Here are a few coping skills ideas. The most effective coping skills vary from person to person, so give yourself a few to try!
Exercise: Getting moving has numerous benefits for the body and the mind. Hit the gym, pool, or rock climbing wall. Find a club or intramural sport to play. Try a group fitness class like yoga or spin. Even going for a simple stroll around campus is well worth it! Visit UREC http://urec.appstate.edu/ for more information about options for getting active.
Mindfulness: Many of us spend a lot of energy stuck in the past or worrying about the future. Practicing mindfulness is a simple and effective way to help us stay in the present moment, often resulting in a calming and grounding effect. Try practicing mindful breathing, coloring, or walking. Check out apps such as Calm or Headspace for guidance, or sign up for a Koru mindfulness class or half-day retreat with Wellness and Prevention Services: http://wellness.appstate.edu/pagesmith/107.
Social connections: Connecting with those around us can help us feel supported and understood, and help us find a sense of belonging. Odds are very good that others around you are experiencing stress, too, so take a moment to check in with each other and have honest conversations. Want to meet new people? Try attending one of the hundreds (hundreds!! https://campusactivities.appstate.edu/club-directory) of campus clubs and organizations, volunteering, or starting a study group.
You-time: Write in a journal. Play the guitar. Doodle. Bake cookies. Do a puzzle... whatever feels most restorative to you! Even a few minutes of quality time to yourself can be immensely helpful in coping with stress.
This is far from an exhaustive list, so keep experimenting to find what works best for you! Building your ability to cope with stress in healthy ways will serve you well in college and far beyond.
Audrey Stone, MA, NCC, LPCA
Counseling & Psychological Services Center