Be Okay Club: It’s okay to not be okay

October 15, 2020

President+junior+Trinity+Bang+and+the+rest+of+Be+Okay%E2%80%99s+leadership+team+know+the+feeling+of+academic+pressure+all+too+well.+Luckily%2C+they%E2%80%99ve+developed+some+techniques+to+minimize+if+not+overcome+that+stress+and+hope+to+foster+a+relaxing+environment+for+members+to+unwind.+

Courtesy Be Okay Club

President junior Trinity Bang and the rest of Be Okay’s leadership team know the feeling of academic pressure all too well. Luckily, they’ve developed some techniques to minimize if not overcome that stress and hope to foster a relaxing environment for members to unwind.

The Be Okay Club’s goal is to help spread awareness about these different states of mental health as well as how to take care of one’s well-being. However, there are certain states of mental health that a club or activity cannot remedy. In these cases, it is vital that more serious issues be addressed through formal resources such as CHAC therapists.

Within the first few weeks of this year, Be Okay Club President junior Trinity Bang’s mental state suffered under the pressure of staying on top of her workload and keeping her grades up. Recognizing that others felt the same way, she started the Be Okay Club to spread mental health awareness and help students prioritize their well-being.

“It was based on the idea that you shouldn’t have to be at your 100 percent all of the time,” Trinity said. “It is an unreasonable and irrational concept that is unfortunately forced on a lot of teenagers nowadays by their parents, friends and school.”

Everyday interactions between students have become limited due to the social isolation brought on by the pandemic, causing abnormal feelings in students.

“I think it’s the little things you don’t take into consideration like seeing people in the halls, meeting people in groups and just interacting in person,” Vice President Taylor Nguyen said.

Distance learning has made it difficult for students to balance their social and academic lives since they are tied to a computer screen for hours each day. In Taylor’s experience, this imbalance often leads students to overwork themselves.

“I feel like it’s a lot harder to chill nowadays than people think,” Taylor said. “There’s so much going on. We can all work on it and get better at it.”

Trinity wishes that she was taught the importance of prioritizing her well-being before being faced with high levels of pressure and stress. Since many of her club members are underclassmen, Trinity seeks to provide an uplifting environment for them to talk openly about their mental health.

“I wish I knew about [the importance of mental health] when I was younger and how to properly take care of it because honestly, I wasn’t really aware of it,” Trinity said.

After learning more about how to handle the pressures in her life, the approach that has worked for Trinity involves finding what brings you joy and being more mindful of those positives.

“Being more aware of the small [positive] things that happen throughout your day may help you cope with your stress,” Trinity said.

Over time, Trinity has discovered ways to brighten her own mood in the midst of challenges, like hanging out with her family, sleeping and doing art.

“They’re things that I’ve always enjoyed, but I wasn’t fully aware of how they affected me until my mental health wasn’t as good as it used to be,” Trinity said.

When school begins in-person, she hopes to host lunch activities that will help students find joy in activities such as making personalized stickers and doodling.

Since the club can’t host these activities until in-person learning, they plan to focus on important mental health topics such as depression and suicidal thoughts through Instagram posts to raise awareness. They also hope to use their social media platform to fundraise for nonprofit organizations supporting mental health initiatives.

Regardless of the circumstances, Trinity has a clear vision to ensure that students receive the support they need when they’re struggling.

“I want to create a safe space for people to be able to take care of their stress, pressure and mental health properly,” Trinity said. “But also know that it’s okay to be stressed and to feel pressure. You shouldn’t be expected to be at your best 100 percent of the time.”

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