Fall 2021 Counseling Newsletter

Accessing Services

counseling.jpgIndividual Sessions

CSM Counseling Services are still open to serve all your needs. We are currently offering sessions via Zoom. Your time at college can be positive and rewarding, but they can also bring stress and challenges. Counseling is free of charge and a confidential service available to all currently enrolled CSM students. Counseling at CSM is short term, with eight sessions available per semester.

ruokhawks-2.pngR U OK, Hawks?

This platform is an interactive screening tool that connects you to a College of Southern Maryland counselor to learn more about how you can get support for mental health concerns here at CSM. This website and the services offered are intended only for students at the College of Southern Maryland. This is not a crisis intervention service, but allows participants to get assistance through a voluntary and anonymous method. To get started today, click here: https://csm.caresforyou.org/welcome.cfm?access=website

Fall 2021 Programming

Counseling Services offers a variety of programming during the semester to support the needs of students. This fall, programming will be entirely virtual and widely accessible to all students. Links for these events are shared on most CSM social platforms. We hope to see you there.

Take a moment to de-stress with mind-body medicine! Experience the power of being in a relaxed state and use your energy to bring about greater awareness and focus. You're guaranteed to leave with tools and techniques that can help you deal with everyday stressors and positively impact your mind and body. This workshop is led by Judi Ferrara, Director of Adult and Community Education, and is co-sponsored by Student Life and Counseling Services. Note: please have on hand a few sheets of blank paper and some crayons or colored pencils.
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If finals exams and papers and the extra demands of the holidays have you feeling not so jolly, join the CSM counselors for a lively discussion of practical ways to alleviate stress and find peace in the moment.
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Mental Health Expansion Programming

True Blue Behavioral Health is partnering with Counseling Services to provide some additional programming opportunities. They will be hosting the following virtual programs this semester. What a treat! See you there!

Provider: Kimberly J. Smith and Karen Lackey

Do you find yourself beyond overwhelmed as a student with competing responsibilities: Papers, projects, weekly readings, virtual classroom posts, homework, sleep (what's that?!), work, and much more? If the answer is yes, you might be experiencing academic burnout. In this workshop, we will discuss the importance of recognizing the slow mental, physical, and emotional shutdown that often accompanies burnout. We will address warning signs and how to be proactive with your time management and self-care.

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Provider: Kristin Young

Are you unsure about yourself, your purpose and how to make a change. These things can bring about anxiety symptoms and irrational thoughts. In this workshop, we will discuss how to reclaim yourself, awareness of your positive traits and how they contribute to your purpose.

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Are you Stressed? Do you find yourself in negative spirals? Is your mind cluttered? Are you having trouble focusing on the present? Stop over-thinking! Feeling better about oneself: such a simple goal, yet not easy at all. We will walk through inner obstacles with detailed and proven techniques to help you rewire your brain, control your thoughts, and change your mental habits.

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Managing Academic Stress

The bad news: The life of a college student comes with plenty of stressors. The good news: A few core coping skills can help turn a tangle of obligations and pressures into something much more manageable. Here are a few of the counselors’ tried and true strategies for managing academic stress and staying on track.
  1. Align your actions with your purpose and goals. For example, if your overarching goal is to get a degree that leads to a good job, remind yourself that each small step you take (reading that chapter, studying for that exam) moves you closer to that exciting outcome.
  2. Develop habits that build on your strengths and take into account your style of learning and working. If you have a hard time focusing for a long period of time, don’t expect yourself to study for three hours straight. Instead, parcel out your work into smaller chunks and allow yourself a short break in between tasks.
  3. Don’t miss the target by aiming for perfection. When we fixate on perfection, we can become paralyzed by inaction and fear, making it difficult to take the steps that lead to completing an assignment or studying for an exam.
  4. Do one thing. It sounds simple – and it is. But, often, when we feel overwhelmed by an endless to-do-list, the best way forward is to pick one thing and then take care of it. More often than not, the satisfaction of accomplishing one task leads to momentum and it becomes much easier to power through that list.
  5. Change your perspective. If you view your schoolwork as a burden, it will feel like a burden. Try viewing your work as a privilege and a gift – and as something that will take you towards your goals.Adjust the bar daily. Some days we can move mountains. Other days, we may feel that we can barely do the minimum. And that’s okay. You are allowed to be human. Accept and respect where you are on any given day and adjust your expectations accordingly.
  6. Remember that time is a precious resource. There are 86,400 seconds in a day. How will you use them? They could be spent in worry or dread, or you could decide to seize the moment and take small steps that will move you forward.

Top Tips for Mental Wellness

While you’re chasing that degree, here are a few of Counseling Services’ best tips for staying grounded and balanced.

  1. Nutrition. Hydration. Movement. Sleep. These “big four” of physical and mental wellness may seem obvious, but so often in our busy lives we forget to tend to these basics. Taking care of your body will help to regulate your emotions, improve focus, and boost energy.
  2. Practice self-compassion. When things don’t go as planned, or we encounter some difficulty in our path, we owe it to ourselves to respond with compassion and gentleness – treating ourselves as we would a dear friend.
  3. Check in with your moods and emotions. Throughout the day, pause to ask yourself: What am I feeling? Can I label this emotion? Am I experiencing tension in my body and, if so, where? Becoming aware of our emotions helps us to manage and soothe them.
  4. Connect with sources of meaning and purpose in your life. Meaning can be found just about everywhere we look – our family and friends, our work, our spiritual beliefs, our pets, our hobbies, and on and on. When building your days and weeks, make sure to include time for the things and people that really matter to you.
  5. Ask for support. None of us can get through this life alone. We need connection and each other. And, sometimes, we may need professional support, such as counseling. CSM counselors are available to offer support and guidance during your college journey.
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