EDITORIAL: Stressed or depressed? You're not alone

As the end of semester nears, use campus resources to help yourself

"How Do You Take Care of Your Mental Health" poster at the Take Care on the Lawn event on Thursday, Sept. 1 outside of the Bovee University Center.

We’re one month out from the end of classes. The stress is building – from classes to work to seasonal changes, it may seem like it’s all coming down at once.

But hang in there, you’re almost to the end.

This time of year is when people really start to feel the weight of it all. The sky is gray more days than it’s not, and exams are arriving faster than most students can fathom.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, millions of American adults suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD), although many may not know they have the condition. It is more common in those living farther north, where there are shorter daylight hours in the winter.

Mixed with piling homework, projects and impending exams, this time of year can be extremely difficult to get through.

You’re not alone in the way you feel.

A 2016 study from MentalHelp found 89% of college students were stressed at least two to four times per semester, and 30% said they were stressed for almost the entire semester.

But there are places, things and people that can help you through hard times like these.

Easy ways to improve your mood are by making the most out of the seldom sunny days and exercising regularly. Doing so can boost serotonin, endorphins and other feel-good brain chemicals, according to Central Michigan University’s webpage for Seasonal Affective Disorders.

Connect with people around you on campus – a friend, mentor or simply a class peer. 

Chances are, sharing your struggles with those around you can help to gain perspective on your situation and — even better — find solutions.

CMU offers an array of on-campus resources as well, including mental health services, support groups and online self-help links. 

As the end of the semester nears, take the time now to help yourself. Prioritize yourself and your sanity before exams arrive and we are in the thick of the winter. 

There are many ways to seek assistance on campus, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.