Dealing with Mental Health Issues and Your Next Career Move
For so long you have focused on passing and/or excelling in your classes. Perhaps you dealt with mental health issues in college, but you comforted yourself by saying that school was a means to an end; anxiety and sadness comes with the pressures and prices of university. So now you are on your own without a job in the field of your choice, and you are depressed. This is normal–of course–but not everyone deals with it in the same way. School is the tip of the iceberg as far as anxiety goes; once graduation is over, you will face hard times. Whether you are dealing with mental health issues with or without the help of medication, here are some tips to help you with the difficult post-grad growing pains:
It is imperative to value what you think and feel. Accept that you feel weak in the moment and make steps to become stronger. While doing this, also accept that failure is a necessary means to further personal growth and knowledge. In order to be strong, healthy and cheerful to both yourself and others you need to accept that you are a work in progress. The idea that being well needs to happen immediately is damaging and unattainable. Be aware of your human limitations and your self-worth will rise. Value your reactions and emotions and be at peace with those mental processes. But also, evaluate and articulate your strength; when you feel strong, reward yourself.
Talking with someone is ALWAYS a good idea. Now that you are not in university you may feel that counselling is not a possibility due to finances. But the truth is that every community has free therapy options and mental health hotlines that are very helpful. As soon as you start to feel too trapped in your head, pick up the phone and make an appointment. For those with prescriptions, it is imperative that you see someone on a regular basis in order to stay on top of your medications and their effects.
Normalize the stress you feel and plan, plan, plan!
Do not let stress overrun you. The ultimate secret is to be organized. BE THE MOST ORGANIZED. Do not put more on your plate then you know you can handle (a common side-effect of those with major highs and major lows) and make a habit of writing everything down. Document your thoughts, your plans, important dates, goals and locations. Seeing everything in a physical format helps people to realistically understand what they can and cannot handle as well as visualize an attainable future. Also, while this may seem like a chaotic time, you will still look back on this time as one that shaped who you became. You can also keep track of your progress by writing diary entries or poems.
Do not compare yourself to others.
Of course this can be nearly impossible with Facebook and everyone around you entering different phases of their lives at different times. A sure-fire way to tear your spirit down is to put yourself up against others. Learn from the strengths of others, but fight jealousy and insecurity at all costs. In the end your life is what you make it and it is only you that can change and make things better.