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Take some time to reduce your stress

October 29, 2020

Cardinal Update News Newsletters Undergrad Student Information Wellness Center

In the midst of a world-wide pandemic, an election, and a condensed semester, it’s hard to find time for self-care. While it’s not possible to mute all of the news, chatter, and noise, there are some intentional strategies you can employ to make the next couple of weeks more manageable. During times of stress, it is essential that we take the time to care for ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically.

  1. Quiet social media

There are varying degrees of disengagement we can pursue when distancing from social media. This is a time to do what you need to do in order to feel ok, and not to worry about what others think. Some people can scroll and feel unaffected by the posts, the banter, and the verbal sparring. Others need to weed it from their view. Unfollow, block, or take a brief vacation from social media, if it will be helpful to you.

  1. Do something (ANYTHING) else!

Times like these call for some serious distraction. Choices are more limited than usual due to the pandemic, but there are plenty of ways to try to get involved in other things. School planned activities, books, movies, projects, crafts, and other hobbies are at your disposal. Swap out the background noise for some of your favorite music or podcasts while you make dinner or organize your room and your schedule for upcoming assignments and self-care plan through finals week!

  1. Lean on your support people

We are all in this together. Reach out to people who you trust and let them know what you need from them.

  1. Take a mental health moment

Maybe taking time off isn’t an option for you, and you have to get creative around carving out some “you time.” Give yourself a little positive TLC and honor what your mind, body, or heart are telling you. You know yourself best. Do what feels right.

  1. Make a gratitude list.

Make a list of things, people, and places you are grateful for and use this list as a reminder when the clutter and noise of the world is around you. Focus on your strengths and draw upon them when feeling challenged.

  1. Ground yourself.

Look around you, notice what greatness lies in front of you! Use your senses to take in the moment to ground yourself. Once you notice all that is around you, you may begin to notice the positives that are happening on campus.

  1. Breathe.

Take deep belly breaths by inhaling through your nose and out through your mouth.

  1. Acknowledge what you see around you.

Acknowledge five things around you that you can SEE. Acknowledge four things around you that you can TOUCH. Acknowledge three things around you that you can HEAR. Acknowledge two things around you that you can SMELL. Acknowledge one positive thing around you that you can taste or acknowledge one positive thing about yourself.

Anxiety can leave us feeling inadequate or silly that we are getting “worked up over nothing,” but taking time to address your feelings is an accomplishment. There are many good things about you. Positive thinking can help bring about a positive feeling in yourself. At the end of the exercise, celebrate your success. Recognize you were able to ground yourself and prevent the anxiety spiral.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but hopefully one or two will make an impact on your sense of calm. Done routinely, making time for yourself can have a big impact on your overall wellness!


*Information taken from