Written by: Tiffany Bartel
Healthy Minds QEP Director
Editor’s Note: The following articles are written by counseling professionals from Counseling Services in partnership with the Southern Accent.
Positive mental health and well-being are things most people want to have in their lives, but they can feel difficult to obtain. It is tempting to see happiness and well-being as by-products that we can have when the rest of our life is going smoothly, and our stressors are low. Mental health and happiness are, however, products that are the result of the cumulation of our resourcing over multiple domains.
Mental and emotional health are directly related to our physical health. How we care for our body has a significant impact on our mood and thoughts, and the three areas with the greatest impact to our mental health are the areas of exercise, nutrition and sleep. College life also can directly challenge these three areas, making it feel impossible to have the mental health we want.
I’ve heard it said that you are as happy and have as much of a sense of well-being as you will ever have in your whole life today. Think about how you feel today. Is this the health and well-being that you want to have every day for the rest of your life? If the answer is no, then the solution is to change today!
One of the ways that we can affect change in our mental health and well-being is to identify small ways to influence the most important areas of our wellness. This is accomplished through small but consistent changes in our health habits.
Counseling Services’ upcoming event, “Step Forward,” is a two-week, campus-wide initiative where we invite students, staff and faculty to make one small change to better their mental health in the area of sleep, nutrition or exercise. Some of the pledge prompts are as simple as eating breakfast three times each week or drinking one more glass of water per day than usual.
When we want to make a change in our lifestyle, we often set high and ambitious goals, but it is the small, sustainable adjustments that make the biggest impact in the long run.
The event runs Nov. 6-17, and we have had over 300 participants in past years. Our goal is to have 500 students, staff and faculty participating this year.
You can sign a pledge card and receive your corresponding wristband at Hulsey Wellness Center, McKee Library, residence halls, the University Health Center, the nursing building or the Bietz Center for Student Life between Oct. 23 and Nov. 2.
We will also be featuring pledge pop-ups throughout the two weeks. During the event, we will be posting encouraging tips, conducting drawings for giveaways and more. Join us for this event, and make one small change to better your mental health!