Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on what I need to do for myself this summer. I’ve recognized that I need to make my mental health a priority, which is exactly what my #BrighterSummerSA plan is this year. As an advocate for self-care, I’ve failed myself by not recognizing my need for “me time” and for not focusing on what I need to feel better mentally.
It’s hard to believe I’ve worked the past three years in my first professional SA job as a Hall Director. I have learned so much along the way. In July, I will be moving into my GA Area Coordinator position, while pursuing my Master’s in Student Affairs in Higher Ed. With all the changes happening in my life, I need to make my mental health a priority. Doing so will help me find success and happiness. Here are a few things I will be doing for myself over the next few months:
1. Exercising/Running/Taking Walks
I sometimes fail to realize the positive impact of physical activity in regards to mental health. Depression and anxiety are directly correlated to being active, but it’s not always easy to put exercise first. I’m prioritizing my exercise habits by running once a day. I’m also making time to take a walk at some point each day. My walks give my mind the sense of clarity I need to recharge.
2. Making Time for Counseling
I have learned that counseling (or other forms of mental health support) are crucial to keeping a balance. It is important to remain consistent with mental health support. If you haven’t tried counseling, I recommend it! Find what works for you.
3. Making Time for What I Love
During the school year, it’s easy to push my hobbies and favorite things to the side to accomplish work related tasks. This summer, I plan on reading, taking day trips, going to yoga, and spending time with my family and friends. I’m also taking time for a vacation (for the first time in years), which I’m extremely excited about.
4. Eating Healthy
I know this is cliché, but mental health and diet are directly correlated. When we eat well, we feel better. I made it a priority to kick start this week with a trip to the grocery store to buy healthy food. Make your body a priority.
Focusing on mental health is a challenge when we’re busy. The road is not always easy, but summer is often a good time for us to recharge as #SAPros. Find time for you. Focus on what your brain needs. Recharge in ways that work for you. And finally, remember that you are not alone when your mental health falls to the wayside. Refocusing on yourself should always be a priority.
This post is part of our #BrighterSummerSA series for June. While we don’t stop in the summer, a lot of professional have a chance to slow down for a minute. How can you utilize that slower pace to make for brighter tomorrow? Using that precious time for a greater good can seem to make your whole life smoother. For more info, please see Doug’s intro post. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series too!