When the weight of life is pulling you under water, remember that there are always buoys that can lift you up. Here are three tips to help you stay afloat when you’re drowning mentally.
As a college student—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic—I often find myself drowning in everything I have to do. I struggle to balance all the parts of my life—academic, social, emotional, physical, spiritual—and I tend to push aside activities that benefit my mental health. For example, I prioritize that big homework assignment over sleep, and I put in extra hours at work instead of taking some time for myself.
In this busy world, it can be easy to neglect your mental health. So, if you find yourself drowning mentally under the weight of all the tasks you have to do, consider Michael Gardner’s advice in his Ensign article “A 3-Step Guide to Maintaining Your Mental Health.” In the article, Brother Gardner gives the following three tips on how to maintain your mental health and stay afloat.
1. Keep up your spiritual habits.
One way to support your mental health is to focus on your spiritual health: “Spiritual habits don’t necessarily make our challenges go away, but they do give us the strength, mental clarity, eternal perspective, hope, and courage to move forward.”
2. Practice self-care!
Another way to take care of your mental health is to practice self-care. Though helping others is important, it’s also important to take time for yourself: “Self-care begins with being conscious of your own needs and how much you can give.” Take time to ask yourself what you need, whether it be sleeping, exercising, spending time outside, journaling, strengthening relationships, or even forgiving yourself.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The most important tip for staying afloat mentally is humbling yourself and asking for help. When you’re struggling mentally, it’s just as important to ask for help as it would be if you were drowning in the ocean. Whatever your challenges, you aren’t meant to go through life alone. Turn to a parent, a leader, a friend, and, most importantly, Heavenly Father: “Heavenly Father often blesses us through others as we let them in and allow them to be there for us.”
If you’re struggling to keep your head above water, you’ll find you can stay afloat and even sail across troubled waters as you follow these three tips. As Brother Gardner states, “When we take time to tend to our mental health, we gain more strength and resilience to face challenges.”
To learn more about what you can do to maintain your mental health, read Michael Gardner’s Ensign article: “A 3-Step Guide to Maintaining Your Mental Health.”
—Kayla Orlando, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY COTTONBRO
Find more insights
Read Lorin Hurley’s Latter-day Saint Insights article “Health from Home” to learn more about what you can do to take care of your mental, physical, and spiritual health at home.
Read Madeline Hill’s Latter-day Saint Insights article “Sadness Is Not Suffered Alone” to learn how you can help others who are struggling with mental health issues.