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Student Blog: Not Being Okay is Okay

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The Importance of Putting Yourself First

Student Blog: Not Being Okay is Okay If there is anything the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it's that mental health is incredibly important. Sure, prior to quarantines and lockdowns and everything we knew about life being flipped upside down, mental health remained a priority for many in a variety of ways. But when the world completely changed in a blink of an eye, millions had to come to terms with mental health problems that had been buried beneath the surface for years.

This was not uncommon. The anxiety about an uncertain future and our lives being in danger, having to relearn finding happiness without some of the most crucial aspects of life and the overwhelming sadness due to the significant loss of life are only a few reasons people found themselves to be struggling. But for the first time, and arguably one of the only good things that this pandemic has taught us, many were acknowledging that it's okay to not be okay.

And I know, that's an overused phrase that is thrown around on social media or plastered on inspirational posters. But it's the truth. Society has conditioned us to believe we have to put up a front for others to believe we are always doing our best, loving life and that nothing is wrong. That method simply doesn't work. There is always a breaking point and for so many of us, myself included, the pandemic was that breaking point.

The stigma around mental health has slowly been disappearing over time, but now more than ever before, people are open with their struggles and real feelings. We're admitting that we need help, things aren't okay and there isn't anything wrong with that. In fact, that's leaps and bounds ahead of how we handled mental health issues prior to the pandemic. It's this mentality, realizing there is no shame in wanting to get better, that needs to stick around if we want to come back stronger than ever.

In the grand scheme of things, you are the most important. Taking care of yourself should always be the top priority, no matter what. Whether it's going to therapy, setting aside time to do things that make you feel good or even journaling, doing what's best for you is only going to make you feel better going forward. This does look different for everyone and can be difficult to figure out at first, but I promise the process is worth it.

No one will be there for you like you will be. And that's okay. If you need help or to change something in order to better your mental health, that's more than alright. Putting yourself first while also recognizing something is wrong is the first step, although a major one. It's a step towards growing and becoming the person you want to be, learning how to manage the struggles that exist and are valid. There is absolutely nothing weak about admitting you're not okay. It takes an immense amount of strength to do that.

I've learned how important it is to take care of your mental health first hand. It's not an easy journey, but one that's necessary if things are becoming too much to handle on different fronts. The way society has framed life to be this picture perfect idea, which social media also pushes, is not true and never will be. So take care of yourself and do what is best for you.

It's okay to not be okay. Just remember that.


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From This Author Student Blogger: Breanna Ebisch