Resource List for Back to School

Yesterday I spent some time searching for online resources and helpful suggestions for taking care of your mental health and general school tips during this back to school time. I made a thread of all the masterposts on the twitter for a mental health club that I lead on my campus. And now I am going to share them all with you:

  • Back to School With Mental Illness – general mental health help, resources for specific mental illnesses and study tips.
  • Mental Health and University – how to get through a bad week and be able to move on without fucking up the rest of your semester.
  • Studying With Mental Illness – tips for creating conditions and an environment where you can study even when you’re dealing with all the extra shit mental illness brings.
  • Anxiety and Panic Masterpost – online resources to cheer you up, calm you down, and distract you.
  • Mental Illness Apps – mobile resources for meditation, sleep, moodtracking, and reaching out for help.
  • Saving Your Grades From a Mental Health Crisis – as someone who finds herself in this situation literally every semester, this is a really good guide for unfucking your shit.
  • Guide to the First Week of College – some suggestions for first years to help you make the most of your first week and adjust to life as a university student.
  • Maintaining Productivity After a Long Day – tips for being productive even though after class all you wanna do is take a short 6 hour nap.
  • Study Methods – you learn a lot about yourself in university, like that the only cure to your hangovers is time and maybe your sexuality is a little more fluid than you thought but you should also try to figure out what kind of learner you are so that you can study better.
  • Memorization Tips – when it comes down to it, if you wanna do well on a test you have to have that information stuck in your brain like the lyrics to the entirety of Hilary Duff’s Metamorphosis (2003) album (the brain is a miraculous organ isn’t it?), here is how to get that done.
  • Procrastination Hacks¬†– for a lot of people, procrastination is just a part of the process of doing assignments, the key is to be able to move on from that stage and get shit done.
  • Annotations and Note Taking – learning how to take good notes can help you learn in class, retain information, and overall, do less work.
  • Useful Symbols and Abbreviations – ¬†shortening the amount of work that you have to do while taking notes can save you time and hand cramps.
  • Studying Better – how to make a good study space, study methods, and general tips.
  • Masterpost of Masterposts – apps, productivity, study tips, writing tips, playlists, and self care resources.

This may seem like a lot of information but these are just suggestions. Through experience you will find some things that work for you to study AND practice self care. Just remember, you’ve got this.

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First Date With A Therapist

Getting to know someone new is hard, especially when that person is going to be someone that you tell the deepest, most personal aspects of your life to. Yesterday, I had my first date with a new therapist. I was reluctant for a multitude of reasons, to open myself up to someone new, to see someone in private practice, to be seeking help from someone who advocated for yoga therapy on their website.

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But sometimes you have to champion for your own health so I tried to put judgement aside and I went. As I first walked into her office I saw that she was drinking kombucha and debated promptly pivoting tf outta there but nevertheless, I persisted. I sat with my thighs sticking to the leather couch, bouncing my leg nervously as we established my family structure when I experienced the next moment that made me question what I was doing there.

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Nothing like a big ol’ dose of heteronormativity to start off your day. But given the frequency of these kind of interactions I decided to let it go and focus on what I had come there for. Despite the whole yoga and kombucha thing, she was an advocate of medication which pleasantly surprised me. She was also able to offer some insight into what I have been going through and most of all she did not belittle my feelings. Though I am still hesitant to continue to open myself up and it remains to be seen if we are a good match for each other, I have made an appointment for next week. Hopefully our second “date” will further help to determine our compatibility.

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Keeping Up Appearances

Sometimes I just want permission to fall apart. So many times I’ve been in ¬†public place or just in the presence of others and I experience some sort of symptom and I just want to be able to give into that feeling and then let it pass instead of tucking it tightly into my abdomen and having it flush across my cheeks. I come across as high functioning, I’m able to leave the house, I look presentable, I am able to go to school and I get good grades. Even though I’m fairly open about my mental health and some people in my social circles are aware of it, they don’t believe that it manifests into unpleasant symptoms and affects my every day existence. But even though I look functioning I often don’t feel like it.

It takes a tremendous amount of effort every single day to appear the way I do. To force myself to interact with other people, to speak, to breathe normally, to keep up these appearances. Once in a while I just want to be able to give in and be angry or shake or cry or seclude myself or not speak and not have to answer any questions about it. I don’t want to have to fold everything and tuck it into my pocket, only able to unwrap it in moments alone where it has twisted and grown and gained enough weight to sit on my chest and suffocate me. I want it to be okay that I am sick and that that has real life physical and mental symptoms. And if people want to dismiss me as the crazy girl that’s fine because in this stigmatized world I am and it is getting harder and harder to pretend to be anyone else.