Written by Nabilah Hassan
Life is tough. It’s demanding. The ever-growing workload of school, deadlines – it takes a toll on you mentally. However, that’s not the only thing that’s consuming your mind. Sometimes, things back home aren’t that great – dealing with family, is just as grueling.
On top of all of this, we have our own demons to overcome. College/University is an intricate phase in our lives. We are figuring out who we are, trying to navigate our thoughts and emotions, defining who we want to be as a person and how we can grow. Simultaneously, we’re learning who amongst us are our true friends, who genuinely care for us and who are just lessons in our lives. Like the Beatles once said, “Some have gone, and some remain, but all these places had their moments.”
With that being said, life gets too much. When that happens, you can end up in a dark place in the blink of an eye. In that moment, it seems as though your mind is a prison – one that’s impossible to ever escape. It feels as though your thoughts have caught up to you and now you’re deep within the abyss.
At this point, it seems as though your world is closing in on you, everything is falling apart.
But really, it’s not. One thing I’ve personally learned the hard way is that once we’ve hit a rough patch in life, we tend to overthink everything, instead of focusing on what’s really wrong. . Which is totally normal, but it hurts us instead, and makes things twice as hard as they really are.
This is where nature comes into the picture. I remember, not too long ago, I was having issues with my mental health. When my life was getting too much to bear, I remember my mum taking me to the park in the early evening. I remember just sitting there on a nearby bench and just taking in everything around me. The pinkish-orange sun sinking beneath the horizon, the trees, the soft breeze. It’s as if I forgot that something this beautiful and serene could exist whilst my mind was in utter chaos. Just being around nature instantly made me feel better about everything that was wrong in my life, just like that. It reminded me that there’s more to life than my current situation and I should just allow myself to look around me and put all my worries to rest. From that day forward, I made it a point to be around nature a little more each day.
Now I know, just being around nature won’t automatically make everything alright nor will it solve your problems – BUT it can change your mindset, and that, ladies and gentlemen, can change everything.
So, allow yourself to take a break when your head is murky with stress and nothing seems to make sense. Be around something alive. If you’re on campus, take a stroll on the canopy, sit on the rooftop garden and take a few deep breaths.
Remind yourself that the stress, the worry – it’s all temporary. Life has a funny way of sorting things out. So, the next time you feel as though the weight of the world is upon your shoulders and you feel like you can’t possibly take another step forward – please, find the strength within you to walk out and just connect with nature. Whether that’s just sitting down and taking a few deep breaths or a long quiet stroll – remind yourself that you’ve come so far and survived all these days you thought you couldn’t. Let the sunset be your reminder that the bad days don’t last forever and let the sunrise act as a reminder of a new beginning.