please do not get me wrong, I am happy with the work that I am doing. I love meeting with my students. I love my practicum. I am excited for what this semester has to offer me in growth. However I just feel like my mental health is suffering and it’s so confusing for me to pin point the reasons why.
I try to practice self-care by giving myself “me” dates to the mall or to the gym so that I can actually gain some happiness. I even took back up writing poetry and reading as a way for me to do something other than work or school. I made lifestyle changes by choosing to eat less fast food and a lot more home cooking, and I love that feeling of doing for myself and it actually being successful.
So what do I still have that feeling of worry, of failure, of sadness that has come over me?
I really do not know.
Initially, I wanted to look to the internet for answers but I really did not want to take the chance of self-diagnosing myself, especially in the feelings that I may be going through, but I do want answers. I do want to begin looking towards counseling and a different form of therapy. The struggle right now is to find time outside of my already set schedule to get my life together to talk with someone about what is going on with me.
I guess my purpose of writing this is to share my story of confusion but also recognizing that my mental health is not well at the moment.
Graduate students like myself, masters and doctorates, find ourselves with having a lot on our plate to deal with and at times, we lose our sense of self when we try to work towards academic and professional accomplishments. Student affairs professionals also have those times where it is difficult to maintain good mental health.
Just because we are in a profession with the intent to help others, that doesn’t mean that we cannot help ourselves. We cannot ignore who we are as people and how we are feeling and work is not going to replace efforts that we should be making to ensure that we are taking care of ourselves.
It’s hard, I really feel like it is hard. But I cannot continue to ignore parts of me that affect my overall wellness.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Kevin Kruger on Avoiding Burnout in Student Affairs