Stretch out a hand of kindness

January is such a difficult month for so many people. The holiday season is over, school/work is starting again and unfortunately the weather gets a lot colder. Let’s be honest, January is not the easiest month. After spending time with family and friends we return to our routine of school or work. We battle the cold weather and gloomy days pretty much everyday. This can take a serious toll on a person. Physically, emotionally and mentally it can be extremely difficult for people through this month.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults in America experience a mental illness. One-half of all chronic mental illness begin by the age of 14; three-quarters by the age of 24.
It is so important this month that you stay in touch with your friends and family. They might be suffering silently from depression or a number of other mental health issues. You might be suffering from issues of your own. Sending a text to a friend and just letting them know that you are here for them is easy and can mean a lot to them. There is no harm in stretching out a hand of kindness.
This month make plans to hang out with your friends. Invite your friends to go grab coffee and chat for a while. Maybe plan a movie night with your friends. Plan a girls or guys night to just relax and be in good company. Plan a study group with some friends in a coffee shop or at the library. If by chance there’s a sunny day go outside and invite some friends on a walk. These little gestures can make a world of difference in the lives of those around you who might be suffering. Being around people can be so helpful to your friends.
For those of you who are suffering, remember you are not alone. As hard as it is to remember, your friends, family and faculty care about your well-being. There is nothing more important than for you to know that you are enough and you are not alone. If you need someone to lend a listening ear, text or call a friend and plan some time together. I know it can be hard to talk about the difficult things you are going through. You are here despite all the things you are going through. You are brave and will get through this.
There are so many resources around us that we can utilize. Whether you think a friend needs help or if you need help, there is no shame in asking someone for help. Talk to someone on campus or look at www.nami.org. They have many resources and information for those who want it. If there is one thing that I ask you to take away from this is to simply reach out to others.

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