I think this class has had many ups and downs for me. I learned the mechanics to stress management, my strengths and how to think outside of my tiny box. I learned that they’re not weaknesses, but rather “lesser strengths” and should be treated as things we can improve on. I learned that taking a 2 minute break can be okay and relying on the help of others doesn’t make you incapable of completing a difficult task on your own, but brave for being willing to ask for help. My favorite thing about this class were those two minute breaks. I could feel my body trying to relax from its constant state of tenseness, and bringing me back to a place of serenity. I think this class could use a huge facelift on the structure and content load, but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I don’t really understand my pre and post survey, and it’s results so I can’t really comment on that at the moment. I think creating a calendar together, with the class, could be extremely beneficial to what the students need to know and should be aware of. Setting everything up on a syllabus truly showed that hearing it in person is much easier to understand.
I’m going to be completely honest with all of you, I hated this assignment because I was assigned “move.” I was truly hoping to get assigned my area of expertise (sleep), but this was out of my realm of judgment, so I digress. I realized this week how much I absolutely hate walking to class and moving around in general. I only enjoy moving when it’s my choice, on my terms, when it’s not absolutely boiling outside. Also, my skin condition severely hinders me from moving / working out, simply because of the fact that I do not sweat- but that’s another story. I learned that walking at night is much more fun because I like the silence on campus when it’s dark out. I tend to move better when I’m not sweating, when I’ve slept well, and when I’m in the mood to do it. Something that really hinders my movement is a flare up with my skin condition, and lack of sleep. I think if I had the choice, I’d get rid of my skin condition and the excess heat so I could move more often, because I truly do enjoy working out, but it’s just not a possibility. I notice that I count my steps much more frequently than I thought and that the days that I spent in bed all day, I was in dire need of more water. So on those days, I’ll be sure to have plenty of water, a good stretch, and an evening stroll with some friends ☺️
I think these past two classes have been interesting. Some things we’ve spoken about have been really sensitive for me to think about, mostly because I don’t like myself enough to want to focus on myself and only myself. Coming out of the box is frustrating because it forces me to face my fears about myself and life. I’m constantly seeking approval from others, but I also have a faux confidence that makes me think that no one else matters, therefore their opinions don’t matter. So it’s easy for me to put myself in this box, ignoring other peoples’ feelings, but then when I’m in the box, all I can do is think of myself, and if I don’t like myself, that can be a pain too.. I don’t know, I feel like I’m not making any sense. I’m sorry to whomever is reading this. I just want to like myself enough to care. About anything. Because I’m currently at a place in life where nothing really matters to me at all. I want to make a positive impact somehow. I think I just need to start with forgiving myself and learning to like myself, no matter how messed up I am. I think the first sustainable change I can make is caring enough about myself to continue getting up every day and going to classes and finishing my work. I think I owe that much to myself. If I can do that, I think I can move forward to making more changes that will help me in other aspects of my life. So I think I’ll start there.
One act of kindness that I did this week was defending a person of colour when a white, racist man was calling her horrific names (n-word, b-word, everything.) I stood up for her when she couldn’t speak anymore, because her tears were taking over her. I didn’t know her, and I never caught her name, but she thanked me and hugged me really tight. The second act of kindness was in the library, someone was about to drop their drink and I literally caught it mid-fall and gave it back to them before it spilled everywhere. He also thanked me thoroughly.
I believe I positively impacted both of those people, simply because they were able to feel like they weren’t alone and helpless in those two moments. These acts made me feel pretty decent about myself, nothing abnormally higher than usual, and these moments give me a sense of purpose in the world. And I think we all need moments like that; to feel connected with the people and the world around us.
Some changes that I plan to make in the distant future that will help me reach the goals I’ve set for myself are putting all of my effort into getting better and trying harder in school. I recognize how fortunate I am to be here at VCU and I need to be doing everything I physically can go be well and thrive, as opposed to rotting away in my bed. It’s already been a tough semester, and I’ve found more than one reason to stay in bed for an entire day before getting out of bed and being exhausted all day, but I know I need to change this attitude. Only I can help myself, and it’s as terrifying and simple as that.
Making these changes really solidifies how badly I want to get well so I can reach my career goals. It also pushed me to want to really show these small changes in the work that I do with my team members. These past few weeks have been extremely difficult, but hearing Dr. Wu-Pong’s lessons on my strengths, I’ve been finding the will to push myself out of bed. Please trust the process and understand that it’s been genuinely horribly difficult for me, but I’m physically trying my absolute hardest.
Thank you all for your continued love and support.
A positive relationship in my life is definitely the relationship I have with my best friends Toni, Tram and Chelsie. Two characteristics about our friendship cube that helped us develop the high quality connections we have made are vulnerability and honesty. We all were willing to tell each other everything right off the bat, without fear of judgment. And we are always so honest with each other, the reason we all live together so harmoniously is because of how honest we are with our communication. We are never afraid to give each other the truth and we appreciate it when it’s given. We realize that we’re all human, we all make mistakes, and we’re all in a constant state of growth. The vulnerability and honesty allows us to grow as people and grow together as a group.
Because of how well these two traits worked for us as friends, I’ve found myself starting off new friendships with immediate honesty and willingness to open-up. This way of living is so free and so ready to accept change and I believe it’s done wonders for my self-esteem while making friends. I think other factors such as being positive and not a Debby-downer can also make a huge difference, but I think vulnerable conversation and honesty were the keys for me and they’ll always play a role in my High Quality Relationships from here on out.
“Competence” in a romantic college relationship can be completely different than what it could be in an adult relationship. Over time our perspectives change, which can sometimes alter our definitions for things. Situations and events can also change our perspective on things. But some key aspects of competence in a relationship are honesty, communication, trust and loyalty. These things grow and evolve, but the original roots will always be there.
A couple I truly admire is a fictional couple, but I think their story will inspire me forever. I know it’s cliché, but I think Jack and Rose from The Titanic are such an admirable couple. They trusted each other and gave everything they had to be with each other. Jack risked his life, was chained up in the bottom of the ship and was still willing to be with her after she helped him escape. They stuck together up until the last moments of his life, and Rose was forever changed by his presence in her life. She moved on and got married and had children, but she still had a love for Jack unlike anything else, and I think that shows how true and honest their love was. And I think loving someone with a love like that would change anyone forever.
I believe that depression and anxiety can be helpful in our lives for three different reasons:
To study these disorders to help others who are suffering. By studying people who have dealt with or are dealing with depression or anxiety, scientists can continue to expand its horizons and reach new heights in psychiatric care.
To motivate us to seek deeper within ourselves to find our own personal form of happiness. No one enjoys being miserable and anxious and sometimes these feelings can become so overwhelming that it pushes people to spend more time thinking about themselves, which can cause mental breakthroughs that positively change their life.
And it makes us more aware of those around us and how they are feeling. Those who have experienced these pains know the signs of them, making it easier for people who have struggled to find these signs in others. I’ve found that the people that have dealt with the most in life are the easiest people to talk to- and the most inspiring.
Personality style can also be used to our benefit because with these different personalities, we are able to see how depression and anxiety affect different “types” of people, thus broadening our knowledge on how to help these different types of people.
My exercise was really easy to do because I know for a fact that my own roommate dealt with anxiety (even before she knew.) Some days she’d just lock herself away and not talk to anyone. She is a super outgoing person, so it was odd whenever she wouldn’t speak to anyone. I could see it in her face when she was anxious, her face would tense up, her eyes would be alert, and she’d be very easily startled. I knew to look for these signs because that’s exactly how I am when I’m feeling anxious.
When I asked her how she handles stress, she told me that she loved to read gay fan fiction (odd, I know, but that’s why I love her.) She’d also listen to her favorite music playlist or listen to ASMR videos on YouTube.
She mentioned being anxious mostly when she comes in any sort of contact with vomit. She recalls having a panic attack at a party when some girl burst into the bathroom and threw up all over the bathtub. She handled this feeling by running home from the party, hopping in the shower, panicking for a little while longer and then listened to music until she eventually fell asleep. She said that originally standing there in fear did not help her in the slightest. She believes that if a person is dealing with depression or anxiety, to explore the internet in search of different ways they can try to calm themselves out of a panic or cheer themselves up. There are countless websites that cater to these specific needs and she insists to not rush yourself through everything. Take your time, heal on your own, and find something that really works best for YOU.
Unfortunately, due to a couple of hospital visits, I was unable to make either classes this week So I don’t have the pleasure of knowing my survey results. So I think I’ll spend a few minutes writing to you about my week and what’s been going on in this class for me. I hope you guys don’t mind.
The Mani article, personally, was super difficult for me to read- mostly because it involved so much math and things of that nature, but the slide show was super interesting. I thought it was so crazy how “Delay Discounting” was clear sign of substance misuse and addiction because honestly, I don’t do drugs, but I spend money like crazy. I hope my parents don’t think I’m doing anything like that.. I promise, I just like clothes.
Attempting to view myself through a positive lens can be so difficult. I spent years of my life in and out of abusive relationships. Relationships in which I was called every name in the book, told I was worthless on a daily bases, and forced to say self-deprecating things such as “No one is ever going to love me, I’m a fat pig and will never deserve a life better than this.” And honestly, I was told growing up to watch for the signs of abuse, but no one told me it could take form in a girl half my size, with a smile as bright as the sun and a love for the world unlike anyone else. Seeing her dynamic between loving the world and hating me made me feel so worthless. How she could care about not wanting to kill animals, but not caring about killing me inside. I think the biggest obstacle right now is trying to overcome all of those dark demons that still plague my mind, telling me how little im worth and how useless I am. I’m not quite sure how I can overcome them.. I know for a fact that I’ve projected a lot of these feelings onto my relationships with people now. I rely on others to keep me happy, and I realize how unhealthy that can be, but I feel like it’s a process. And I’m taking baby steps. I think the best reward I could receive from living a more positive life is being able to see myself the way I pretend I do online. I’m consistently posting self-loving quotes and making other people feel good by posting nice things about myself. I do it for them, but sometimes I hope I’ll actually start to believe what I write, but I never do. I think the best thing that could happen is I could start believing what I tell everyone else.. Because right now, I feel so fake for lying to everyone.
I think my best way to acheive these goals is by continuing to think three happy thoughts every day, and sowly starting to rely only on myself for my own happiness. But i have a feeling that could take a lifetime.
Well being is something I think we’ve all struggled with from time to time. To me, well being is putting your needs/happiness/feelings above the expectations and wants of others. Treating your body like the glorious home that it is, (i.e. Eating well, drinking water, exercising as much as you can,) making sure to get enough sleep every night, taking the time to do what you enjoy doing and what makes you happy (no matter how “weird” it may be,) can be great steps to reaching a level of well-being that can lead your mind and body to greater heights.
Two semesters ago, I was the saddest I have ever been in my entire life. I spent all my energy, trying to be someone I wasn’t, just to make other people happy. Personal factors that contribute to my own well being are really simple things: playing with my bunny, hanging out with people who genuinely enjoy my company and give me space without questioning me when I need it, and talking to my girlfriend as much as humanly possible. Finding someone that loves me unconditionally is so refreshing. I’m not kidding when I say that she has made me an entirely different person. A person who is finally happy, on less medications, and excited to continue living this life that I was blessed with.
I think the most important part about your well being is realizing that the connections you make with people, with things, are completely up to you. You don’t have to be friends with people that hurt you. Do not allow someone into the inner parts of your soul if they are dangerous to your well being. Because unfortunately, sometimes other people can end up making a huge negative impact on our souls. You don’t have to do things that don’t make you happy. You don’t have to cater to anyone else’s needs but your own. And the moment you realize that, the closer you are to a proper well being, the closer you’ll be to happiness.☼