The past couple days have been okay for me, I start school next week so there is a lot going on!
I always get very anxious right when school starts, because I know my mental health gets a lot worse during school. There’s always so much to do, between homework, studying, my job, sports – it all feels very overwhelming at times. And this year there’s the added stress of the pandemic, uncertainty with re-entry, the fact that things are constantly changing. Even without Covid being a part of it, last year I was having days where I was getting 5 hours of sleep, my grades were slipping, I was trying to keep up with everything but it was all becoming too much. One time I didn’t have my period for three months because I was so stressed my body wasn’t functioning how it was supposed to.
It kind of feels like a vicious cycle sometimes – you try to study more to be more on top of things, but then you’re more tired, you forget to write things down – stuff starts slipping through the cracks.
As we all go back to school (in whatever capacity) whether you’ve already started, or you are starting soon like me, I want us to keep in mind Luca’s mantra from his NA group (there are other entries on this if you are confused). The part I want us to focus on is this:
JUST FOR TODAY, I will have a program. I will try to follow it to the best of my ability.
“Program” looks different for everyone. For me it looks like this:
Every day I try to:
– eat something
– drink water
– sleep enough
– journal (something my therapist recommended, three good things from the day and then how anxious I am feeling on a scale from 1 to 10)
So many times I find myself going to bed without journaling, or trying to fall asleep and remembering I didn’t have any water that day. Especially during school, a lot of the time I prioritize homework or studying over sleep, over journaling, all these things that I know are helping me in my recovery. I feel like if I don’t get this thing done, this project or homework or whatever, then I am not worthy of doing these things, i am not worthy of self care or recovery.
I get stuck in this cycle and my mental health just gets worse and worse.
If any of this is sounding familiar to you, this is your beginning of the school year reminder:
You are enough.
You are worthy of self care, whether you had a super productive day, or you had to take a mental health day from school.
You are so loved.
Stick to your program.
It doesn’t have to be anything big, just maybe checking in with yourself at the end of the day, like, “Did I have water today?” Little things like this retrain your brain, so used to knocking you down, to realize, you are worthy. if you have to take a study break for 20 minutes to drink some water, or go be with a pet (me and my mom call our cats our little furry antidepressants 🙂 the little things matter so much.
good luck with school everyone!
just for today, stick to your program, and be kind to yourself 😉
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TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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