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Adulting 101: Taking Care of Your Mental Health

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  • Adulting 101: Taking Care of Your Mental Health

    Graduating high school and moving on to your next step in the middle of a global pandemic is stressful. We’ve got some resources to help you take care of yourself.

    Graduating high school this spring? Starting a new adventure—college and work—in the fall? Trying to learn how to take care of yourself and your mental health as you begin a new chapter in your life? And doing it all in the midst of a global pandemic?

    Yup. That’s stressful!

    Leaving high school is a big change. And paying attention to your mental health in times of change is important. Even exciting, positive change—such as going to college—can raise stress levels and anxiety. Depending on whether you will live at home or on campus, and on how familiar you and your family are with the college-going experience, you may be on the cusp of learning how to do a lot of new things on your own. There may be no one to remind you to eat, get enough sleep, exercise, talk through your feelings, or ask for help. You may have a lot more freedom, which means learning how to manage your time and studies while finding a balance between school, other responsibilities, and (hopefully) fun.

    In the midst of all of that, Covid-19 has created an environment of uncertainty that is stirring up many emotions—stress, fear, concern, loneliness, grief, and beyond. This is particularly true for those who have lost friends and family, whose parents have lost jobs, and who come from communities disproportionately affected by the outbreak. For those with preexisting mental health issues like anxiety and depression, this time can make managing those conditions even more challenging.

    The most important thing to know is: You are not alone.

    It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed, afraid, anxious, or sad here and there, especially during times of change or stress. However, if those feelings start to last longer than usual and interfere with your daily life, you should reach out to a professional for help. Mental health issues in teens and young adults are very common and are nothing to be ashamed of.

    Again, you are not alone.

    There is help available to you. Here are resources to get you started. Share your own!

     

    RESOURCES

    Mental Health Support Related to Starting College

     

    Managing a Mental Health Condition in College

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) helps those transitioning to college with information on picking the right school, preparing for college, asking for accommodations, and tips for success.

     

    Mental Health Support Related to COVID-19

     

    COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide for Mental Health

    NAMI tackles many of the questions that are top of mind for people during the pandemic, including how to deal with anxiety and the loss of a loved one.

    How Teenagers Can Protect Their Mental Health during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    UNICEF provides 6 strategies to deal with the stress of COVID-19.

     

    Wellness and Self-Care

     

    11 Guided Meditations for Teens

    Mindfulness for Teens provides free meditations on mindful breathing, loving-kindness, and more.

    Steps for Strong Time Management

    ThoughtCo. offers practical advice on how college students can learn to manage their time well, which in turn will help you handle stress about classes, workload, and college life in general.

    Mental Health Apps

    Amherst College curated a helpful list of iPhone and Android apps that can help with managing anxiety, depression, and self-care.

    Sleep and Mental Health

    Harvard Health explains the close connection between sleep and mental health and how to improve your ZZZs.

    The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

    HelpGuide connects the dots between exercise and mental health and offers advice on how to get moving.

     

    General Support for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

     

    Warning Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness

    Sometimes it’s just a bad day, but sometimes it’s more. NAMI helps you know the difference and offers support on how to get help for mental illness.

    Crisis Text Line: Text SCHOOL to 741741

    Trained volunteer Crisis Counselors are available to help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment, anytime. Text from anywhere in the United States, and a live counselor will respond via a secure online platform.

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

    The Lifeline is a 24/7, free and confidential support line for people in distress or thinking about suicide, or who need help supporting a loved one who may be suicidal.

    Reply

    Headspace is super helpful, Sanity & Self is another great app with guided meditation plans, journaling, and breathwork. I’m curious, what is everyone else using for guided meditation?

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What resources have you found helpful for managing the stress of starting something new?

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