“Be as mindful of yourself as you are of everyone else”

The week of the 9th-13th of November marks Mental Health Week on campus. Katie Quinlan is on hand to remind us all why it is so important.

So it’s Mental Health week again here in UCC and we have a week packed full of events to keep you smiling and informed.

The theme of the week is resilience and coping, while we all realise the importance of talking we need to work on coping and pushing forward. This week we have Mental Health discussions with TDs, resilience workshops, obstacle courses and lots more and we would really love for you all to involved.

I’ve always been quite open with my own struggle with mental health issues. I think it’s important to be as honest as possible about these things. At times, I am the most anxious, paranoid and self conscious person you’ll meet. I doubt myself, I question my choices and I question why I am surrounded by so many amazing people when I’m such a mess. I’m not disclosing all this here for pity or attention, I just want people to realise that it’s so normal to have these negative feelings. I’ve had people approach me and tell I’m the most self assured person they’ve ever met, secretly I’m thinking “if they only knew what my bad days are like.”

Talking and mindfulness are my methods and I use them constantly. This week is about finding ways to keep your head happy, it’s about understanding that we all battle demons and it’s about normalising the conversation around mental health. The statistic is one in five, that means that one in five people will suffer with mental health difficulties. That’s an important thing to remember but in my opinion we all battle demons at times. We all have crap weeks where we don’t want to do anything, we all have that Sunday where we don’t want to go back to college. We can teach ourselves to spot these feelings and do our best to now allow them take over our lives.

I’ll leave you with some wisdom I recently shared in a Self Care session at class rep training, which I borrowed heavily from Bressie:

  • Figure out what stresses you out and ask yourself can it managed? Can it be prevented? Does it need this much head space?
  • When you lie down in bed at night or in the morning say 30 thank yous. To thirty things or people in your life.
  • Have compassion for yourself. You’re only human, you can make mistakes and live to fight another day. Also know when to commend yourself, you do great things all the time so make sure to remind yourself.
  • And finally, remove toxicity from your life. You’ll never be happy if you continue to judge others so stop doing it. You’ll also never be happy if you allow toxic people a place in your head. Surround yourself with as much positivyt as possible.

As always I’m here if you need me. MIND YOUR MIND, cos you’re all very important.

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