My first semester of my sophomore year had to be one of the most difficult times I’ve ever endured. I was struggling keeping my grades afloat while juggling my personal relationship, familial problems and friendships. I know so many people go through the same issues but depending on where you are in your life, it can really take a toll on you.
After doing mediocrely my first semester and being generally unhappy, I knew I had to change my mindset around and bring my spirits up. But how?
Now working with the Precious Dreams Foundation I realized I changed my awful fall semester at school around to an amazing spring semester of bringing up my GPA to a 3.45 and thriving in my personal life by self-comforting. I didn’t realize it at the time but when I arrived home for winter break after my fall semester I had started my self-comfort journey.
Whenever I felt upset, sad or stressed out I would take time to meditate. I know that may seem silly or like a cliché, but it truly works. As my blood began to boil at minor annoyances or major inconveniences in my life, I would sit down in my room and turn to my favorite app: headspace. I’d do guided meditation through the app and feel refreshed and calm afterwards. Through meditation, you’re supposed to completely clear your mind and focus just on being in the moment of meditating. Focusing all of your energy into meditating takes your mind off of all of the worries and troubles you’re going through and helps you just reset your mind. I try to set 20 minutes a side, 4 days a week to meditate and it’s truly like hitting the refresh button on your day.
Another way I was able to take back control of my life was by journaling. Now in middle school/high school I was never one to have a diary that I wrote in like most teens in movies. But, when at my lowest points I thought I’d turn to journaling. I ordered a book off of amazon called the 5-minute journal. It’s a guided journal that gives you the same prompts every day. When you wake up you write 3 things you’re grateful for and then you write 3 realistic things that you hope to happen with in the day. At night right before bed you write 3 things that happened that day that made you happy and then 3 affirmations. This also may seem like another cliché like meditating, but it really does work. I found myself appreciating the little things in my life more like my bed or bigger things like the fact that I was able to afford a college education. This journal helped me realize that even at a time in my life where I felt pretty hopeless and wanted to just give up, there were still things to be happy and grateful for.
Whether it be playing badminton at my rec center with my friends (my personal fav), working out on my own or attending workout classes, exercise is one of my favorite ways to self-comfort. Exercising is much like meditation in the fact that since you’re putting all your energy into one activity, you have no time to worry about the ongoing conflicts in your life. Going to the gym and being active is proven to release endorphins and naturally make you happier, so this is a sure-fire way to self-comfort.
Self-comfort is truly so important to mental health and wellness. I’m so glad to be a part of an organization that teaches kids how to successfully self-comfort and spread its importance.