Spiritual health, mental health and physical health all correlate with each other and have a strong influence on how we live out our lives.
We cannot live holistically while only having one or two areas strong with the third link weak. Many people tend to value one area over the other, but to be well-rounded, we need to be strong in all three areas.
Spiritual health is arguably the most important as we are called to love God and have a relationship with Him. When we do not have that good relationship with Him, things in life seem to get a lot harder.
The good news is, working on spiritual health can be quite simple. God is always there to talk to you. There are apps on our phones that make it easy to read the Bible. Spotify and other music apps allow us to listen to worship music in our free time. Like many things, though, it takes an intentionality. God gives us the resources; we have to put forth an effort to do the rest.
Many people suggest taking a set amount of time every day to sit in silence and talk to God. This does not have to be a specific number of minutes: it can be five minutes, it can be 30 minutes, it can be a few hours. Most importantly, be patient. Most likely, you will not feel on fire for God after one day; it is a gradual process that takes time.
On campus, there are plenty of resources to help with spiritual health. Chapel is three days a week, there are Bible studies and small groups around campus and there is at least one discipleship assistant on every floor who are here to help you with your spiritual journey. There are also a few churches within walking distance and people with cars who are willing to take you to churches that are farther away.
Mental health is extremely important and for good reason. Our emotions affect our mood in many different ways and can be the difference between feeling like we can take on the world and wanting to stay in bed until the afternoon. Despite the growing attention to mental health issues, there are still many who are afraid to talk about it. Many feel that others wouldn’t understand, some just don’t want to open up and some are afraid that others will make fun of them.
“As I tell my students, we are all ‘fixer-uppers’, we all struggle with something and can use help from time to time,” Taylor Psychology Department Chair Dr. Laura Edwards said.
You aren’t alone in your battles. The Healthy Minds Network (https://healthymindsnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/HMS-Fall-2020-National-Data-Report.pdf) has found that 39% of college students have reported depression symptoms in 2021 and 34% of college students have been diagnosed with anxiety.
There are resources on campus that are here to help. The counseling center is a safe, confidential way to get help. To get signed up, you can email the counseling center or walk into the office on the second floor of the student center above Chick-fil-A. Sometimes, some of your best resources are simply your friends. They know you better than many and want to help you.
Finally, physical health: one that many dread. Many think physical health looks like lifting heavy weights or hard, long runs, but it does not have to be that way. Working on your physical health can look as simple as going for a short walk. Just walking can have a drastic effect on our health and our mood as our body releases endorphins. There are some trails around campus, the Well in the Kesler Student Activities Center is a gym fit for all kinds of experience levels, and intramural sports are great resources for physical health on campus or near campus.
“It’s really hard to have a truly flourishing life if we aren’t in a reasonably healthy spot physically,” Taylor Kinesiology professor Dr. Matthew Renfrow said.
In short, you get out of it what you put in. There will be days that you are just not feeling it and that is ok. Being a college student is not easy, but putting the work in will make things easier. The Echo Editorial Board thinks that having all three of these areas in good standing will help you immensely as a Taylor student.