Welcome back after a much deserved fall reading week! I hope it was as beneficial and enjoyable for you as it was for me. School, and life, hits top speed in no time, and a time of rest and reflection is needed. To build off of that theme, this issue if The Sputnik is all about mental health. We just want to continue the conversation. We do not necessarily have anything ground-breaking to say, some of it you will have heard before, other stories may open your eyes a bit, and that’s OK. We just want to add to this important cause that affects us all as students, whether we realize it or not.
Mental health truly applies to us all. Managing your stress, getting rest, and taking a break are as relevant to mental health as battling anxiety and seeking help for depression. It is important to see the common ground, instead of treat mental health as something only certain people need to pay attention to. As well, arguing about the stigma and how to get rid of it will only go so far. We need to build people up, not push back.
Another important aspect that is often ignored, is not being so hard on yourself. Whether you suffer with some clinical form of mental illness, or find the burdens of stress and life are making you feel like a failure or act like someone other than yourself, it is important to remember that no external pressures or negative thoughts, whether they come from within or from others, matter. Sometimes things don’t go our way, sometimes we let ourselves or others down, and it sucks, but its not the end of the world. In fact, its often an opportunity for reflection and positive self change.
Sometimes, it can come crashing down. Recently, I had a feeling of letting myself and others down. In that time, I was forced to face my fears, thinking maybe I wasn’t changing, maybe I was a fraud. I went an extended period, almost five years, of feeling that I had conquered my mental illness, and was a changed person, and indeed I was, and am.
Perhaps you have experienced this before, or know someone that has. It’s pretty tough to go through, and to accept, but It can be very valuable. It was a needed reminder that I am, and that we are, more than our problems, our pressures and our stress. We are more than our health or sickness, our love or loneliness. We all go through hard times, some that really are our fault, others that we do not deserve at all. But none of it should ever own you, should cause you to feel like you are worthless or that something is wrong with you.
We at Laurier are a community, and a family. We call ourselves the student-body, and like individual parts of a body, we all have a part to play to make sure that the University experience is as productive and enjoyable as it should be.
This is the Mental Health Issue. Take care of each other.