How Are You?

We’re pushing through the Spring semester, and with that comes exams, papers, and other assignments. For some of us, this can be a stressful time with feelings of anxiety and burnout, so now is a good opportunity to check in with your mental health and evaluate how you’re doing. If you find that you are struggling, there are resources available to Sun Devils to help us out and get us back on the path to success. Below are five questions to ask yourself to assess how your mental health is doing and some tips to help bring balance.

  1. How am I feeling today? This question may sound obvious, but when is the last time you asked yourself how you are feeling and stopped to honestly consider your response? Checking in on your mental health begins with determining how you are feeling. Are you feeling stress, sadness, worry, anxiety, or other difficult emotions? Use a scale from one to ten and make a note of how you feel. Do this every day. You can write it down in a journal or take mental note of your responses. If your number is lower than you’d like, it’s a sign that you need to pay attention to your mental health. 
  2. What’s been worrying me lately? Take a moment to think about what exactly has been weighing on your mind recently. Is it school, homework, responsibilities, friends, family, money or anything else? Maybe it’s one thing or a combination of different circumstances that are causing you worry. Whatever it may be, it is important to notice how these situations make you feel, and do your best to do something about them. Maybe see a school counselor to help you work on strategies to resolve the worry, or record your worries so that they are organized. Take some time to identify what is stressing you, and then work on managing your stressors.
  3. Am I providing my body with its basic needs? With life being so busy, sometimes we forget to focus on the basics. Those needs to keep in mind are sleep, food, and exercise. Simple tweaks to any of them are crucial ways to make sure you’re in your best shape, physically and mentally. Do your best to eat nutrient-rich meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Drink lots of water. Make sleep a priority and get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Finally, be sure to move your body at least once a day, be that a brisk walk or a fitness class at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex. If you find that you are not taking care of your body, it can be a sign of mental health concerns. If you’re not feeling hungry, that could denote stress. Paying attention to both your physical health and mental health is key to optimum wellness.
  4. What am I doing to bring myself joy? With so much going on for us Sun Devils, it can be easy to not prioritize leisure time. But taking the time to bring yourself joy is an important part of the picture with mental health. Ask yourself what you are doing to bring yourself happiness. If it is difficult to think of something, here are some options that incorporate joy into your life:
    • Write in a gratitude journal and list three things that you are grateful for each day
    • Plan a small trip, like a staycation near home or a camping trip
    • Unleash your creativity with a new recipe, drawing, or crafting project
    • Take time for your hobbies
    • Watch a funny TV show or movie
    • Spend time with loved ones who make you happy
    • Hang out with your cat, dog, or other pet
    • Get some sun for 15 minutes
  5. Who do I have in my corner? It is important to have a strong support system to strengthen your mental health. Do you have someone who you consider trustworthy and loving that you can rely on when you need the support most? It could be a friend, partner, sibling, parent, healthcare provider, counselor, faith leader, or other trusted person. You’ll want at least one person in your life who:
    • Listens to you
    • Gives good advice when you ask
    • Is respectful and trustworthy
    • Allows you space to grow, make decisions, and even make mistakes
    • Has your best interest at heart

If you notice that your mental health isn’t where you want it to be, and are not sure what to do about it, ASU counseling is available to all students free of charge. You can schedule an appointment or reach out through chat. School and life is difficult for many of us to balance, but sometimes a helping hand is all we need to get through the storms of life.