By Frances Clause
Youngstown State University students welcome the spring semester with new year’s resolutions to improve their mental and physical health.
Hannah Titus, a senior psychology major, said the new year is a time for her to reevaluate where she is, how far she has come and what goals she would like to reach.
“I am determined to practice more self-compassion to better my mental health and stress management,” she said. “Self-compassion doesn’t just set the tone for your relationship with yourself; it reflects your relationships and how you view other people.”
Titus said it is not always easy to find the motivation to practice her resolution, but life moves forward even when she is not prepared.
“Life brings stress and worry no matter who you are,” she said. “Starting the day with a self-affirmation, even if it feels untrue, can start my morning with some barriers in place to combat inevitable stress and self-doubt.”
“There are many other ways to practice self-compassion, but a conscious decision has to be made daily to want that mentally healthier path,” Titus added.
Throughout her college career, she has found it challenging to balance her resolutions and the work involved with her major. However, she believes a challenge can be a great opportunity to learn and grow.
“Going to school for psychology has opened my eyes to a world of mental health resources and knowledge,” she said. “The stress can feel high stakes, but in the end I’m in college to better myself for myself and help others like me in the future.”
Along with mental health, improving physical health is another common resolution for YSU students.
Lindsey Bechter, a junior dietetics major and Wellness Resource Center supervisor, said the increase of people at Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center is evident during the new year.
However, since Bechter began working at the recreation center in 2017, she has noticed the slow decline of patrons as past new years have progressed due to lack of motivation.
“A personal perspective that helps me stay motivated is to start the new year with an exercise partner,” she said. “Find someone who can stay consistent with you and motivate you to hold your resolution. Accountability is everything.”
Bechter said it may feel impossible to balance a busy schedule and a workout routine at times, but there are ways to incorporate fitness into daily activities.
“Take steps instead of the elevator, park farther away from campus to increase walking distance, wake up earlier to get that workout in or exercise within the breaks you have,” she said. “Even doing household duties regularly can make a difference.”
Stephanie DeMain, a senior exercise science major and a recreation center supervisor, said there are many services the recreation center offers to help students reach their goals.
“Personal training is a great way on being able to have one-on-one time with someone that can create fitness goals based on what that individual needs and wants,” she said. “For some who may have not been to the Rec, there is the new user orientation available.”
DeMain said the new user orientation is being revamped, but if students have questions about machines or exercises, recreation center staff is knowledgeable and available to assist.
Students can meet personal trainers at their table in the recreation center from Jan. 14 through 16. A list of more upcoming events can be found on the YSU recreation center’s website.