Dear Counselor – November 9, 2021

Mary Pellitteri, Quinnipiac Counselor

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and does not constitute medical or other professional advice.

Dear Counselor is a column written by Mary Pellitteri, a member of Quinnipiac University’s Counseling Services, to answer questions students have regarding mental health and wellness. To submit questions to Dear Counselor, email [email protected] All chosen questions will be anonymously published.

To schedule an appointment, call Counseling Services at 203-582-8689.

If you need immediate assistance, call Counseling Services at 203-582-8680 and choose option three to speak with a licensed mental health professional available.

I feel like so many students, including myself, have had a worse semester this fall than ever. How should we address a full return to college life while protecting our mental health?

The pandemic has been difficult for most of us, and the majority of college students have been negatively affected, in one way or another. So, be kind to yourself, this is not easy for any of us! There are some things you can do to take care of yourself. Focus on what you can control and establish a routine. Don’t underestimate the basics; eat well, get enough sleep, exercise, limit your alcohol use. Surround yourself with positive people, who support you and are in your corner. Limit social media. Do what you love, and laugh a lot. And don’t forget to utilize the resources available. We are QU strong, and all in this together!

How can students in an age of social media feel less alone?

Social media has opened our world in many ways and offers connections we would otherwise never have had the opportunity to have. But, studies show that there is a connection between time spent on social media and loneliness. Face-to-face contact to build stronger in-person connections, and building your self-worth, is key. Do more with people, talk to a stranger, volunteer, be nice to yourself. Pay attention to what makes you feel less lonely and do that! And of course, remember to limit your time on social media.

What are some helpful ways of coping with academic and pandemic anxiety?

There are many things college students can do to address anxiety. Don’t procrastinate, it will just make matters worse. Self-care, including physical, mental and spiritual wellness is important. Eat right, get plenty of rest, go for a walk and remind yourself of the beauty around you, practice yoga, spend time with people that love you, enjoy yourself, laugh. Utilize supports. Keep informed of what our health care experts are telling us regarding the pandemic. Take a mental health day, unplug and treat yourself to some of your favorite things.