S.A.S.S.

It’s hard juggling school, work and relationships without letting it get to you. When I get stressed, I find the best way to cope is either talking myself out of it or doing yoga. You have to find what works best for you. If you’re looking for a healthy way to de-stress check out HCI’s Stress and Anxiety Student Support Group. The group meets every Monday at 2PM in the Wellness Center Training room. Although this is not a counseling group it’s a great way to meet new people, learn about stress and how to cope with it.

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While finals week is approaching fast…

While finals week is approaching fast, during this time, stress can be through the roof. Finishing papers, projects, all while trying to study; in addition to balancing work, friends and getting the right amount of sleep is a lot of work! But don’t fret.You are not alone and there are plenty of ways to cope with the stress that comes along with school. Here are some sure fire ways to relieve stress when you need it gone the most.

1. Think of the end result in a positive way. Imagine getting good grades on all your finals and thinking about you what you to look forward to after- SUMMER! Thinking ahead and acknowledging that it will all be worth it can calm down your nerves to know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

2. Time Management. Even though the semester is ending, it is crucial to keep on top of what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. Keeping a planner and knowing what has to get done can lower your stress levels because you’ll be on top of your game. Prioritizing tasks as A,B,C- A being the most important. In addition, avoid procrastination as much as possible. To prevent this try to set certain days when you will complete your tasks. For example, set a Focus day to complete your tasks; a buffer day to finish up; and then a free day to go have some fun!

3. Exercise. This time spent engaged in physical activity doesn’t have to be vigorous. Just enough to get your body moving and to release the tension. Yoga is a great way to get active while relaxing your body at the same time.

4. Talk to someone. Remember every other student on campus is stressing just as much as you are. Friends are a great source to turn to because they can relate and are there to support you. There are other resources such as the counseling center, help hotline and the Stress and Anxiety Student Support group that meets every Monday at 2PM in the Wellness Center Training Room.

Remember, while the end of the semester can be stressful- it will all be worth it!

Good luck and happy studying!

Suicide Prevention and Social Media

Suicide Prevention and Social Media
MaryJane Fuhrer

Most college-aged students are on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram. Some people use these sites as an outlet and a way to express their feelings. It is important to know if content being posted by someone is something you should be concerned about. Here are some indications of distressing messages:
1. Feeling alone, hopeless, useless, or a burden to others:
a. “I don’t want to get out of bed. Seriously can’t do anything right.”
2. Withdrawal from everyday activities:
a. “Missed another chem lab today. I’m a waste of space. #backtobed #igiveup #neverenough”
3. Showing irritability and hostility that is out of character:
a. “I hate everyone. F#@K the world.—Feeling angry.”
4. Showing impulsive behavior:
a. This could include pictures of dangerous activities such as drinking and driving
5. Insomnia posts:
a. “3 am. No sleep. What else is new.”
6. Using negative hashtags and/or emoticons:
a. “#depressed #alone #worthless #whocares L”

So what can you do if you see this sort of behavior on social media?
· Reach out
o Let the person know that they are not alone and that you care about them. Make sure they know its okay to ask for help.
o Your offer may be rejected, but you shouldn’t take that personally.
o If they don’t want to speak with you, encourage them to talk to others or connect them with professionals.
o Regardless of the outcome, make sure to continue your out reach offline as well.
o Avoid “liking” concerning posts, as this may give off the wrong message
· Know your resources
o On Facebook, you have the option to report suicidal content
o On Instagram, you can report a photo for inappropriate content by clicking the 3 dots under the picture.
o Also on instagram, if a person types in a indicative of self-harm, a content advisory will pop-up allowing you to Learn More to get information on self-harm or suicide help.

https://www.jedfoundation.org/assets/Facebook%20and%20Instagram%20Guide%20List.pdf http://ow.ly/i/8FqMx

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder- It’s a thing!

Most people think of eating disorders as only being anorexia and bulimia but often neglect the fact that binge eating is a disorder. People who suffer with it may not even realize that they have it. So what is it? Binge eating disorder is characterized by compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling out of control and powerless to stop.

Myself personally, I struggle with this disorder and my dad wonders why when I eat his cookies, I eat them all. I’ve gotten much better at handling my binge eating over the past few months but it is still an occasional issue. When I was really suffering, as soon as I ate something unhealthy it would ruin the rest of my day and week. I would continue to eat badly and at a constant rate until I physically couldn’t eat anymore. I would raid the vending machine at work, look for sweets in the break room, eat any junk food my dad had and if we didn’t have anything at the house I would leave just to go by sweets. My binge eating was specific to sweets as opposed to regular food. Writing this right now is actually making me want something sweet. When binging not only do I feel bloated but I lack the nutrients needed for a balanced diet. I would skip regular meals because I was so full on sweets.

The symptoms of eating disorder are said to begin in late adolescence or early adulthood, often after a major diet. The amount of time that a binge eating episode usually lasts is about two hours or on and off all day long. These episodes are uncontrollable and the person will most likely feel extremely upset during or after the binge. Unlike bulimia, the person who binges doesn’t try to make up for the overeating by making themselves vomit or over exercise.

Myself personally, exercise and eating healthy is a part of my lifestyle (weird I know) but when I binge, I don’t go to the gym afterwards to try and burn it off. I like to be fueled properly before going to the gym and when I’ve been eating nothing but sweets I just don’t have the energy and I would never attempt to make myself throw up.

Binge eating is something I feel I have no control over. It may seem to help me deal with whatever stress I might be dealing with at the moment but as the binge continues I feel terrible about myself. Some common symptoms of binge eating are eating large amounts of food even when you are full, hiding your food to eat later in secret, eating normally around others but binging when you are alone, eating continuously throughout the day with no planned mealtimes, feeling stress or tension that is only relieved by eating, and being embarrassed over how much you eat.

Having a strict diet seems to be something that is one of the main causes of binge eating. I know it was one of the causes for myself. I would try to be so restrictive with my diet that when I would eat something unhealthy I wouldn’t be able to stop. In time I have learned to stop having such a restrictive diet and not be so negative when I eat something bad and be able to bounce back from it. Where as I used to eat some cookies and then go for a poptart and then go for more cookies and so on, I now will have some cookies and be done. The hardest part is when my thoughts take over and start to binge a little, especially when I’m in a bad mood but I have gained more control over myself now.

Binge eating disorder can lead to some serious problems though. I have gained weight in the past year because of it but now that I have more control I am not concerned with the other risks because I will never let it get as bad as it once was. Overeating can lead to obesity and there are countless issues and diseases that obesity can lead to. If you take measures now to help with your binge eating disorder you won’t have to worry about the extreme risks. Some things you can do to help are stop dieting, fight boredom, avoid temptation, use a food journal, exercise, and get support. For me what worked was to stop dieting but also when I stopped working my full time job and became more active and involved at school, I didn’t have as much time to think about wanting sweets. When I was working, I sat all day and when it wasn’t busy I got bored and would want to eat. Creating a distraction or something you can do besides eating when your bored will help tremendously.

For those with more severe cases of binge eating disorder, especially those associated with depression should seek professional help whether it be from your primary doctor, the wellness center on campus, or a separate counseling center. More information and references for this article can be found on helpguide.org.

It isn’t easy to stand up

It isn’t easy to stand up when you’ve fallen victim. Sexual assault is serious and should be taken that way.
Many people don’t realize how often sexual assault happens, mostly because many feel they cannot justify their incident as serious enough to report. The harsh truth is that victims sometimes blame themselves or are too embarrassed to speak up.
When they don’t have a voice, we need to find ours–we need to end the cycle of assault, the guilty spirals these victims face every morning they wake since their incident.
How can you help?
Come join HCI for Take Back the Night tomorrow at 6:30 pm in the SC! There will be chance for everyone to find their voice and share their thoughts, experiences, and ideas.

Dear Sammi, Being at college is stressful

Dear Sammi,
Being at college is stressful in itself…but I have always struggled with anxiety and it’s only getting worse. For a while, in high school, I handled it well and didn’t allow it to rule my life. Now, I feel like all I do is overanalyze every situation I’m in, which takes away from school work and relaxation time. I can’t sleep or focus at all, though I’m tired all the time. I tried contacting the Wellness Center for therapy, but I’m still on the waiting list and have been since last semester. Do you have any tips on how to handle this on my own?
– Anxious and Alone

Anxious and Alone,
I’m sorry you’re going through such a rough patch right now, but I can assure you it will get better. I’ve been where you are, as well as many others; and it’ll only make you stronger.
Living with OCD has taught me how to mend for myself because all of my battles are internal, against my own thoughts. I know that it can be terrifying, but you are never truly alone.
If you are interested, there are stress and support groups at the Wellness Center that are open to absolutely any student—even those who just want to chat about life in general. One of them is called Stress and Anxiety Student Support (SASS) and is on Mondays at 2pm. Another, called Chill n’ Chat, is on Fridays at 11am. Both are in the Wellness Center Training Room.
Also, if you ever feel you are in immediate need of support, there are counselors available 24/7 over the phone and on duty—simply walk into the Wellness Center if you feel it is an emergency.
A couple of things that I find helpful are meditation, opening up to a friend or family member, and keeping busy. No matter how tired and drained you feel, it always helps to go for a run, write your thoughts down, get ahead on homework, clean, etc. Also, be sure to surround yourself with positive people. It does wonders!
In terms of sleeping, I always imagine myself in a specific situation or plan a surprise for a loved one and live it out in my mind. You can also try the 4-7-8 breathing technique that is proven to slow your heartrate. You inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven, and exhale for eight.
Remember to be your best friend and laugh in the process! This will pass.
– Sammi

(Originally posted on Her Campus Rowan)

Dear Sammi, I never used to be superficial

Dear Sammi,
I never used to be superficial or care too much about my appearance; but lately, I can’t help but obsess over my flaws. I guess being at college makes me compare myself to others more, especially at parties. I don’t have a boyfriend and rarely get confronted by guys, and it hurts my self-esteem sometimes.
I just wish I didn’t put so much into my looks. What I look like shouldn’t matter, and I know that, but I can’t seem to break the negative thoughts I have. “She’s prettier than you,” “you’re too fat,” “you’re too pale.” It is exhausting to live up to my own standards.
How can I stop this self-hatred?
– Self-conscious

Dear Self-conscious,
I think that everyone faces these negative thoughts at some point. I know I do; it’s something I struggle with daily. But what you need to remember is that beauty cannot be simply defined. It all depends on opinion and is way deeper than your outer shell.
One of my favorite quotes:
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” –Steve Furtick
We are our toughest critics. We only see others for their greatest attributes while we define ourselves by our weakest moments and hidden flaws. It’s natural, but it will only tear you off your pedestal if you talk to yourself with words you would never speak to a friend. Be a better friend to yourself. Focus on your strong points and realize that looks will eventually fade and are not the entire package. Once you tell yourself this, you’ll truly start to believe it.
Rather than building yourself based off appearance, build your personality, intelligence, and life experience. These things are much more important.
– Sammi

(Originally posted on Her Campus Rowan)