Going into your freshman year of college is both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. I felt so alone and so helpless at times. Even at times where I was surrounded by my friends, I felt alone. I got help and started seeing a therapist regularly just to talk.
Mental illness or not, I believe that talking to a therapist is important. Someone who does not know your day-to-day life, and someone who does not live it with you as a peer. They are non-judgmental professionals who will listen and advise you on ways to better yourself. This is how I got into exercising as my outlet of release.
It is a healthy way to relieve stress and release endorphins to make one feel better. It makes the anxiety lessen and it made the depression feel less severe. Whether it is lifting weights, running, yoga, or cycling classes, exercising some sort of physical way greatly helps my mental health. To be anxious and feel so trapped in your negative thoughts is terrifying. You don’t know how to rid these thoughts sometimes. For me, I would put on some gym clothes and go for a run, or a walk, or go lift some weights. It was a release and it felt good. It appears like a weight has been lifted off of you after you’re finished. Yes, there is sweat and sometimes pushing your body can be painful, but the feeling of accomplishment after an amazing workout is un-replicable.
It is sometimes hard as a college student to find time in your busy schedule to head over to the gym. Some people prefer to go at a certain time or on a specific schedule, but you don’t have to be like everyone else! Maybe you go once a week, and then this can progress into two times, and then three times. It’s important to find time for yourself that is not sitting in front of an open book and reading.
However, it’s understandable that exercise isn’t for anyone. Maybe a different outlet for someone is listening to music or binge watching a Netflix show. This is great too. It is a trial and error process to find what works for you to ease your anxiety, depression, or mental illness, but it is so important to know you’re not alone.
What coping mechanisms do you have for stress relief and anxiety? Do you exercise? Why did you start?