Two queens and a counselor discuss women’s mental health

Two queens and a counselor come together to discuss women’s mental health. Photo Courtesy: Kristine Wallace and Destinee Jackson

It’s not an everyday occurrence where you see two queens coming together with the guidance of a counselor using their social media platforms to address an issue larger than themselves.

In an Instagram Live last week, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s Queen of Orange and Green Kristen Wallace and Norfolk State University’s Miss Green and Gold Destinee Jackson alongside the Director of Counseling Services at Norfolk, Cheniqua Goode, discussed the surrounding topics of women’s mental health while sharing their own experiences and thoughts on it.

“I find when I take on such a heavy load sometimes it’s me trying to distract myself from other things that’s going on with my life,” Wallace said. “Instead of addressing those problems, I’m distracting myself from them.”

Noting that students have a lot to juggle on their plates, Goode explained that it’s very important that students know how they are going to function as a student when there are other layers of their life that demand attention beyond course work.

Students should be aware if their day to day functions are being impacted such as isolating, losing interest in things that they once took interest in, those could be signs of symptoms escalating. It may be helpful for students to start implanting some forms of self-care.

One way that Wallace tries to implant self-care in her daily life is by taking walks.

“I go outside. I like to go on walks. I feel like when I’m out there I’m just really clearing my mind,” Wallace said.

Personally, for Jackson she turns to meditation.

“Big thing for me whenever I feel stress is praying, it doesn’t matter what time of day, it doesn’t matter where I’m at, it can be 3 a.m. in the morning and I’ll start praying,” Jackson said.

Goode drove in the fact that that self-care must be really intentional. She believes a lot of times people confuse self-care with having to get massages, shopping or getting their nails done but that’s not all self-care encompasses.

Goode explained to students that self-care can be five minutes of sitting alone in silence, it can be a form of meditation called mindfulness that requires you to be in the present moment.

This can be done on your way to class or during a car ride. Self-care can also be exercising, journaling and getting eight hours of sleep as well as having ample daily meals.