Hi! My name is Paige (I’m the one in the pink shirt!), and I’m the person behind the UniWellness blog posts. My position title is Customer Experience Lead, which means that I’m the one who takes care of your questions and concerns while you use UniWellness. When I’m not answering your questions, I’m creating blog content, thinking of platform improvements, and eating Chipotle (three soft tacos with brown rice, chicken, corn salsa, and cheese).
Let’s dive a little deeper
I graduated from college in May 2018, and my four years of college were the most challenging years I’ve experienced. I consistently felt overwhelmed and anxious in the chaos of never-ending due dates and tests. I struggled with feelings of loneliness, inadequacy, and uncertainty.
A few weeks into my first semester of college, I decided to schedule an appointment at the counseling center. When I called, I was told that all of the counselors were booked for the rest of the semester, and that I needed to find an off-campus provider to receive care. It was only the first week of October, and I didn’t have a car.
During the summer before my senior year of college, the efficacy of my medication dropped dramatically. I became lethargic and irritable. At the time, I was working at an on-campus internship, a 3 1/2 hour drive from the doctor who prescribed me my medication. Of the few local psychiatrists who accepted my health insurance, most never returned my calls. The few who did offered me appointments in September. It was June.
My struggles to access necessary mental health care in college lit a fire within me to see these access problems solved. After graduation, I joined the UniWellness team to make a tangible difference in students’ lives with a telemental health platform that would have helped me. I’m passionate about the work that we do. To me, and to us, it’s personal.
A week of wellness
Last week, I took the week off to care for my own wellness. Instead of planning a vacation, I stayed home and didn’t make any plans. I figured it out as I went, and as I reflected on that time earlier this week, I thought it’d be a great idea to share some of my week off with you.
Reading. I love to read, and the past few years of college and adult life have left me little time to lose myself in books. I’m sad to say that I haven’t read a book since January, so I was incredibly excited for my trip to the library. I picked up a self-help book along with The Kite Runner, one of my favorite books that I’ve been wanting to reread.
Painting. I love painting, but the perfectionist in me hates how hard it is to make my vision a reality. I recently discovered the Adobe Sketch app, and the Edit and Undo features have been lifesavers! I ordered a stylus and invested some time into creating some virtual pieces I love. My inspiration is Morgan Harper Nichols.
Spending time outside. I’m sad that summer is over and cold weather lies ahead. Fortunately, we’re still seeing temperatures in the 60s and 70s here in Virginia. I love being outside, so I made sure to take some walks, explore my area on foot, and read on my balcony.
Spending time with others. The highlights of my week involved the time I spent with people I love. We ate dinner at our favorite restaurants, caught up after some time spent apart, and relaxed at a bonfire. This helped me realize that I don’t prioritize socialization enough, something I’m working to change.
Wellness is personal and looks different from person to person. What fills my cup may not fill yours, and that’s okay. What’s important is knowing what fills your cup and making time and space to do those things.
Adding wellness to your schedule
With everything you juggle at school, it’s difficult to include self-care in your routine. Here are a few tips that can help you stay on top of your wellness in college:
- Schedule self-care in your calendar. Maybe every night at 7, or every morning when you wake up, you do something for your wellness for 30 minutes or 1 hour. Set a reminder on your phone. The key here is to make it a non-negotiable.
- Keep a list of your self-care activities in your phone or wallet. This is my favorite tip that I give others. When you’re feeling down or stressed, it’s hard to think of things that might make you feel better. Make it easier on yourself by keeping a list of things that fill your cup with you at all times.
- Prioritize your sleep. Something that really helped me in school was making sleep a non-negotiable. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night is crucial to your wellness and your academic success. Stop participating in the “Who’s functioning on the least amount of sleep?” competition.
- Lean on others. We’re social creatures who depend on others. When things are hard, talk to a friend or family member you trust. Life seems more conquerable when we aren’t feeling alone.
- Seek care from a professional. Some things are too heavy to carry by yourself. It can really help to discuss them with someone whose expertise lies in listening to you and helping you untangle the situations you’re facing. Check out our recent post about seeking mental health care.
Click here to schedule an appointment with UniWellness today!
Accessing mental health care at school has never been so easy. We’re glad you’re here.