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Five Coping Skills to Help Beat the Back-to-School Blues

The start of a new school year can start out exciting and empowering, but as you get further submerged in the homework, lectures, projects, presentations, exams, and other activities, it becomes easy to slip up and start to drown. 

Self-care and coping skills are essential, especially in a busy environment. That is why I have compiled a list of simple coping skills that anyone can try or put in place to keep their mental health in tip-top shape. 


1.Be Mindful


It is important to make sure that you are in control of your mind, rather than your mind being in control of you. In practicing mindfulness, you take a step back from a situation and try to look at it from an objective perspective, seeing the situation for what it is rather than what your mind is telling you. It’s a good way to become aware of your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and actions without judging or criticizing yourself. 


2. Distract Yourself from Self-Destructive Behaviors


If you find yourself feeling a little too stressed out, it can be a good idea to take a step back and find a constructive distraction. Do something that makes you happy like a hobby, watching a video, going for a walk, cooking, or shopping. You could also contribute by doing some volunteer work, doing something nice, or surprising for someone. 


3.Change Your Daily Habits


If one’s body isn’t being healthily maintained, their mental health can deteriorate as well. For that reason, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and watching your caffeine/alcohol intake. Taking care of your body is just as important as taking care of your mind. 


4.Write Down Your Goals


It can be extremely helpful to outline your goals and be as specific as possible. Make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Deadlines can help motivate you to get work done and they will also provide you with a sense of accomplishment when you finish. Your goals don’t have to be intense. They can be as simple as telling yourself you will finish one page everyday before a paper is due or study one section everyday before an exam. This can minimize the amount of stress or anxiety that you might feel regarding your school work. 


5. Give Yourself the Appreciation You Deserve


It’s important to remember that criticism never changes a thing and so you should refuse to criticise yourself or others. Accept yourself as you are. Remember to praise yourself, forgive yourself, and have fun!

Alyson McElhinny

Miami (OH) '20

Hi! I am a senior English: Creative Writing major with an Italian minor. I'm doing my best to graduate early, because who loves to have a ton of debt? Not me.
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