For me, a lot of my symptoms revolve around unnecessary fear and discomfort. As an example, I randomly and suddenly feel incredibly on-edge when there are sudden loud noises in places, or if I feel trapped when I am on a crowded subway. Sometimes, I cancel plans when I know I am feeling an onset of discomfort. Even though I have made great progress over the past year, I still have days or moments where all of my strategies fall apart.
I have learned that having key affirmations helps me get through these times and be more forgiving and kind to myself. Here are 10 affirmations, for any of you who may have similar experiences:
- I am not my illness/diagnosis.
- I am not alone with these challenges.
- My grades are not a reflection of my success.
- I got this far into university; I belong here.
- I can get through this situation. Inhale, exhale.
- I am allowed to rest.
- I will not force myself into situations that I am uncomfortable in.
- Progress and growth are not linear, I will get better.
- Forgiving myself is the first step to keeping my head up.
- Every day is a brand-new day with new beginnings.
And, an extra affirmation to everyone: YOU ARE LOVED.
This list is comprised of reminders I have heard over the past few years and that I tell myself when times are tough. Whether you use a list like this or create one that suits your needs, remember: forgive yourself when times get tough and keep looking forward. Anxiety may often make it seem as though I am not doing as well as my classmates, but only I can define my own success and know my obstacles. You should not be judged for putting your health first and you are the only one who truly knows how you feel.
During your time at U of T, it is important to remember that there are many resources available to assist you, whether it is through academic accommodations, seeing a counsellor, or making friends through clubs. I can appreciate that seeking help is difficult, but SO worth it.
In the meantime, a few Instagram accounts that focus on these reminders include @uoftmentalhealth, @skulementalwellness, and @positivelypresent. Accessibility Services also has a Facebook group you can join to learn more about events and be in a new community. Remember, you can get through it!