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How To Cope With Mental Health Illness and Turn It Into Something Positive

Growing up, it’s very common to deal with mental health illness, especially as a teenager. I have dealt with this extensively over the course of my teenage years and have seen many of my friends go through waves of anxiety, depression, stress. These are all hardships we will face at some point in life, but the important thing to remember is that situations do change overtime and can be overcome. Below, you’ll find my 3 key steps to dealing with adversity in a positive way and making the best out of the most difficult circumstances.

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Tip #1 – Self Care: Often times, we tend to put too much pressure on ourselves to meet deadlines or to accomplish our goals. This pressure can have negative effects that could eventually take over our physical health and lead to stress, depression, anxiety, etc. During these times, it’s important to remember that you are in control and that the seemingly impossible situation you are dealing with does not override that control. Anytime you feel as though you start to lose your calm, take a deep breath and a small break. Doing something little, like taking a walk or watching a show (anything you enjoy) to take your mind off the stress can help you tremendously. Maybe it may even give you a new perspective on your current situation. Your mental health comes first; make sure you make it a priority.

Tip #2 – Get involved and Help Out: Finding your passion is key to helping you take your mind off stresses, but in doing so, you also allow yourself to develop the skills to deal with adversity positively. For example, volunteering or taking on leadership positions can help you step out of your comfort zone and teach you how to manage time and stress effectively. Not only this, but it can help you develop confidence so you can have more hope for the future. Do activities that allow you to help others because you will not only get to interact with people and talk to them as “therapy,” but you will also feel accomplished and better after doing good in your community or for another person. This can take loads off your stress and keep you grounded when you’re unsure how to continue.

Tip#3 – Enjoy the Process: Look for the light in the darkest situations. It’s very easy to get caught up in the idea of, for example, getting a 4.0 GPA or gaining admission into a dream school. When you get overwhelmed with the outcome of your current situation, remember to enjoy the process and keep your passions in mind. Sure, getting a 4.0 GPA is great, but don’t let getting into med school be your only focus. Enjoy learning in school or any activity you do really, and improving yourself through the process. By doing so, you will save yourself a lot of stress and energy. We have to learn to live in the PRESENT and enjoy the life given to us, even when it gets hard.

These 3 steps have gotten me through so much and have given me the strength and skills to move on from difficult situations and come out the other side as a better person. I hope you can find your passions and learn to take things at your own pace as you go through life. I hope this helped!

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