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Self-Care While You Wait for An Intake Appointment

J. D. Muth © 2009--Photo taken March 10, 2009 on Sulphur Mountain, in Upper Ojai.

While you are in the process of scheduling ongoing individual counseling, you may wonder what you can do in the meantime.  Here are some things you can do  to alleviate some of the distress you may currently be experiencing (this list is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any conditions – it cannot substitute for a consultation with a medical or mental health professional):

  • Stick to a routine.  Get dressed, go to class, keep to the structure you normally have during your day.
  • Eat healthy food regularly.  Skipping meals robs you of the energy you need to cope.
  • Talk to supportive friends or family members.  Isolating yourself can make things worse.
  • Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings.  Note any patterns or questions you’d like to discuss in counseling. 
  • Get some sleep.  Most people need from 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.  Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Do some kind of physical activity that you enjoy.  This can be running, swimming, playing sports, working out.  Even walks around the campus and neighborhood can help you feel better emotionally and help reduce stress.
  • Avoid using alcohol or drugs as a way to “self-medicate.”  This includes caffeine.
  • Find activities that are relaxing or soothing to you.  Listen to your favorite music, practice taking deep breaths throughout the day, take hot baths, meditate, take a long walk.
  • Find humor in life.  Spend time with those who make you laugh.  Watch a comedy, YouTube or read a funny book.
  • Distract yourself temporarily from your difficulties – watch TV, text a friend, play a game, go outside.
  • Recall what has helped you before in similar situations.  Make a list of these things and try to do them.

On Campus Resources:

  • Health Services After Hours Nurse Line         (866) 439-2012
  • Cal Poly Community Counseling Clinic         (805) 756-1532
  • Career Services                                                    (805) 756-2501
  • Peer Health Education (PULSE)                       (805) 756-6181
  • Health Services                                                    (805) 756-1211
  • SAFER (Sexual Assault)                                    (805) 756-2282

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