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From the SMWC Counseling Center: Tips to Maintain Your Mental Health

Blog | 10.10.2023

Mental health is an essential but often overlooked topic. To commemorate World Mental Health Awareness Day, the SMWC Counseling Center crafted tips to help maintain your mental health and ensure you make time for yourself. The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to increase awareness of mental health worldwide. Check out what SMWC Counselor Melissa Grinslade, MSW, LCSW, and MINDful College Connections (MCC) Campus Counselor Sara Julian, MSW, LCSW, had to share!

1. Gratitude

Take a moment to remember what you are grateful for and what you accomplished today. Remember, these things do not have to be epic. It’s often the small things that add up.

2. Small Steps

Don’t focus on the entire journey, just the next step on the journey. Focus on something that you want to accomplish and decide on one thing you can do that is a step towards that goal.

3. Just Dance

Whether you’re trying out the new TikTok trend or trying out some moves while doing your chores, dancing boosts endorphins, your natural feel-good chemicals.

4. Write it out or Get it Out

If something has been bothering you, grab a pen and get it out on paper. Writing about an upsetting experience can reduce symptoms of depression.

5. Spend Time with your Furry Friends

Hanging out with an animal lowers cortisol and boosts oxytocin, which reduces stress and boosts happiness.

6. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

A restful sleep is a key building block to our emotional wellness. It’s hard to regulate our emotions when our body is tired.

7. Remember to Eat Nutritious Foods

Don’t skip meals or ignore your hunger cues because fueling our physical bodies is key to our emotional wellness.

8. Take Time With Nature

Take about 30 minutes to go for a walk in a park or hike in the woods. Studies show that being in nature can increase energy, decrease depression and boost well-being.

9. Enjoy Some Sunshine

Sunlight is important for our Vitamin D production, which helps elevate our mood.

10. Simply Smile

Even when it’s a challenge, the physical act of smiling releases natural chemicals that lower your heart rate and calm you down.

Melissa Grinslade MSW, LCSW 
Campus Counselor 

Melissa Grinslade is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Melissa received her master’s degree in social work from Indiana University and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University. Melissa’s professional interests include eating disorder treatment, early childhood trauma and trauma work, personality disorders and affirming care. She enjoys incorporating art as therapy into the work that she does.  In addition to therapy, Melissa is passionate about training and oversees training for master’s and bachelor-level students. She is dedicated to evidence-based treatment and developing innovative prevention and early intervention programming to address our emotional wellness needs. Her professional experience includes working within community mental health, residential treatment, partial hospitalization treatment, crisis assessment, college counseling and as a clinical director. Melissa has several certifications for yoga training, including Yoga for Mental Health, and uses her skills to develop yoga outreach experiences focusing on emotional wellness. In addition, she is part of a grants task force, writing grants to help fund innovative programming ideas.

In her free time, Melissa loves being a mom. You will most often find her spending time with her family. She enjoys traveling, camping and curling up with a book to read. In her personal and professional life, she encourages every to remember that those things that make us uncomfortable are our biggest opportunities for growth. 

Sara Julian MSW, LCSW 
MINDful College Connections (MCC) Campus Counselor 

Sara Julian is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Sara received her master’s degree in social work from Indiana State University and her bachelor’s degree in recreation and sports management with a concentration in recreation management and youth leadership from Indiana State University. Her experiences include working with individuals, children and families. Sara’s professional experiences include working in community mental health agencies as well as in a university counseling center. Sara’s professional interests include relationship issues, early childhood trauma and mood and anxiety disorders. Sara also leans into ecotherapy, which is a therapeutic approach that involves being in nature to promote mental health and wellness. Sara’s hope is to be able to create an ecotherapy program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, which has already created an eco-friendly environment for all.  

When Sara is not in the office, she loves to be out in nature or spending time with friends, family or many pets. 


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