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March Newsletter

Welcome back from spring break!

We’re excited to have you back on campus and hope you were able to take the week to rest and unwind, spend time with friends and family and take a moment to do things that you enjoy. Did you know today is the first day of spring? Spring signifies coming out of the darkness as we’ve transitioned from longer nights to longer days. We’re looking forward to warmer weather as the end of the semester draws closer.

Relaxation techniques for you to use

You got through your midterms and you’re back from break refreshed, but as we all know, finals week is on the horizon. NOW is the best time to begin preparing yourself for your upcoming tests and projects. Taking time before the day of a big test or presentation to focus on preparation and taking care of yourself can minimize the day-of jitters. It’s important for you to have some tools in your toolbelt to help turn the volume down on your anxiety. The Carruth Center has listed some relaxation techniques below for you to try. You can use these techniques over the next few weeks and on test days.

Deep breathing: Taking deep, rhythmic breaths can regulate your heart rate and reduce anxious feelings.

Grounding exercises: name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things that you can smell, 1 thing you can taste. Keep repeating these until you feel grounded. A few other tips are:

  • Take a good-smelling lotion with you on the day of the exam, as scents can be calming.
  • Peppermint has been found to be calming for some people, so try to keep some gum or mints on hand.
  • Still feeling anxious? You can always set up an appointment with Carruth to talk with a counselor who can help you identify some additional relaxation techniques that may work better for you. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling 304-293-4431.

    Talk with your advisers and professors if you feel you aren’t doing well in a class or need some clarification on a subject. Don’t be afraid to use a professor’s office hours so you can get some one-on-one time with them and be able to get a better understanding of the subject.

    Focus on your study habits. Now is the time to develop some healthy study habits, so that when finals week comes around you are comfortable and less stressed with trying to figure out what techniques work for you. A few extra tips to help get you started:

  • Study early and in similar places. The WVU Libraries are a great place to study. Did you know that students can also reserve space in the Mountainlair throughout the year? Just contact the Mountainlair Reservations office to make a reservation, it can even be the day of.
  • Use the tutoring resources on campus.
  • Establish a consistent pretest routine.
  • Don’t ignore a learning disability. WVU Accessibility Services can help with academic accommodations. Don’t wait until finals week to apply. Contact them today to begin the process and meet with an accessibility specialist.

  • Make sure to prioritize your own wellness

    It’s important that you prioritize your own mental health and wellness. Carruth offers several self-care tips for taking care of yourself and reducing stress. A few of them are listed below for you to consider:

    • Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation makes stress much worse. Sleeping on a consistent schedule is important.
    • Move your body. Physical activity helps reduce stress and anxiety. Don’t plan to exercise more than an hour per day. Check out the spring fitness schedule at the Student Rec Center, take a walk on campus or turn up the tunes and dance in your room.
      • Use nature to improve your mood and reduce stress.
      • Stretch your muscles. Notice how it makes your body feel and influences your mind.
      • Turn off your phone and mindfully walk to class. Count the colors you see. Notice the breeze and smells. Listen to the sounds. Pick up a leaf and notice how it feels.
      • Go sit or stand outside and look around you. Brainstorm what you are grateful for, big and small.
      • Take a short run or walk around your building outside. Get your heart rate up for 10 minutes.
      • Grab a friend and go for a walk around campus, to the Core Arboretum, Nath Sculpture Garden, Falling Run Trails or a city park.
      • Watch the sunrise or sunset while engaging in slow, measured breathing. Use all your senses to fully experience the moment.
      • Check out DIY Outdoors for more outdoor ideas and AdventureWV for more ways to get involved with others interested in the outdoors for wellness.
    • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and other non-prescribed drugs. These substances may make anxiety and depression worse.
    • Remind yourself that this distress is temporary, and your feelings can change for the better.

    Be responsible

    As the weather continues to improve, we know it’s a great time for students to get outside and have some fun. We hope you do so responsibly and safely. WELLWVU has a lot of information and resources available to students regarding drugs and alcohol and adopting some safer drinking strategies.

    Additionally, WELLWVU is currently able to provide WVU students with fentanyl test strips. No questions asked, no identifying information required and no interaction with anyone during pick-up. If you would like to pick up fentanyl test strips, all the information can be found at

    Something to remember; WVU has a medical amnesty policy, so never hesitate to call 911 when someone is in need of medical assistance. For those that aren’t familiar with the policy: under the University’s Student Code of Conduct and the laws of West Virginia, bystanders and those affected by drug or alcohol overdose may be safe from prosecution and may not face charges under the campus student Code of Conduct if they seek medical assistance in an emergency. Calling for help can be the difference in saving someone’s life.


    Don’t wait until it’s the week before finals before you reach out to someone for help. If you’re struggling with academics, try talking with your professor or academic adviser for some guidance.

    You can also schedule a time to talk with a therapist at the Carruth, WVU’s campus counseling center. There are multiple ways students can talk with a counselor, including:

  • Schedule an appointment online or by calling 304-293-4431
  • Students can use Talkspace, a free online therapy service that connects users to a dedicated therapist.
  • You can stop by one of Carruth’s Let’s Chat events and have a 20-minute conversation with a Carruth therapist.
  • Don’t forget about your support system! Talk and lean on family and friends who can help you work through some of the items on your plate so you’re able to balance work and your personal life easier.

    Crisis Resources

    Life-Threatening Emergencies


    University Police: 304-293-COPS (2677)

    Psychological Emergencies

    Carruth Center: 304-293-4431 (press 1 after hours)

    Crisis Text Line: Text “WVU” to 741741

    Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988

    Veteran Crisis Line: 988 (press 1)

    Trevor Project Hotline (LGBTQ): 1-866-4UTREVOR (1-866-488-7386)

    Carruth Center has an urgent/crisis clinic that provides in-person visits without an appointment for students who are experiencing a psychological emergency. Call 304-293-7731 (press 1 after hours)