Coping Strategies to Manage Distress
My college's health center-counseling service just sent this email out to the entire student body. I thought I'd share it here.
- •Try to maintain your normal routine and engage in healthy activities.t is important to maintain your regular routine and find ways to participate in activities that provide balance in your life. Try not to withdraw. Consider exercise, alone or with others, as a way to induce feelings of well-being.
- •Practice acceptance.Try self-soothing strategies like taking a walk, meditating, mindfulness exercises, listening to music, or whatever you find helpful. It is now time for you to take care of yourself.
- •Practice reflection and pay attention to your early awareness signs.Allow yourself some time to reflect on your reactions and well-being. If you can watch your own reactions to stress, you can then address them. This might be a tightening of your stomach, tension in your muscles, negative evaluations of the other person, or an impulse to act out.
- •Model healthy communication and seek community.This is an opportunity to show that you can elevate conversations, take a higher path, and engage in positive conversation. Sharing experiences and ideas with others can be a way to strengthen positive community values and shared identities.
- •Limit your intake of news and social media.If you feel distressed by what is in the media, for the moment, limit your consumption of Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, Tumblr and other social media sources that are likely to be full of distressing material. This also includes watching and reading the news. There are apps and websites such as LeechBlock, or SelfControl that can help you by temporarily blocking access to social media or certain websites.
- •Be thankful.Jotting down 10 to 15 things you are grateful for – such as your health or your family, friends – can help you maintain perspective. The list will remind you of the people and things that provide you with strength and support.
- •Acknowledge feelings.Reactions to events vary from person to person. Some experience intense feelings while others experience nothing at all. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and don’t judge your personal experience or the experience of others.
- •Utilize your supports and resources.Many have a natural tendency toward isolation when feeling triggered or emotional. Reach out to those around you, family, friends, professors, coaches and/or deans who may be experiencing similar feelings. Utilize resources in our community.