Let's Talk About It

We are faced with all kinds of challenges in life. It is easy to get caught up in the daily ups and downs. That is why we prioritize self-care and self-actualization to stop, reflect, and reenergize yourself in the midst of difficult times. From writing poetry to meditating or sharing conversation with good friends, self-care should be personalized to what works best for you. Take the time to get to know yourself and be well.


Jan
8

A Brief Primer on the Emotions

I’m sure that each of us can each think of ways we avoid our emotions. I can identify several times this week alone when I’ve zoned out on my phone or put off a task I found daunting. Emotional avoidance is a very reasonable, human way of coping with painful emotions that are often linked in our minds to negative events that we’d prefer to forget. Moreover, emotional avoidance usually does give us some relief, at least in the short-term.

In the long-term, however, being unwilling to experience emotional discomfort constricts our lives, keeps us from solving our problems and achieving our goals, and prevents us from seeing that we are able to tolerate the situations of which we are fearful. If I just keep avoiding my messy house, that mess isn’t going anywhere, and eventually I...

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Dec
3

Getting to Wise Mind

Each of us has at least two ways that we react to situations, one is our rational, logical, reasonable way and the other is our emotional, intuitive, often illogical way.  You can think of this as the part of you that “knows” things and the part of you that “believes” things.  Now, for most situations in our lives, these two parts of us are aligned, so what we know is also what we believe.  In certain situations, however, these two parts of us diverge.

An easy example of this divergence is when I was a college student and had to give a class presentation. Public speaking was my worst nightmare.  Even though logically and reasonably I knew that nothing especially horrible would happen (at most I would...

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Nov
19

Undocumented and DACAmented Mental Health

Photo by Molly Adams: (CC BY 2.0)

 

It goes without saying that being a dreamer or undocumented can feel like a nightmare. You are tasked with moving forward without the same opportunities provided to others around you. If you have DACA, you’re only able to plan two years of your life a time (assuming there are no abrupt executive orders). If you are mixed-status, you may be greatly worried about your family and loved ones. If you are undocumented and do not consider yourself a dreamer or DACAmented, you may have well-intentioned people (such as myself) who do not always address your unique experiences....

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Oct
16

Culture Shock: International Student Adjustment

I remember my first year in the states. I found going to class stressful, as I was not able to express what’s going on in my mind. The conversations that I could hold with American classmates did not go beyond “How are you?” “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” I knew my name, my past and why I was here, but everything seemed foggy. In retrospect, I realize that I was experiencing culture shock. Culture shock is a common experience that describes the feeling of confusion and the stress and disorientation that occur when entering an unfamiliar culture.

Culture shock differs for different people. Some common experiences international students may have are:

  • A sense of loss
  • Cultural identity confusion
  • Social withdrawal/isolation
  • Frustration
  • Loss of confidence
  • Extreme homesickness
  • Difficulty navigating an unfamiliar educational system

Some of you may say that you have never...

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