We’re over halfway into the semester, and following Tuesday’s elections, I’m sure we’re all in need of some personal time. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s important and valuable. Not everyone is affected the same either; be conscious of the spaces you are creating, and make sure that the people around you feel safe and cared for.
Mental health and self-care is incredibly important any time and is a crucial practice to engage in not only for affirming yourself, but for creating powerful relationships with others. Self-care isn’t face masks and bath bombs; it’s a practice of engaging in self reflection, self interrogation, and listening that allows us to find our internal power and create intentions that can allow us to generate strong relationships and be advocates for ourselves and others.
Scholars like Audre Lorde and Bell Hooks write about self-care as a revolutionary practice–when we care for ourselves, we can share this with others. Others can, and should, play a key role: care is not meant to be the job of just the individual self. It isn’t solely your responsibility to look after your wellbeing. Reach out to people, and allow them to reach out to you! Collective care is self-care. Assuming full responsibility for ourselves and our mental health can be isolating and can lead to self-blame rather than acknowledgment. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and listen to yourself.
Gustavus also has several mental health resources for students:
Several different group options, like BIPOC Minds Matter and Queer & Questioning
Workshops, such as ACTing Through COVID and Seeking Serenity
Individual counseling appointments through the Counseling Center
Let’s Talk, a drop in service that runs every weekday from 1:30-2:30pm to help provide support and suggestions on a daily basis
Comprehensive resource lists for many different groups and needs (these can be found on the Counseling Center’s Gustavus webpage)