Tag Archives: mental health

Podcasts to Listen to When You’re Feeling Bleh

This is the first “normal” Spring semester UT has had since the start of the pandemic. It might feel overwhelming to be back, even after experiencing the fall semester, and some of us may feel burnt out after the additional toll of midterms. Now some of us are dreading the final exams and projects coming up. 

I’ve heard that you shouldn’t rely on motivation and instead develop the discipline to get things done. However, I am not feeling motivated to do that either, which is why I listen to podcasts when I need an extra boost of confidence. Here are some of my favorites (unranked):

Let’s Talk About Mental Health 

This podcast provides advice to help you better your well-being. Understanding how your brain thinks can help you figure out ways to push through the obstacles you may face during a stressful semester. 

The Mindful Kind

I love listening to these episodes while I’m waiting for the bus or riding the bus because they’re not long (most are under 10 minutes), so I don’t need to worry about pausing or not finishing the episode.

We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle

I seriously cannot tell you how many times I’ve told myself, “I can do hard things,” and then have been able to do them. It’s my favorite mantra especially when I feel overwhelmed or when imposter syndrome is affecting my schoolwork

These next ones are for my neurodivergent ADHD baddies:

ADHD for Smart Ass Women

In this podcast, Tracy Otsuka covers topics that are relatable to people with ADHD and brings on guests to share their experiences with ADHD and how it has affected their lives, and in turn how their lives have affected their ADHD.

Catie and Erik’s Infinite Quest

Catie and Erik are a fun duo who get together to talk about the experiences that a neurodivergent person may relate to. They have over two million followers on TikTok put together, where they both advocate for ADHD. Catie’s TikTok is @catieosaurus and Erik’s is @heygude.

These podcasts have taught me to be mindful of the way my environment, the people I surround myself with, and the way I talk to myself affect the other areas of my life, namely my academic life because I over-identify with it, but at least I’m self-aware.

Featured Image By Brianna Martinez

How To De-stress: Burnout Edition

It’s that point in the semester where everything seems dreadful and mentally draining. So here’s a gentle reminder that it’s okay to take a break from schoolwork and relax. What are some ways to do that? You’ve come to the right place because I’ve got a list!

  1. Watch something you love: 

We’ve all got a comfort show that always puts us in a good mood. Having a good laugh can help relieve stress after tense study sessions. Even if it isn’t a comedy, watching something that makes you happy is what matters, whether that be true crime or cartoons. Pro tip: anything on Disney + is great for a pick-me-up, tbh.

  1. Read

Sometimes we’re so caught up in homework that we disregard the nine unread books that lie idly sitting on our shelf. Try reading one of them, or maybe finishing the one you already started. Reading books is a good way to pass time, and forget about everything else happening in the world. You’re stuck in someone else’s fantasy when you read, hopefully, a good one. And hey, at least it’s not your schoolwork! 

  1. Enjoy your favorite comfort foods

Just the other day, I made matcha-white chocolate chip cookies with my sister and instantly felt better after eating them. After hours of homework, eating something nice is rewarding. Treat yourself, even if that means ordering that expensive Uber Eats meal. Trust me; you deserve it

  1. Play a fun game

When I want a small break, I crack open the good ol’ Nintendo Switch and play a game. Lately, I’ve been playing “Kirby and the Forgotten Land” for a bit of fun before returning to homework. Of course, it doesn’t have just to console games but could be board games, cards, or whatever you find fun. Cool math games, anyone?

  1. Take a nap

Nothing feels better than a nice nap! Don’t force yourself to stay awake if you’re exhausted and haven’t gotten enough rest. Naps aren’t a waste of time if you use them wisely. Your work can wait till you’re in a better mental and physical state. Go rest!

  1. Let it out! 

When in doubt, scream, sigh or sing, as it will all relieve that pent-up stress. If you’re able, go ahead and just let out a good scream. If not, sighing works too, as it relieves tension in the upper body. Maybe, you feel the need to sing your favorite song, such as “As It Was” by Harry Styles or “Pied Piper” by BTS (my current favorites). Doing so helps release endorphins and hormones like oxytocin, putting you in a better mood.

When things get tough as finals approach, make sure to take a break. Burnout hits pretty hard and can take a toll on your mental health. Everything on this list has personally helped me feel better during burnout season, and I hope it helps you too. Remember, you’ve got this, and we’re almost there!

Featured Image By Morgan Scruggs

How to Consume Social Media In A Healthy Way

Even though social media intends to connect people from all over the world, it can often make us feel more isolated when consumed in an unhealthy way. It’s so easy to compare yourself to someone else’s highlight reel on Instagram or feel left out when you see photos from a get-together you didn’t invited to. For some people, time spent on social media leaves them feeling drained and alone, but social media has the potential to do the opposite if it was used in the right way.

My first piece of advice is to unfollow any social media creator that makes you feel worse after viewing their content. This doesn’t have to be about not liking their posts or their personality, but if you can’t view their content without criticizing yourself and comparing yourself to them, it’s probably best that you unfollow them. Instead, follow creators who promote a healthy body image and present themselves as real human beings on social media. One of my favorite social media creators is Victoria Garrick. She openly shares her journey of self-love and recovery after an eating disorder. She is known for her “#RealPost”s, where she posts unfiltered, unedited pictures that normalize things like stomach rolls, stretch marks, and breakouts. Social media creators like Garrick make me feel validated and normal. They encourage me to join the movement and post real photos of myself rather than the most polished and edited versions of those photos.

I also recommend limitinghow much time you spend on social media every day. I know it’s an easy way to pass the time, but even when consuming social media in the healthiest way possible, one can feel drained after spending hours watching videos on TikTok or scrolling through their Twitter feed. One way to accomplish this is by putting time limits on these apps, so you won’t be able to access them after spending a certain amount of time on them.

On the flip side, if you’ve ever posted pictures on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or any other social media platform, you yourself are a social media creator! That means that if you’ve ever spent hours editing your photos by shrinking your stomach and putting on a fake makeup filter, you’re contributing to the problem. One of the biggest issues of social media is that many people don’t post real pictures of themselves. As a result, people viewing their content compare themselves to a person that doesn’t even exist! I totally get cropping a photo, upping the brightness, and adding a little saturation, but when it gets to a point where you hardly recognize the person in the photo, something needs to change. 

Next time you open TikTok or draft an Instagram post, keep these things in mind. Most people on social media only share the best parts of their lives, so comparing yourself to their highlight reel is unfair. The first step towards learning to consume and create social media in a healthy way is to be mindful of these things and try our best to stay real online.

Featured Image By Allison Geddie

So, You Want to Start Therapy?

At one point or another many of us have dealt with the ups and downs of life. But for some of us, the downs stick around a little longer and can make us feel lost and hopeless. In an article in Forbes magazine, Bryan Robinson said “around 47% of Americans believe seeking therapy is a sign of weakness – which is common yet one of the biggest misconceptions about psychotherapy.” 

The stigma surrounding therapy and mental health can keep us from seeking treatment.

“We wait until we’re basically having the equivalent of an emotional heart attack before somebody will make that call.” Lori Gottlieb, a psychotherapist, said in an article for NPR.

  1. Know the stigma’s around therapy

Most people stray away from reaching out for help because they feel that their problem is not big enough. Remember it’s not selfish to seek help.

  1. You don’t know what type of therapy to try out?

There are several different types of therapy, but of the most famous there are about five.

– Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most well known aimed at mindfulness to keep their patients present.

– Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is for individuals who experience extreme emotional responses to certain situations. 

– Trauma Therapy: often used for post-traumatic stress disorder this type of therapy can help bring subconscious closure to a traumatic event to relieve the patient of constantly reliving the event.

– Psychodynamic Therapy: this looks back at the patient’s past to explore what might be causing current behavior and patterns that individuals are not necessarily aware of.

– Interpersonal Therapy: suited for working through poor or challenging relationships.

Remember not all therapists and therapy are the same, it takes time to find the right fit for you and that is okay.

  1. You’re scared of other people finding out

Therapy is confidential. “HIPPA laws dictate what therapists can and cannot disclose when they can disclose it, and to whom this information can be relayed,” Andrea M. Risi (LPC) said.

  1. You’re scared of getting better or digging through the past

Admitting that there may be a problem is scary. Things can get worse before they get better. 

  1. You’re scared of the cost

At UT CMHC individual counseling appointments are $10 but are fully subsidized by the university — meaning you do not pay the charge. In addition, psychiatry appointments are $15 but students are required to pay $10 of the $15.

If you ever feel you need someone to talk to call UT CMHC at (512) 471-3515 to meet for a brief assessment with a counselor to set up appointments. In crisis situations call (512) 471-2255. The CMHC has several services to take advantage of such as different types of therapies, well-being resources, and psychiatric services. To learn more about what CMHC has to offer to UT students you can visit their website at: cmhc.utexas/edu. There are also several on-campus organizations that advocate for mental illness education and support such as: Nami on Campus at UT and (Un)Jaded.

Featured image by Talisa Trevino

Mid-semester Madness: A Personal Reflection

Tired and overwhelmed — the two perfect words to describe how I’ve been feeling lately. 

There’s a certain sensation that buzzes around in the October air that looms around for quite a while, almost pulling and tugging at you as you try to live out your day: Midterm season.

It seems like just yesterday you were opening your syllabus for the first (and hopefully not last) time. Then, all of the sudden, we’re mid-semester. While it’s nice to be able to say that you’re halfway through your semester, it’s also scary to think about how much more there is to come. 

Midterm exams, projects, deadlines, registration and literally everything else makes the never-ending to-do list even longer.

While I’m now in my junior year of college, it somehow feels like the hardest one I have experienced thus far. Having spent my first semester completely in-person pre-COVID and my second fall semester completely online, it seems like this weird hybrid semester has been so much worse.

Whether it’s because of the difficulty of my classes as an upperclassman or just having to get used to actually attending my classes in person and not from the comfort of my bed, this semester has been a different beast altogether.

To be frank, I started this semester with such high expectations considering the fact that I registered for five classes, became involved in three organizations, added a second major and even got a job. While I was somehow able to juggle all of that only a few months ago in my spring semester, this became a struggle this school year. 

I’m not too sure if maybe it’s just me feeling this way or if others can relate at all but it hasn’t been very fun. 

On the other hand, there could be much worse things happening. While I’m struggling this semester, there’s still a tomorrow. 

While my professors and peers may not be too thrilled about my performance this semester, there is still in fact more ahead of this. 

Everyone has a hard time at some point in their college career and it just so happens that this is my struggle semester. So, it’s absolutely okay if this is your struggle semester, too. 

We will all get through this weird, difficult period together.

Featured image by Lucero Lopez