From the Active Minds Speakers Bureau: I Am Enough

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Janelle is a member of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau. Bring her to your campus to speak about mental health.

Janelle_ResizeI don’t know where it comes from, maybe a childhood scar, perhaps an imprint of our consumption driven society, or possibly energy blockages in my solar plexus.  Whatever the cause, the truth is that I often feel like I’m not enough.

I doubt I’m the only one who experiences moments of feeling like I didn’t hit the mark.  When I find myself in these situations I’m left trying to figure out how to effectively maneuver the oscillations of my thoughts while remaining rooted in the fact that, I Am Enough.

In times of tension and stress it comes peeking out from behind my stream of consciousness.  It is a little voice that grows louder and louder until it has created a frenzy among my thoughts, intruding so deeply that without mindful intervention I would be absorbed in self doubt and emotional drama.

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Meet Becky, Our New California Statewide Program Manager

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headshot-becky-e1400701630715We’re excited to introduce our blog readers to Becky Fein, the newest member of the Active Minds national staff! As the California Statewide Program Manager, Becky oversees and leads the Active Minds California Mental Health Services Act (CalMHSA) funded initiative. Many of you got a chance to meet her at the National Mental Health on Campus Conference last month. Read on for a fun Q&A with our first (and only!) West Coast staff member:

So Becky. Tell us a little about yourself.

Well, what to say… I live in Santa Rosa, CA, a mere 20 miles east of the tiny town where I grew up, surrounded by Redwood trees, along the Russian River. I moved back to Sonoma County after many years of moving around the state and country for work and school. I hold degrees in Sociology and Public Health, topics that I feel deeply passionate about and think about all of the time. I am a documentary filmmaker, creating short films that share stories of resilience; I am new to the world of videography and I love it! I have a twin sister (we’re the youngest of five siblings), and I once had a goldfish that lived to age 13.

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Applications for the 2016 Healthy Campus Award are Now Open

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We often talk about what colleges are doing wrong and where they’re falling short in supporting student health and wellness. But at Active Minds, we want to celebrate the schools that are supporting student health in creative and innovative ways.

This past September, we named the inaugural winners of the award. Today, we are delighted to open applications for the 2016 Active Minds Healthy Campus Award.

The Active Minds Healthy Campus Award recognizes and celebrates U.S. colleges and universities that are prioritizing health and demonstrating innovation and excellence in promoting the well-being of their students. Up to five winning institutions will have their efforts showcased as part of a national media tour in August 2016.

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Why You Should Apply for the Emerging Scholars Fellowship

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Have you ever been curious about what it means to be part of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship?

Hear from two of our most recent scholars on why they valued their experiences with the Fellowship and the impact it had on them as student researchers.

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Jessica maintains a blog called “Adventures in the Psychology of Mind and Body”, and recently had an article published in the November 2015 issue of Psychology Today. Learn more about Jessica’s fellowship project here.

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Need to Bulk Up Your Resumé? We’ve Got You.

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FutureEmployers-BlogIs your resumè looking a bit empty? Want to get more experience in mental health advocacy or research? Active Minds has several exciting leadership opportunities available that will help you stand out from the crowd when it’s time to apply for jobs and internships:

  • We’re looking for the next Student Advisory Committee! Comprised of up to 20 Active Minds chapter members who have shown exemplary leadership and dedication, the SAC serves as an advisory body to the national office and brings the student perspective to organizational decision-making. Think you have what it takes? We do, too! Apply by January 10.

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10 Holiday Survival Tips from the Active Minds Speakers Bureau

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What is it about the holiday season that stresses us out? The six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can seem like the longest, most angst-filled time of the whole year, even though the days are short!

Even if you don’t ordinarily experience anxiety, depression, mood swings or other mental health issues, itmay not be uncommon for you to feel a little less grounded at the end of the year. And if you are dealing with a disorder, the symptoms may be magnified right about now. If so, read on.

You may already have some coping mechanisms in place for when you feel anxious; however, as a small holiday gift, the Active Minds speakers would like to offer you some of their own tips for surviving the holidays with good mental (and physical) health intact.

Frank Warren: “My one tip for stress reduction is exercise. I feel like I get similar benefits of relaxation and focus from endurance exercise as others might get from meditation or yoga. My favorite workouts are spinning, pool laps and kicking. Don’t forget to hydrate—coconut water, protein drinks and even plain tap water are my go-tos.”

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I Am Not My Mental Illness

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I loved school like most “smart kids” do. Nothing was too difficult until the end of my junior year of high school when I began to gain some weight.

A few of my friends had started using MyFitnessPal so I decided to download it. Though it was just an app, I soon felt like every time I logged a meal, I was disappointing it. I became terrified of messing up and eating more than the voice in my head was telling me to. Soon the app became the least of my worries.

By the time I started college at the University of Georgia in 2014, I was overwhelmed with depression and suicidal thoughts. I remember telling myself that I would rather be sick and thin than happy and fat. My life was out of control. No one was paying attention to how long I was at the gym or how infrequently I ate. I hid my eating disorder because I was ashamed.

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November Chapter of the Month: Active Minds at Stockton University

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Stockton AMThis month we’re excited to highlight the amazing work of Active Minds at Stockton University, the 2013-2014 Active Minds Chapter of the Year, for their amazing campus mental health work including their innovative program, Proactive Minds. Read on for some of the top reasons that Active Minds at Stockton University is excelling in changing the conversation about mental health!

A Thriving Leadership Team Spreading the Word

Stockton PicActive Minds at Stockton University has a thriving executive board made up of eight members from multiple academic years and has increased their general membership to nearly thirty members. They work very closely with their passionate advisor, Nathan Morell, and the Wellness and Counseling Center to recruit new members and hold relevant, large-scale events. Under their leadership, the chapter has reached more than 650 people through fundraising walks, art shows, and panel discussions. Plus, they already have a list of more than 75 volunteers who want to help out at their events this year!

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Happier Holidays: Tips to De-stress and Enjoy Your Break

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This time of year can be the best: heading back home, family-time, food everywhere, gift-giving!

But the holidays can also be the worst: heading back home, family-time, food everywhere, gift-giving.

The way you view the holiday season can depend on a lot of different factors. Does traveling back to your home town make you excited or anxious? Does your family make you feel comfortable or alienated? For many of us, it’s complicated.

The holidays can be particularly hard for those struggling with mental health. There are a lot of changes in the routine you’ve set up for yourself at school, some of the coping mechanisms or support networks you’ve built may not be available, forced family meals can be triggering and uncomfortable, and financial stress of holiday shopping can compile to make your relaxing break anything but relaxing.

Luckily, we have some tips for you to kick this holiday break’s butt! If you’re feeling down, upset, confused, or in a funk over the next month or so, try some of these tips:

  1. Make some “you” time.

Put on your comfiest clothes, shut your door, load up the Netflix, and do what you want to do. Sometimes stepping away from everyone and everything can really help you relax. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing most, do it as much as you need.

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