Being tasked to write a blog post about mental health when my own mental health is less-than-stellar feels semi-ironic. It seems disingenuous to post about simple tips and tricks for decreasing stress levels during midterm season if I don’t believe in what I’m writing. If I can’t see the use in writing a blog post like that, what use will it be to someone else? Would I be creating “mental health propaganda?”
Luckily, I have a very understanding supervisor who encouraged me to write about what I was feeling. Welcome aboard the journey that has been 2020 thus far!
Honestly, it’s not too bad… but the year could’ve started better. January began with WW3 memes, overcast skies, job rejections, harder-than-anticipated classes, an impeachment trial, and the impending doom of a global pandemic, among other things. I grew up reading the newspapers each morning, and I still do—but I sometimes find it to be an anxiety-inducing habit, especially when almost every article I read discusses a different political, environmental, or economic global disaster.
But it’s fine—I’ll limit the amount of news I read and look forward to February. It can’t be worse than January, right?
I was right—sort of. I celebrated the end of January, and then kicked off the beginning of February by falling down the stairs and spraining my metatarsals. Limping to school was not quite the dazzling entrance I was hoping to make into the month of February. The theme song from the Friends television show keeps playing on repeat in my head: “… when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year…”
(I promise I’m not trying to use the theme song as a clever metaphor for life—it’s been unironically stuck in my head for the last week)
I’m sincerely hoping a bad day, a bad week, and a bad month doesn’t turn into a bad year—and so far it hasn’t. I’d like to think I’ve perfected the art of finding the little joys in life. The other day, for instance, I had the perfect honey-to-tea ratio. Or last week, I made my friend a funny valentine and it made her laugh. Even today, the sun was shining when I woke up. The weather may be gloomy now, but I’m holding on to the warm rays of sunshine I felt on my face this morning. So, in terms of small joys, February is going tremendously.
I’m still stressed about the current state of the world and the current state of my GPA, and some days all I can do is try to remind myself of the second half of the line from the Friends theme song:
“… I’ll be there for you
(when the rain starts to pour)
I’ll be there for you
(like I’ve been there before)
I’ll be there for you
(‘Cause you’re there for me too)…”
Or, if that’s too cheesy, I find Bob Ross to be the right level of comfort.
Here’s to hoping the imminent arrival of spring brings better times and calmer seas among the sunshine and cherry blossoms.
The views expressed in this blog are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the University of Victoria. I monitor posts and comments to ensure all content complies with the University of Victoria Guidelines on Blogging.