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While there are still a few days and weeks left in semester break 2020-2021, some college students are feeling the repercussions of fall semester in terms of stress and the management of stress. They are searching for a mental and emotional boost as they prepare for second semester.
Having had to adjust to on-line school, move home unexpectedly, and experience living is an environment that is full of disruptions, has affected students in ways they are just now uncovering. Some students even describe last semester as traumatic. The initial (seeming) disorganization of college courses and expectations, the lack of communication between professors and students, and the lack of visual and auditory cues from regular peer and professor conversations caused some students to really struggle emotionally, mentally, and academically. This winter break, however, has served a purpose in that students are decompressing from the total impact of last semester.
During this decompression, students also are preparing for yet another challenging semester. Although every person’s tolerance for change and resilience is different, students going back for spring semester 2021 could benefit from an emotional and mental boost that will arm them with the tools they need to manage life and thrive in chaos. What is a “boost” and how will it help?
A boost is a foundationally strong, healthy, and confident mental health. It is built by designing, adopting, and practicing effective coping strategies that are critical for overall personal life balance. Essentially, a boost is toolkit of supportive approaches to use in times of overwhelm.
Again, each student’s toolkit will look different.
As a professional life coach for students, I consider there to be four key tools necessary to thrive through stress when in college, with or without a pandemic. These four areas of personal introspections, when established and strengthened, not only build the “boost”, but provide and sustain a solid mental and emotional health the rest of your life.
Self-esteem: When a student needs help navigating emotional and mental chaos, one of the first things we look at is a scaled self-esteem measurement. Ultimately you should average the good, bad, and ugly aspects of your self-perception and use this moderation as cushion when motivation and strength are needed. Handling overwhelm and navigating discomfort are easier when you feel capable and confident.
Emotional regulation: We assess your reaction to unwanted, unforeseen, and uncomfortable emotions. When you feel uncapable, unmotivated, hurt, lonely, or scared, how do you react? What is your go-to response? Is it to deny, hide, give up, or attack the very thing that will be your agent of change or do you respond with an action plan, with grace, and by asking for help.
Core sense of self: When a student partners with a professional life coach, we form a collaboration and begin to explore and discover who you are at your core. We assess the things you value the most in life, what makes you feel the most complete. What are the guiding compasses for your total mental health?
Some of my student clients have never thought about this and once we connect them to the things in life (family, friends, exercise, acts of kindness, volunteerism, creativity, time alone) that make them feel their best, and they begin to incorporate these into their daily routine, we see the shift in how students manage stress and overwhelm, how confident they feel in doing so, and how capable and masterful they become with managing life.
Wellness habits: Much of this discovery is also about finding and adopting activities that bring joy, exercise self-expression, and that help with the overall mind/body connection. Being “well” is the opposite of being “sick” – stressed, depressed, weak, scared, hopeless, helpless, distressed.
Think about a boost for next semester. Build a foundation of emotional, mental, spiritual and wellness strategies on which to win against stress. Begin this boost by looking at you.
At Students Stress Less Coaching LLC we discover the best design for you to thrive in college. We boost you emotionally, mentally, soulfully, and physically.
Although you can enjoy and explore with 4 self-paced BOOST modules (visit MENU in this site or at http://www.studentsstressless.com), you can also hire a professional stress coach for the whole semester or just to get you started. For more information on how to do this, please reach out - firstname.lastname@example.org.