We tend to think of the body and mind as two separate things. Brains and brawn, pen over the sword, the smart short henchman and the tall strong henchman, the tropes are everywhere. Yet, this separation can be taken too far at times. Mental illnesses are actual illness, just like a cold, because the brain is your body. The mind has other layers that philosophers and psychologists have been trying to decode for ages, but having a brain makes it possible for you have those layers in the first place. In the same way, the body is a very real factor in how you think and feel. If you are in pain, from say a sore back, then talking with a friend becomes bitter. That’s why exercise is so important; when you use your body, it helps all of your body, including your mind.
When there is too much focus on one part, the whole suffers. No one likes the teacher’s pet because it creates social tension that distracts from actual learning. Yet throughout our day, we act like it’s okay to hone one part of ourselves and leave the rest to play catch up. Some focus too much on toning their body and end up behind intellectually; others focus too much on their mind and their body suffers. Sometimes we focus on grades and leave our mental health to the wayside, other times we focus on our social life and leave our academic standing to the wayside. Indeed, sacrifices do have to be made, after all there is only so much time in a day. Still, we ignore the real problem: the different parts of your life are related. Your mental health, work, physical health, social life: everything that makes up You is interconnected. There’s nothing wrong with focusing on an aspect of yourself that is lacking. The obstacle I’m referring to is when we forget to approach things holistically.
I would just like to encourage people to think of themselves as they are: complex. You aren’t “just” a student, or “just” an employee, or “just” anything. It’s hard to find a balance between all your values, but its worth it. Remember what you value and work on achieving those goals as a whole person, not someone that limps to their destination with fire in their wake. Even if today just seems like another day, this is a day that you are alive. This a moment in which you exist, in everything you are. Whoever you are, don’t give up just yet. Improve. It’s never too late to become better than the person you were yesterday. You’ve had struggles, but this day is an opportunity. Even if it’s an unattractive one, take it.