Coping Skills

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Talking

It takes a lot of strength to talk about how you are feeling. Speaking to somebody you trust, a friend, family member, or partner – really can help you feel so much better.
Sometimes it helps to talk to someone outside your immediate network of friends and family, who listens carefully and non- judgmentally to help you make sense of events or experiences that may be troubling you.
The Student Counselling Service is a professional and confidential student support that is available free of charge to all registered IT Sligo students.

Self-Criticism

Be aware of your thoughts about yourself. Are you critical of yourself more often than you would like to be? Sometimes we can be harder on ourselves than anyone else would be.
Try to be aware of how you view yourself. Teach yourself to be more reassuring towards yourself.

Connect with Others

Evidence suggests that good relationships with others are good for our Mental Health and Well Being. Life can get busy and sometimes it gets in the way of us spending time with friends and family, and with those who matter most to us. By putting time into these relationships, we feel happier and have an overall better sense of purpose in life.

Tips to stay connected with others

  • Set aside time every day to check in with family and friends.
  • Arrange to meet friends that you haven’t been in contact with in recent times.
  • Reduce your screen time when you are in the company of others, put your phone away, turn your lap top off or turn down/off the TV.

Physical Activity

 

Physical activity can lift our mood and reduce Anxiety and Stress. It can be difficult to find motivation to get physically active so try to gradually build it into your everyday routine. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily can make a difference. This can even come in the form of three bouts of ten minutes throughout the day- so a walk to college and home can almost help you meet the recommendations.

 

 

Tips to help you get active

  • Get another person to be active with, you will be less likely to put off planned physical activity if you have someone to do it with.
  • Do something you enjoy, it’s not all about the running and walking! Physical activity can be dancing, football, swimming etc. pick your favorite.
  • Aim to meet the recommended guidelines of 150 mins of moderate activity weekly.
  • Start slow; If your fitness levels are not fantastic take it easy don’t do too much at the start, ease into physical activity.

Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet

Boost your mood with healthy food.

  • Try and follow a healthy eating pattern the majority of the time.
  • Use the food pyramid and ensure to get your 5 a day of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Sugary foods lead to a sharp drop in blood sugars which contributes to energy and mood slumps. Caffeine causes increased heart rate and interferes with sleep; fizzy drinks can contain caffeine.

It is easy to opt out of healthy eating during busy college life but eating a healthy balanced diet can:

  • Make you feel and look your best,
  • Help you maintain a healthy weight,
  • Reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

For healthy eating tips and recipes, check out the food pyramid.

Sleep Tips

Sleep is vital to our overall health and how we feel. One night of poor sleep can diminish our well being, the easiest of tasks can prove to be difficult. Sleep gives us the opportunity to restore our energy levels, improve memory function, and help to heal the body.
Lack of sleep impacts on our concentration levels and as a result every day activities become a challenge. Over time, this impacts on Mental Health and ability to socialise, which in turn can make us feel isolated, lonely and reduce your mood (Mental Health Ireland, 2016).

Tips to get a good night sleep

  • Have a routine; try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Physical Activity during the day; being active during the day can induce tiredness.
  • Avoid napping during the day; this reduces your ability to sleep at night.
  • Relax before bed; avoid technology such a phones and TV, have a warm bath or listen to some relaxing music.
  • Minimise Anxiety; try not to tackle anything that can cause anxiety before bed time, write down any worries you have to clear your head before sleeping. 
  • Avoid eating heavy meals before bed; Your body has to work on breaking food down therefore you do not get as much rest.
  • Avoid stimulants before bed; such as tea, coffee, chocolate, fizzy drinks or cigarettes.
  • Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleeping and sex. This way your body will associate your bed with sleep.

Building Resilience

Resilience is your ability to cope through the stressful times in life. We all have challenging times in our lives. We get through them all very differently, and our levels of resilience is a major factor in how we get there. If we are resilient, stressful situations don’t impact us as much compared to if we are not as resilient. The key is to express our emotions, not to ignore them (Aware, 2017).