Hear from our MBU community on ways you can protect your mental health
Ways You Can Take Care of Your Mental Health
by Iris Dixon, Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance
1. Trust in God. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11. Having faith and trusting in God helps the mid, body and spirit. It gives you a sense of purpose in knowing that troubles don’t always last.
2. Maintain a healthy routine. Eat healthy, get regular sleep, and exercise. Stay positive and limit negative emotions.
3. Limit stressful media intake. Television, radio, and social media can be overwhelming with news, opinions, and politics that can have a profound effect on one’s mental state.
4. Reach out to family and friends and stay connected. Share how you are feeling are if you are struggling. Talk through your struggles. It could be that what you are feeling, others may be feeling the same.
5. Know that you are not alone. Over the past few months, we all have gone through trying times and have felt a sense of loss as to what to expect as we attempt to move forward. Seeking and having resources to aid you in times of struggle is the best way to help relieve some of the anxiety you may be experiencing and overall, provide stability to your mental health.
Mental Health Check-In
by Nikki Johnson, Director of Social Work
Have you driven in heavy fog at night? The unknowns are countless. The thick billowing clouds mask formerly familiar surroundings. Visibility is limited to only what is immediately in front of you, nothing beyond. You know your car is moving, yet you aren’t sure where you’re going or what you may encounter on your journey.
You are doing everything you typically do, yet it isn’t enough. Nothing you do increases your visibility, or your sense of security. Your senses become heightened. Uncertainty fuels fear and anxiety.
Does this sound familiar?
College students have had to ponder too many questions: Will I make new friends? Will I find my community? What will church look like? Could I get sick? Will I lose my job? Will I find a job?
How are you managing? To whom do you turn in times of uncertainty? I assure you that God can handle all your worries and concerns, in fact, He desires them. Remember, the Lord will give strength to His people in time of need and will bless His people with peace’ (Psalms 29:11) that surpasses all human understanding (Phil 4:7). The strength and peace God gives renews us. It lights up our path so that we can see the way forward… even through the fog.
Pursuing Resilience and Happiness
by Jason Jordan, Assistant Professor of Counseling Education
In an article on resiliency for college students, Eells (2017) suggested “SAVES” as a helpful acronym to remember a few ways to cultivate resiliency and hold on to your happiness.
S — Social Connectedness. We can physically distance and stay socially connected. Reach out to family, friends, and mentors online so that you can be “more present.” Don’t forget 2 John 1:12: “… I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face so that our joy may be complete.” So, let them see your smile!
A — Attitude. Use the 3Ps.
Permanence. Times are changing and the difficulties we confront today will not last forever.
Pervasiveness. Change your focus to the positive. Notice the things that are going right, other peoples’ strengths, and the positive changes that are happening, and be grateful.
Personalization. Sometimes other people’s actions feel personal. Be slow to respond, look at the bigger context of the situation, and question if things are actually about you personally. Do a random act of kindness for someone else. Caring for others is actually good for your mental health.
V — Values. Get back to the important ideas, beliefs, and characters that make sendyou, uniquely you. Spirituality is a critical component. Simple daily activities like reading scripture and praying are important ways we cultivate resiliency. Pause, breathe, and acknowledge a blessing.
E — Emotions. In unique times we can have conflicting thoughts and emotions that are uncomfortable. A mentor of mine often encouraged me to “lean into difficult emotions.” By accepting and being willing to stay with an uncomfortable emotion, you have the opportunity to examine the roots, learn a bit about yourself, and grow in wisdom.
S — Silliness. Don’t take yourself too seriously nor think that you must be perfect. Be silly, play games, listen to music, watch hilarious movies. Bob Hope said “I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.”