If you’re asking me

Don’t let yourself sink

Skyler Schad

More stories from Skyler Schad

If you’re asking me
October 4, 2023

Photo by Marisa Valdez

Fall time is the best time for improving your mental health.

Dear reader,

It’s funny that I wrote about spring last week, and now as I’m writing this, there’s a blizzard outside my window. All of those happy feelings I got from the warm weather are slowly dissipating as I write this.

I went home this weekend, and it was great to be with my family, but I came back with so many things hanging over my head. 

Suddenly, I have an exam, a paper, a bunch of assignments due this week, and not to mention a few meetings, all of which I didn’t bother to think about all weekend. 

I’m finding myself quickly feeling overwhelmed by how much this week holds. I easily slip into a state of worry. How will I get all of this done? Will I fail? 

It’s so easy to let those negative thoughts take over, especially when we’re so overwhelmed we can barely think straight. I’m finding myself sinking into a deep hole of stress and anxiety, wondering how I can possibly climb back out.

The easy solution for this would be to crawl into my bed and pretend all of my responsibilities don’t exist, but I know I can’t do that. I need to take everything head-on.

So many of us think ahead in our week and instantly get overwhelmed by everything coming up. We do this so much to the point where we’re thinking months out.

I know the feeling. Every time, I start to feel sick to my stomach as anxiety spins in my system. I instantly jump to the feeling of failure before I have even failed yet.

The truth is, worrying about the future so much that we make ourselves sick can be very damaging to our mental health.

One of my favorite things to do when I start to find myself falling down the hole is to take a step back and go over everything I have to do that week and only that week.

Next, I think about which things I need to prioritize. For my exam, I will probably try to make flashcards first. Next, I could start my paper. Once those things are done, I can focus on my next assignment.

It’s all about deciding what should come first. You don’t want to leave the most important things until the last minute because they are hard. You will definitely regret it in the future.

You need to think of your future self first. How can you make the future less stressful for yourself? How can you prevent yourself from experiencing failure?

Before instantly jumping to those negative thoughts, think about how you can prevent those thoughts from becoming reality.

If you are thinking about things way too far into the future, you are stressing yourself out way too much. You need to take it one step at a time. You’re not failing because you’re not “thinking ahead.”

Don’t let yourself sink. Stand your ground and find stability before you can even begin to dig that hole. Sit down, think everything over, make a plan and then put everything that’s not important aside.

I promise it will help you in the long run. 

Overthinking never helps, it only makes things worse. Stop overthinking, get your priorities straight and focus on the present. Save yourself from that stress.

My final words of wisdom are that mental health is also a priority. Get things done, but don’t stretch yourself thin. Take things one step at a time, and always put yourself first.

I know the semester is nearing the end, and everything is really starting to ramp up, but you can get to the finish line. I believe in you.

Lots of love and hugs of encouragement,


Schad can be reached at [email protected]