We are still in a pandemic, and the effects of this are being felt by everyone, including me! Mental Health Matters. Not only should we endeavor to stay well physically, but we should care for our minds as well. Keeping this in mind, we need to be patient and kind to one another and with ourselves. While many of you are so willing to support and encourage your friends, roommates, and classmates, it is important to remember that YOU, too, are deserving of individual help. There are many resources at Princeton, described here. You know why they are there? Because we don’t want or expect you to do it alone.
Additionally, It’s midterms season and you may be feeling the pinch of multiple important deadlines. Perhaps you’re tempted to power through with less sleep and extra-long study sessions. But your health, energy level, and mood may take a hit. Is it worth it? Ultimately, the choice is yours. This week I ask you to consider a different path toward the academic finish line. A large body of research and my own experience as your Director of Student Life demonstrates that taking good care of yourself, including enjoying periodic study breaks and naps, will actually help you feel and do your best.
Mental health takes different forms for different people. For some, it's managing the mental load of academics, busy schedules, working a job, or doing research. For others, it includes coping with a mental illness that adds additional complications to achieving a work-life balance. Included in this correspondence are some resources which you may find helpful wherever you find yourself concerning mental health. I also encourage you to visit CPS and McCarter Theatre Center’s production The Manic Monologues, a virtual theatrical experience to disrupt stigma and create a conversation about mental health. Check out the site here!
Remember, you are not alone. Check-in with one another - friends, family, educators, peers, acquaintances - and take time to check-in on yourself. Reflect on the good things; they're still there in the midst of all that is going on. With the nice weather coming on, consider stretching your legs and taking a stroll to breathe some fresh air and appreciate the beauty of the world in which we live. There is still hope to be found.
If you’ve read this far, please click here for your first steps on how to retrieve a wellness related item!
If you are looking for additional resources beyond the Princeton bubble, here are some suggestions:
Wellness Resources: Pause, Reset, Nourish: https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/fact-sheet/pause_reset_nourish_to_promote_wellbeing_use_as_needed_to_care_for_your_wellness.pdf Self-Compassion Exercises: https://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/ Empathic Strain: https://www.tendacademy.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/toolsToReduceTrauma-2018-05-20.pdf
Counseling Resources: Help: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/ National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255 Disaster Distress Helpline, Call or text 800-985-5990 (for Spanish, press 2) How to ask about suicide: https://cssrs.columbia.edu/the-columbia-scale-c-ssrs/families-friends-and-neighbors/ You can talk to trained counselors 24/7: call: 1-866-488-7386. text: START to 678678 TransLifeline 877-565-8860 (10am-4am) 7 Cups – free emotional support network: https://www.7cups.com
A virtual resource guide has links to help & support, books, articles, research, and the script. The site’s “Media Center” hosts interviews with leading experts and advocates discussing Mental Health and its intersection with Social Justice, Social Media and COVID (including a conversation with Jean Twenge, best-selling author of iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re all ears, Moose! MooseLove, Dr. Cepin