Stress and College

Clenched teeth, locked jaw, tension shooting up my shoulders and neck, feeling heavy as if my legs were glued to the floor, tightness in my low back set in, and finally a pounding headache crashed into my frontal lobes. Stress! My name is Liam, and I’m a junior in the Public Health program at Temple University. Lately I’ve been dwelling on stress (literally).  Last semester was full of surprises. I was already late to register for my summer classes, scrambling to find a course before the deadline, all while in the process of moving, losing family to gun violence, not to mention dealing with burnout and vicarious trauma from work. At the top of this long list: social isolation due to the COVID-19 restrictions and recommendations. Tired, worrying I wouldn't get a course in time, I stumbled across one of the remaining courses available: ‘Stress Management’. I assumed it would be about deep breathing, and healthy social networks, which are both important, but instead the course focused more on the mind-body connection and interactivity. This course taught me a lot about myself. As a master procrastinator, I do everything at the very last minute. This is accompanied with awfulizing (constantly worrying about the “what if’s” in life), not to mention the chronic back pain. Stress become that “friend” who always [...]

2021-11-10T20:47:35-05:00November 10th, 2021|Lived Experience, Self-Help, Stress|

Connection Can Save Lives

Realizing a friend is struggling with suicide can feel scary and overwhelming. It can feel impossible to pull someone from those depths. Recently, I found myself in a similar situation with a close friend. Life seemed to be getting busier for both of us. What I didn’t realize was that my friend was actively withdrawing from those around him. He was still reeling from the death of his father and his romantic relationship ending all while starting a new job in a strenuous field. During this time, I extended my sympathies and tried to be empathetic, but he didn’t seem interested in anything deeper than surface level conversations.  I felt a distance growing between us. I was concerned about him, but it wasn’t until I received a frantic message from a family member who explained how pervasive his withdrawal has been. That is when I started to feel scared, overwhelmed, and worried that I missed my opportunity to “save him.” I reached out several times without luck. It wasn’t until I connected with him in person that we were able to talk about what has been going on. He was struggling with thoughts of suicide and most of what he expressed I already knew, but what I didn’t know is that the absence of connection also played into his slow [...]

2021-09-22T16:18:38-04:00September 3rd, 2021|Lived Experience, Suicide Prevention|

Hope

by Margaret Pelleriti, DBHIDS Suicide Prevention Task Force What does it mean to have hope? Hope means a desire for things to change for the better, and to want that better situation very much. Hope carries us beyond the current hardship so that we may have a better future. In today’s world, it seems that hope can be hard to come by and this tends to be the case for anyone who has lost someone to suicide. My name is Margaret and several years ago, I lost my son Michael, then 16, to suicide. Prior to my loss, suicide never really affected me. To me, it was always other people who faced that tragedy. Not something that would affect myself or my family. When I lost my son to suicide, he was in the 11th grade and did not present any clear warning signs or clues. When he died, I genuinely believed that I would die also. There would be no way that I would be able to survive. I knew that I had to get up each day and do the same routine as before. I was still a wife to my husband and a mother to a 13-year-old daughter. It felt like family and friends expected me to return to some sort of normal. I had faith from [...]

Good Morning, Santana!

As we entered our ninth month of working at home due to Covid-19, I wanted to share my experience as a mom and professional, getting through this change to our typical day to day lives. I want to start by saying that I am grateful that I am employed and have a job that I can continue to do from home, which, unfortunately for some, was not an option. Without getting on my soap box, I will keep it short and honest about my experience these past months. This transition has been by far the most frustrating transition with my beautiful 2-year-old boy Santana, period! Like anyone who works in an office, you develop a routine. I'm going to just speak on my morning routine, which looked like the following before the pandemic; get up, get dressed, get my son dressed, drop him off at his grandmother's house, and do my cardio (which is power-walking up a hill to the train, praying I catch it.) I say power walk but probably borderline jogging! I used to do my cardio every day before arriving at the office. After catching up with others on my unit, I really miss that moment when you sit down with your coffee (personally, it's iced coffee or tea for me) where you just relax and take [...]

2021-07-31T12:50:20-04:00November 30th, 2020|Family & Youth, Lived Experience, Pandemic|
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