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Counseling Center

Emotional Wellness (October 15 - 29)

Welcome to Part 2 of our Fall Wellness Challenge! Please take a look at the menu below and:

1. Choose two activities to practice several times throughout the two-week period of October 1 - 14, or pick a few activities to try out once. Aim to engage in a wellness activity at least 3 times this week, that is an addition to your usual routine

AND

2. Choose 3 programs to particpate in throughout the two-week period of October 15 - 29.

Don’t forget to track your activities on the chart (DOC), add them to your calendar, or put reminders on your phone. Enjoy!

ACTIVITIES:

1) Practice Self-Care: indulge in 20-30 minutes of “me time” to recharge your emotional batteries. Try one of these relaxation strategies, or any activity that helps you unwind, connect, or lift your spirit.  Visit the Relaxation Room, located in Elm Hall, to use the massage chair for 30 minutes. Taking breaks and engaging in practices to replenish your energy has been shown to reduce stress, improve mental and physical health, and increase productivity and focus.

2) Watch Your Mental Diet: Set aside 15 minutes to take an inventory of what you mentally consume in a typical day. This includes what you read, programs you watch, internet searches, and your virtual interactions. A number of studies have shown that watching the news or talk shows escalates anxiety, and spending time on social media contributes to depression and loneliness. Consider taking time each day to unplug, or make an effort to balance your intake of negative or violent media content with positive stories. Pay attention throughout the week to how media makes you feel. This practice helps reduce anxiety.

3) Be Yourself: make an effort this week to share more of yourself in your interactions with others. Take a risk and tell someone how you’re really doing, or share some of your deeply held values or interests with someone. Let who you are, how you feel and what you care about shine through. This practice helps build deeper connections and support.

4) Build Your Emotional Resilience: Stress, loss, disappointment, and setbacks are part of the human experience, and learning how to recover from them is vital to well-being. One of the most important determinants of resiliency is how we treat ourselves when we’re having difficulty. Unfortunately, many of us respond to our own struggling with self-criticism, judgment, anger and impatience. Learning to engage in positive, supportive self-talk, can help us recover and continue to move forward. If you choose this activity, practice the self-compassion writing exercise, 3-7 times this week, or write a letter to yourself about what you are going through, but write from the perspective of a dear friend or mentor. Developing self-compassion helps quiet self-criticism, improves mood, reduces depression and strengthens motivation.

5) Develop Your Emotional Intelligence: How we handle negative thoughts and emotions has a huge impact on mood. We can get caught up in negative thought loops that magnify our fear, insecurity and self-judgment. Alternatively, we may try to avoid or suppress thoughts and emotions that we’re uncomfortable with, which has been shown to have the opposite effect of strengthening them. If you choose this activity, engage in mindful “noting” practice this week. As soon as you notice emotional discomfort or unease, bring mindful awareness to your experience, and mentally narrate what you are thinking and feeling in the third person, such as, “You’re feeling irritable and impatient right now” “you’re thinking that you should be a more patient person.” Try to bring an accepting, nonjudgmental attitude to this practice. If you like you may also add a compassionate sentence, “It’s hard to feel this way.” Noting practice improves our ability to handle difficult experiences.

6) Set a Personal Goal: write down a goal you would like to accomplish this semester and what makes it important to you. Take a few minutes to visualize in detail what it would be like to achieve it. Next, think about what obstacles could get in the way, and visualize these in detail. Create an “if/then” plan, i.e. what will you do if faced with each obstacle and write it down. Schedule a time in your calendar this week to take the first step toward your goal. All of these steps, and sharing your goal with other people, have been shown to improve follow through and success achieving goals.

7) Benefit-finding: This practice helps shift our perspective on painful events. It can help us to let go of resentment, bitterness and wounds caused by old hurts. This exercise is not about convincing yourself that what happened to you was ‘good,’ talking yourself out of any distress you feel, or completely disregarding negative outcomes. Instead, it will help you widen your perspective to include both negative and positive outcomes. If you would like to try this practice follow these prompts. Choose an experience that has affected you deeply, rather than a minor stressor, and write in freely for 10-15 minutes, on several days this week. Choose an ongoing situation in your life or a recent stressful experience. Note your feelings and the impact this event or situation has had on you, both positive and negative. What benefits have you experienced from this stress? In what ways is your life better because of it? Have you changed in any positive way as a result of this experience? Finding the positive in stressful situations has been shown to improve physical health, reduce depression, build confidence and strengthen relationships.

EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING PROGRAMS:

Relaxation Room Mondays 3-10pm
Tuesdays 1-6pm
Wednesdays 4-10pm
Elm Hall Lobby
Mindful Meditation/Discussion Tuesday October 17
1:15-2pm
Environmental Center Lab/Office
Meet the Animals Wednesday October 18
12:30-1:30pm
Environmental Center Lab/Office
Yoga Class Wednesday October 18
7pm
Alumni Hall
Body & Mind (BAM) Fig
Gratitude Jars Wednesday October 18
9:30pm
Alumni Hall
ESPN Fig
Mindful Meditation/Discussion Thursday October 19
3:30-4:15pm
Environmental Center Lab/Office
Candlelight Meditation/Discussion Thursday October 19
9:15-9:50pm
Environmental Center Lab/Office
Pet Therapy with the Good Dog Foundation Wednesday October 25
11am-1pm
Dean’s Lounge
Kessel Student Center
Coloring Book Hour & Tea Wednesday October 25
1pm
Conference Room C/D
Kessel Student Center
Mindful Meditation/Discussion Thursday October 26
1:15-2pm & 3:30-4:15pm
Environmental Center Lab/Office