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The Art of Coping

There is a far overused statement often brought up in times of distress that goes “you are never given more than you can handle.” As poetic as this is, it does little to decrease the emotional burden that overtakes us when difficulties arise. As students, we have very busy lives and it does not take a whole lot to throw off our carefully packed schedules. I have always been one to say that my personal life cannot get in the way of my priorities, but it is becoming clear now that it is my personal life that needs to be a priority.

I lost a loved one this past week. It happens to all of us, but grief does not come in a cookie cutter form; neither does any other form of mental distress. This situation has also shown me how rare it is for people to publicize their personal complications. Recent psychological studies have investigated how we present ourselves through social media, and it is increasingly rare for users to talk about what is bothering them, yet we make every effort to make our lives look beautiful. We want to be perceived as happy, we want to show off and this creates a feeling of guilt when acknowledging that something is wrong. We hesitate to bring up what is bringing you down, because we do not want to drag others with you. Though it is precisely this outlet, letting others know what is going on, that prompts healing.

But the greatest thing I have realized is that the only way to feel better is to let your emotions heartache take its course. This goes for loss, breakups, difficulty adjusting to school, anything that causes some kind of distress. Do not repress or ignore the situation, take each moment as it comes with the knowledge that it is okay to stumble.

Overall, remember that your mental health is crucial and not to be put on the backburner. If you or a friend are in need of assistance do not hesitate to seek help from a mentor, trusted friend, or call Cook Counseling, 504-231-6557.

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