Mental Health Matters

Tea Wheat , Entertainment Writer

When thinking about one’s overall wellness, the concept of physical health is what is talked about first and most often. People usually focus on whether or not the person is physically fit, are they a healthy weight, do they have any health conditions that would deem them “unhealthy.” In the time of many unprecedented situations and stressful events such as the current pandemic, these are what people talk about when they talk about health, however, there is another element that is just as important.

Mental and emotional health and wellbeing are just as instrumental to one’s overall wellness as physical health. Now more than ever, we need to be paying attention to our mental health and really make sure that we keep up with that just as much as we would our physical health any other day. Self care and reflection are two vital parts to upkeep and checking in on mental health.

Something that is often misconstrued about self care is that it is as easy as “treat yourself” every day or on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, self care is much more than treating yourself. Taking care of yourself and putting in the work to take care of your body and mind, that is self care, and it’s not always glamorous. Sometimes it is hard, painful and ugly, and that is okay. It is okay for things to be hard, so long as you give yourself grace and patience as you continue to learn and grow.

On Thursday, the Western Illinois University University Counselling Center will be holding one of its most popular events. Fresh Check Day is a mental health awareness and suicide prevention event that is put on each year by the University Counselling Center. In the midst of a pandemic, the University Counseling Center was still able to find a way to host this important University-wide event. Fresh Check Day will run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on an online format this year. Fresh Check Day is completed by universities nationwide as a suicide prevention and mental health awareness event. There will be a drawing for an Amazon gift card and pizza gift cards for those who attend. Fresh Check Day is a great way to check in on yourself and see how you are doing mentally and emotionally, and I highly encourage everyone to attend if able.

Again, just because it is not the norm and it is still a bit taboo to discuss mental and emotional health and wellbeing, do not let that stop you from taking care of yourself! Just as much as you would rest if you broke your ankle, it is important to rest if you need a mental break. It is okay to not be okay, but it is so important to get help when you need it. People do care and more people than you may realize will be there to help and support you where you need it. Reach out to your support system of the University Counseling Center if you feel you need extra support, and do your best to work toward a self-care routine.