De-stress and Mental Health

As we are approaching the end of the semester and the holiday season, the days get short and the nights longer. Even with a break from school and spending time with loved ones, we may not be in our best mental well-being.

Since this is the last article of the semester, I thought it would be appropriate to write about de-stressing the mind and taking care of our well-being. This past week was De-Stress Week at USG where several events were held to have students take a break from studies and realize some stress that most, if all of us may have. Some events included yoga and deep breathing, watching a movie, and petting dogs.

On December 7, Student Leadership Advisory Council (SLAC) had our De-Stress Week event on journaling while snacking on donuts. I volunteered to host the event and my purpose was not only for students to take time to write out their thoughts but to (re)introduce them to journaling. Journaling, whether that is with pen or paper or typing, I find this habit to be useful to reduce my anxiety and overthinking.

A slideshow of journal prompts (Source: Aisha Sowe)

The following day, both the international and film club had a movie night where we watched the 2019 Korean film Parasite. I have been stressed with schoolwork ever since we got back from Thanksgiving break, but I thought what better way to watch a movie and have a discussion. I had seen Parasite shortly after the film became the first non-English langue film to win Best Picture at the Oscars in 2020, so watching the film again was more of a refresher especially knowing all of the messages portrayed.

Movie poster of Korean film Parasite (2019) (Source: IMDb)

Even though De-Stress Week may be over, you can still find ways to relax your mind and emotional well-being before, during, and even after finals. Once those exams are over and you have turned in that final paper, you can treat yourself to a job well done this semester. The example I gave of journaling or watching movies can be the best way to treat yourself after this semester, but don’t limit yourself to those ideas. Buy yourself the gift you’ve always wanted for yourself. Go out with friends, family, or even by yourself. Have your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant. The possibilities are endless.

I know these past few weeks have been difficult. Maybe this semester as a whole was tough but just know that you have completed half the school year is completed. You now have a month off from school and you deserve that time to finally unwind from all the studies and assignments.

With that being said, I hope you all have a great break, enjoy the holidays if you celebrate any, and have a happy new year.

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