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Self-Care Tips

Take care of yourself

  • 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 some activities at the Student Rec Center, take a walk on campus, or turn up the tunes and dance in your room. 

  • Eat well. Eat three meals per day and snacks as needed. Fruit, vegetables, protein, and complex carbs. Fuel your body. 

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and other non-prescribed drugs. These substances may make anxiety and depression worse. 

  • Talk. Talk with someone who cares for you (e.g. friends, advisor, residence life staff, family) about your stress and ask for extra support.  Be as specific as you can about what helps. Example: “It really helps when you listen and repeat back to me that things are going to be okay.” 

  • Talk with your advisors and professors to explore your options for the rest of the semester.  

Reduce stress and add relaxation

  • Keep a routine, such as attending classes, work, and social activities. Routine helps you know what is coming and keeps last-minute problems to a minimum. 
  • Set realistic goals. Be flexible and patient if things don’t go as planned. 
  • Obligations. Try to eliminate or reduce unnecessary obligations that you don’t need to do.  
  • Live in the present. Think about what you need to do in the next hour, or even just the next ten minutes. One thing at a time. 
  • Remind yourself that this distress is temporary, and your feelings can change for the better.   
  • Big decisions can wait. Try not to make any major decisions or changes in your life while you are very distressed or in an emotional place.  
  • Do things you enjoy to improve your mood. Watch a comedy, volunteer, or listen to music.  Find what works for you. Make a list of things and keep it handy for rough days.  
  • 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.
    • Get 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 WV outdoor ideas and AdventureWV for more ways to get involved with others interested in the outdoors for wellness.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, meditation, stretching – all can help to reduce your stress levels. 

Need more help?

Plan what to do if your mood or situation worsens. Some options are: 

  • Call the Carruth Center at 304-293-4431 and ask to speak to a counselor. 

  • Call the 24-hour after hours helpline at 304-293-4431. 

  • Text WVU to 741741 to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor at Crisis Text Line. 

  •  Visit the Carruth Center and ask for help in identifying a counselor in the community. 

  • Go to the emergency room at the University Hospital or call 911. 

  • If your concerns are substance related, consider attending local 12 Step groups