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At ASU we are committed to the success and well-being of our students. We recognize that students often are experiencing significant academic and personal stressors. We also know that certain times of the academic year as well as local, national, or global events can contribute to students feeling particularly susceptible to stress and anxiety.
Of course, not all stress is bad. At moderate levels, stress can help us stay motivated and maintain focus. However, persistent and/or intense stress can reduce our ability to function effectively, interfering with personal and academic goals. For some, stress related to academics may interact with any number of life challenges such as relationship concerns or the ongoing economic challenges that affects us all so much. For a few people, stress may even intensify into feelings of depression, or thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Fortunately, there are healthy strategies to help you manage stress during tough times…
First, stay connected with those around you. This can be tough to do, especially when we start feeling bad. However, when we isolate ourselves, we tend to feel and think things are even worse. So reach out and ask for help when you need it. Equally important is being able to give support to others. If someone you know seems to be going through a difficult time, reaching out and expressing your concern may be more helpful than you imagine.
Second, take back some control by directly confronting stressors and creating a plan. Write down your situation as well as specific solutions within your control for addressing those stressors. Confronting stress can cause a temporary increase in stress, but getting a plan down on paper will reduce stress in the long-run for most people. A plan can include gathering more information about options and asking for help. Once a plan has been developed, commit to it and review it regularly.
Third, identify and change unhealthy coping strategies. Stress can lead us to start doing things we know are not healthy (such as eating poorly or using alcohol or other drugs). It can also lead us to stop doing things we know are healthy (such as exercising or going to bed on time). While it can be tempting in the short run to rationalize such behavior, the result is usually an increase in our stress rather than a decrease.
Last, but not least, know that there is help available. ASU Counseling Services are a resource for you. For information about how to reach us at any of our four campus locations, call us at 480-965-6146
For after hours mental health concerns, contact the EMPACT designated hotline for ASU students at 480-921-1006
As always, there is no charge for any student to meet with us to discuss your concerns or service needs. We also can waive any of our fees for service for any student with financial need.
We hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
--The staff of ASU Counseling Services