5 options for balancing your mental health

Wellness isn’t just physical and even during these difficult times, there are ways to get help


Aarmon Mehdiyan

Although services like the Student Health Center on campus are now closed, support is available online and by phone. Photo by Aarmon Mehdiyan

Sophia Traylor, Staff Writer

It’s been over two months since the stay-at home order was set into place and with the ever-growing changes in the way we live, there should be a moment where we stop and reflect on ourselves, not just physically but also mentally.

Common signs of mental health issues can be eating too little or more than you did previously, too much or not enough sleep, or intense feelings causing difficulty managing anger, sadness, anxiety or thoughts of suicide.

Even during these difficult times, there are ways to get help. Here are some options to help keep your mind in balance with a couple tips from City College mental health counselor Abby Weisman and City College peer counselor Michael Whitaker.

Have a daily goal

With new lifestyle changes comes challenges and one can find themselves no longer enjoying or engaging in hobbies and activities they used to or coping with unhealthy habits.

Having a daily goal to complete can help keep yourself motivated. It can be as small as making your bed in the morning or going to sleep at a decent hour. A daily goal, no matter how big it is, gives a sense of accomplishment can contribute to the well being of one’s mental health.

Move your body

Exercise is not only physically beneficial but mentally. With gyms closed and parks and beaches open with limitations, exercise has become its own form of creativity.

It’s important to point out that exercise is not for everyone but moving your body is. If you are following Tom Brady’s workout plan prior to the stay-at-home order, don’t put so much on yourself now.

Light movement can do wonders whether it’s stretching when you wake up, small dumbbell lifts, a walk around your block, light yoga or, if you have learned to discipline yourself, meditate.

Click here to learn ways to exercise at home.

Reach out for help

San Diego City College now has the option of converting over-the-phone consultations to video sessions.

The phone consultation provides the initial support and opportunity to vent and just let whatever you’ve been feeling out, whereas the video session offers further assistance and a more in depth look at your own situation.

Stay connected

Social media is one way to keep in touch with friends and family aside from texting and Zoom.

Reaching out to others may feel like a task while struggling with anxiety and depression. Although isolation can make you feel like you are lessening the burden of yourself on others, it can be detrimental.

Simple check-ins with friends and loved ones would not only keep the lines of communication open but also relieve some of the worries COVID-19 has brought.

Keep the pressure low

It’s easy to feel like there’s something you should be doing while staying at home. The reality is, do what you feel is right.

If your mental health doesn’t call for you to exercise those extra pounds off or learn to make bread from scratch, don’t do it. There isn’t a right way to handle the stress that comes with a worldwide pandemic.

Take notice of the pressure that social media can portray and remind yourself that it’s okay to not have it all together.

Editor’s note: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider if you have questions about any condition.

More about City College’s Student Health Center: The Student Health Clinic addresses your physical health needs and Mental Health Counseling addresses your mental and emotional health needs. Click on the link above to visit their websites or call 619-388-3450 to leave a message to speak with a registered nurse or a nurse practitioner.

Suicide Lifeline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night, text COURAGE to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or chat online.