As The Summer Ends
"JANUARY 2014. I remember shaking while dialing into a conference call with Kevin Lyman and Kate Truscott to discuss what it would take to have Hope for the Day join the tour. HFTD had no money to say yes but I hung up after saying “YES” completely clueless as to how we would pay for everything 🤷🏻♂️ that day changed my life and helped HFTD build one of the platforms we utilize to start the conversation about mental health. 5 years, 250,000+ resources distributed, 1200+ speeches. unreal. thank you to Kevin and the 4FINI staff, all the bands, brands and friends that worked with us.
forever against the odds, forever warped." - Jonny Boucher, Instagram.
A New School Year is Calling:
How to Help Relieve the Pressure of a New Semester By Amanda Rozmer
As August kicks off, the return to school looms over our heads. Few things seem more daunting than the start of a new school year, and it’s not the supply lists or the search for the perfect book bag that weighs so heavy on us. It’s what we’re going to wear and how it will be perceived, where we’re going to sit at lunch, wondering who will have the best summer stories and if ours will stack up. We tend to equate our appearances and experiences to our value, and that creates an internalized pressure to be “cool” and to prove that to our peers. Returning to school, to seeing our friends and, maybe our foes, on a daily basis amplifies this stress, and suddenly our focuses slip out of our control. Through all the tests, the grades, the friends, the pressures both internal and external- it’s important to remember that we are in this together.
So often we believe that our struggles are beyond the help of anyone, and that no one wants to hear them. Hope for the Day is aiming to dispel that thought, and remind us that we are seen, and our struggles are ones that can and should be talked about because someone is always listening. With all the daily pressures that shake up our emotions, we start to feel like a soda bottle being shaken; ready to explode. That explosion can take the form of a lot of changes in behavior, mannerisms, and patterns. It could appear in a change in our interactions with people we may have found comfort with, it could mean withdrawing, failing tests, up to an attempt at suicide. When we’re under such strong pressure, sometimes from external stressors outside of our control, it’s important to remember what to do with a soda bottle that’s under pressure- you let the pressure out slowly, bit by bit. We can do this by utilizing our “valves”.
Healthy valves in our lives are anything that we can utilize to bring us relief. Sports and physical activity, creating art, listening to or playing music, video games, cooking, baking; any expression of ourselves that can bring us some comfort and sense of self. These are healthy ways of letting off some of the pressures in our lives by expressing what’s important to us and maybe even sharing it with friends or family, like enjoying a concert together, or going for a run with a friend. Valves allow us to take in our lives in small, easier to handle pieces that make it more manageable to work through the big picture of what could be causing our mental health challenges.
There are some valves that may seem like an immediate comfort to turn to that are more harmful in the long run; the “unhealthy valves”. These are things such as self-harm and substance use, valves that have long term effects and can leave us feeling deeper in crisis than when we started them. It’s important to remember that the outside pressures we’re feeling, we aren’t feeling alone: we are in this together. These valves will do more to shake up our bottles in the end, and won’t relieve the pressure for us long term.
The greatest, healthiest valve we have is talking. By entrusting someone close to us with an insight into how we’re feeling, what’s on our minds, we open the valve little by little to release the pressure of the feeling that we’re in this struggle alone. Sometimes being in the midst of a mental health crisis can feel like being a soda bottle that’s shaken up, fallen on the floor, and rolled away ready to burst open. However, that bottle can still be carefully opened, little by little, if we utilize our valves. Letting someone we can trust, like a friend, family member, counselor, or teacher know that we’re feeling an internal struggle and that we’re facing a mental health challenge is a crucial step in letting off some of the pressure in that bottle.
With back to school right around the corner, we need to keep in mind that we are in this together; the grades, the friends, the classes, anything that contribute to our mental health challenges we are not alone in experiences. Talking to our friends, keeping that dialogue open, and being supportive when someone is feeling less than their best are all key parts to making this new school year a great one. Study hard, stay active, and remember that it’s okay not to be okay.
IT'S OK NOT TO BE OK
If you or someone you know needs help, reach out;
Crisis Text Line
TEXT “ITSOK” TO 741741 (Available 24/7)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255(TALK) - Press 1 for Veterans Line
The Trevor Project LGBT Lifeline
866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) (Available 24/7)