Taking it One Step at a Time
Coming back to campus after the summer, and for some people, a whole year or more is really exciting in lots of ways. It’s great to be back in the Marquette community, and able to see friends who we may not have seen in person for a long time. However, returning to campus full time, fully in person, has been difficult to say the least. For me personally, suddenly being expected to be in person in all of my classes, for my job, and all of my meetings and clubs has been very overwhelming. After a year of being able to attend class from my bed if I wasn’t feeling 100%, this change feels exhausting. Even being around my friends or larger groups of people can sometimes be hard because I got so used to only seeing a few people at a time. I know that I am not the only student struggling with this. I have heard from many friends, coworkers, and classmates that this transition has been challenging.
One reason that returning to in person activities is so scary is the fact that there is so much in the world that is out of my control. When half of my life was virtual, it was a lot easier to maintain control over everything that was happening to me. I think that as we move back to a more “normal” lifestyle, it’s important to keep in mind that I can’t control everything, but I can be prepared and organized. I can take control of what I can and accept that I can’t control everything.
Now that we’re at the halfway point of the semester, and midterms are creating even more stress, I think it’s important to talk about healthy coping mechanisms and strategies for navigating in person classes again. I have found it’s easiest to take the day one step at a time. If you are struggling to find the motivation to go to class, break your task down into easier steps. First, focus on getting out of bed. Then focus on eating something for breakfast, then showering. Then focus on getting dressed and then getting your stuff together, and then walking to class. When you break the process down, it feels more manageable.
It’s also important to remember to take care of your general wellbeing when you feel stressed. You need to be taking care of your physical and mental health. Make sure you are eating three healthy meals a day, exercising, and getting enough sleep. This can be challenging when you have a busy schedule, so it’s important to prioritize these things, and make them fun activities that you enjoy doing. Find some type of exercise that is fun for you. If you don’t like running or lifting, you could go to a spin class, join an intramural team or a club sport. This also might be a good way to meet new friends! Look up new recipes and cook foods that you genuinely enjoy. The Wellness Center is running a program called Joyful Eating which will teach easy, healthy recipes and help students focus on creating a healthy relationship with food. The program is scheduled for the beginning of November, so keep an eye out on our Instagram for updates!
It’s important to balance out school stressors with activities that help calm you down. This can look different for everyone, and you just need to find what works for you. Some people like to do yoga, meditate, or pray. It’s important to take time for yourself and do things that help you destress.
If you want some guidance about how to take care of your wellbeing, the Wellness Center offers a service called Wellness Coaching. You work one on one with a Wellness Peer Educator to set wellness goals. You meet with the WPE two or three times a month and can continue coaching until you feel like you have achieved your goals. If you are interested in Wellness Coaching, you can find more information here: https://www.marquette.edu/student-wellness/peer-coaching.php
You can fill out a request form at this link : https://www.marquette.edu/student-affairs/peer-wellness-coaching-request.php
If you feel like the stress and anxiety you’re facing is beyond the scope of wellness coaching, you can always go to the counseling center for help. They can be reached at 414–288–7172, and more information can be found at this link: https://www.marquette.edu/counseling/