The winter quarter has begun, and a lot of students are feeling overwhelmed. This is a normal feeling to have this time of the year. The excitement of the holidays is over, and the cold weather makes it difficult to do fun things outside, especially with more cloudy days and fewer hours of sunshine. Still, it is important to push yourself to stay healthy, and that includes both your physical and mental health.
This winter, make sure that you take advantage of indoor exercise options. I personally use the Daskalakis Athletic Center and enjoy lifting weights and playing basketball. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week, or 30 minutes per day 5 days per week. The foods we eat are also important. Drexel University offers free food at Mario’s Market located inside the Rush Building at 30 N 33rd St. If you are hungry and can not afford something to eat it’s a great place to grab a week’s worth of groceries. I’ve personally gone there and encourage others to do the same. Remember, your physical and mental health are connected. When you take care of your body you are also taking care of your mind, and vice versa.
Drexel University offers students same-day counseling appointments which can be scheduled by emailing [email protected]. The Center for Disease Control government webpage states that 1 in 5 Americans will suffer from some type of mental illness in any given year. Mental illness can be caused by a number of different factors including stress, drug or alcohol abuse, feelings of loneliness or as a result of trauma. Many things can cause mental illness, but what is most important is that you seek out help when you realize there is a problem. Imagine what you would do if you thought you had a broken finger. It would be foolish for someone to tell you to walk it off! The correct response to a broken finger is to see a doctor, and the correct response to anxiety, depression, or any other mental illness is to see a trained professional who can help you be the best version of yourself. Do not ignore your health. Our university gives us access to the resources we need to stay healthy and have a successful quarter. We pay for those resources, so do not be shy about using them.
LGBT+ identifying individuals experience anxiety and depression at a higher rate than their peers. When you choose to stigmatize mental health you are also choosing to invalidate the voices of LGBT+ individuals struggling to find acceptance and live the lives they want to live. If you aren’t experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression now it is still possible you will personally experience it at some point in your life. In fact, the CDC states that 50% of all individuals will deal with some form of mental illness in their lifetime. Be the friend you would want to have if you were going through something similar.
This is a tough time of the year for a lot of people, but 2023 is the start of something great for all of us—we just need to keep prioritizing our health. Our hard work and dedication will pay off, but we owe it to ourselves to keep our mind and body in peak condition. Just as you need to change the oil in your car and periodically get new tires, you also need to maintain your health and wellbeing through healthy activities and extracurriculars. Let us make this quarter one that we’re proud of by taking care of our health.