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Zap Your Stress With These Free Resources

With the start of a new semester, Boston College students are in a frenzy to stay on top of new schedules, classes and extracurricular commitments. It can often get to be a little bit too much—so much, in fact, that we can neglect our health (mental or otherwise) in the mayhem.

Nearly one in five people in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder, and students on stressful campuses like BC’s are at even greater risk than the average person. Luckily, with so many resources at our fingertips, BC students can stay healthy even as we maintain our GPAs.

  1. Know Your Enemy

If you feel as if your mental health is less than stellar, the first place to turn is potentially the easiest: online journals and magazines. Websites like Psych Central--which hails itself as “today’s modern voice for mental health information, emotional support and advocacy”—and Psychology Today feature blogs and articles on a huge range of mental health issues, treatments and just general information about conditions. The best part is they’re written by actual psychologists.

By learning more about a condition and by reading advice from real professionals in the field, you just might be able to breathe easier. You can improve your own mental health without leaving the comfort of your dorm room--and without paying a cent.

  1. App Your Enemy

Yes, there is an app for your mental health. If you’re just looking for a way to cool off after a stressful day full of classes and meetings, a meditation and relaxation app like Calm may be right for you.

If you’re feeling a little bit more than just overworked, an app like Self Help for Anxiety Management can help you keep track of your anxiety levels, your triggers and what you can do to manage them. Although neither are foolproof, they’re certainly worth the storage space typically given to an  app such as Facebook.

  1. Treat Your Enemy

In more serious cases, BC has incredible resources located right on campus that are easy to get to and easy to schedule. With individual counseling, psychotherapy, crisis response, consultation and group therapy all available to students through University Counseling Services (UCS), the right treatment for nearly everyone is just a short walk away.

The office’s website states that UCS seeks to help students, “discover more about themselves and to become more competent and confident, in both their work and their relationships with others.”

Appointments can be made by calling the office at (617) 552-3310 or by stopping by their regular office hours in Gasson 001 on Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m.—4:45 p.m.

With all of these easy-to-access resources, there’s no reason to let the stresses of a new semester become too much to handle. However, if you or a friend is in a crisis, don’t hesitate to call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

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