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Celebrating National Stress Awareness Month

  The month of April is nationally recognized as Stress Awareness Month. 

     As the school year comes to an end, it is common for students to be stressed with finals and the process of moving out of their dorms.

     Due to the stress prevalent among many students, it is important for them to be aware of both the healthy ways to manage stress, and the mental health resources available on campus.

     One resource available to students is the Student Counseling Center, which is free of charge to any and all students attending USD. There is an option of “Same Day Appointments.” These can be made online by going to usd.edu/scc. Counselors are available from 1-4 p.m. every day.

     In addition to the Student Counseling Center, USD has a 24/7 support/crisis line called Coyote Care. This service connects students with mental health professionals at any time. The support line provides emergency responses, therapy connections, and more. Students can access this on or off campus, and even abroad. The number for Coyote Care is 833-569-1686.

     The Wellness Center will have its Wellness Wednesday theme on April 17th as “stress relief.” This day includes advice from the counseling center, the campus PETE group putting on an activity and HyVee providing snacks too help with stress relief and relaxation.

     Dottie Kerkman, Fitness and Special Events Coordinator at the Wellness Center, shared events that are going on for students to relieve stress and healthy food options for stress.

    “Students can take 5-10 minutes to meditate. There are apps, and I know Spotify has a playlist for meditations,” Kerkman said. “They can write down 5 positive things about themselves when having a good day and read them every day to remind themselves of their worth. Counting sometimes calms a person when really stressed or taking a walk.”

     When asked about healthy food options when stressed, Kerman stated, “Our bodies tend to want sweet or salty foods when stressed. I recommend keeping healthier options on hand. Hummus and pretzel crisps, fruits and yogurt, celery and peanut butter, mini rice cakes, etc. are all great options that would satisfy salty and sweet.”

     Freshman Alivia Morten shared her thoughts on stress and ways she copes with stress.

     “I do think social media impacts my mental health because what you see on social media is considered the “norm,” so you try to do the same thing and that may not fit in with your lifestyle,” said Kerkman. “To relieve my stress, I like to go outside if it is nice and take a walk and listen to music to clear my mind, and maybe hangout with friends. I also like to go to the gym and workout.”

     All of these resources on campus are beneficial for students and are encouraged to be used. Be sure to check out the Wellness Center on April 17th!