While You Wait for Counseling
The decision to seek help is an important one. Sometimes, it’s very difficult decision to make. It can be especially difficult if there is a waiting period between when you requested counseling and your first session. Below are some tips that may relieve some of the stress you may experiencing during the waiting period.
- Maintain your schedule: Take care of your grooming, get dressed in the morning, and go to work and class. Try to maintain the schedule you normally have during your day.
- Eat healthy food regularly: Don’t skip meals. Eating healthy food at regular intervals helps you maintain the energy you need to cope.
- Seek support from safe friends or family members: Isolating yourself can make things worse.
- Keep a journal: Take time to write down what you are thinking and feeling. Often, writing about your thoughts and feelings will give you a different perspective and help clarify what you want to discuss in counseling.
- Try to maintain a healthy sleeping schedule: Most college students need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Try to go to bed and get up around the same time each day.
- Do some kind of physical activity: Physical activity can make you feel better emotionally and reduce stress. Try to remain active, even if the physical activity is as simple as a walk around campus.
- Avoid using alcohol or drugs: While alcohol and drugs can help you “self medicate,” using them is an unhealthy way to cope which may cause more distress.
- Participate in activities that are relaxing or comforting to you: Listen to your favorite music, take hot baths, meditate, paint, etc.
- Take time to nurture yourself spiritually: Go to church, attend chapel, or just enjoy nature. Pray, read uplifting books, speak to a trusted pastor or spiritual leader.
- Find ways to laugh: Spend time with those who make you laugh. Watch a funny movie or read a funny book.
- Look for ways to temporarily divert yourself from your difficulties: Watch TV, play a game, go window shopping.
- Remember other times you have been in similar situations and how you coped.