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)

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