Seminar teaches students importance of coping kits


Photocredit @ionaconselingcenter

Coping Kit Adapting for Change helps students consider helpful stragies to support them throughout the semester.

Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza, News Editor

As a part of the “Seminars for Success” workshop, this week’s seminar, “Coping Kit: Adapting to Change,” focused on dealing with stressors that college students face. These workshops are intended to help Gaels achieve both in and outside the classroom. This Tuesday at the Ryan Library Romita Auditorium, a counselor from the counseling center gave tips on how to create a coping kit.  

Transitioning back to a school-oriented perspective can be difficult after a long break. Students have expectations for the beginning of the semester, whenever they anticipate that this semester would be better or believing that things will stay the same.  

There are different stressors that add to the existing anxiety of going back to school. Often things do not exactly go as planned, which creates stress, disorienting students. Some students discussed their current dilemmas with many Gaels citing time, either managing the lack of or the abundance of it. Students have to juggle a lot, from work and assignments to extracurricular activities. It is no surprise that a majority of college students feel symptoms of burn out. Common signs of stress are feeling irritable and agitated, withdrawing from social life and difficulty sleeping.  

A coping kit is a collection of things that you can provide yourself that you can rely on when you are feeling stress that helps you decompress, refocus and manage emotions.  

To create a coping kit, one can keep in mind the five senses to de-escalate emotions. It is up to the individual for what to include in their coping kit as its purpose is to smooth oneself. For instance, employing a coping kit can be valuable when you’re time constrained and have many things to do. Calling your mom once a week and scheduling brief Facetime calls with friends can be great solutions for those who are feeling homesick or really busy. Feeling stress because there is too much on a to-do list? Prioritize what is important first and do the rest later, breaking them down in small steps. Sleep and exercise are other simple ways to refocus and reduce stress such as running in place or doing jumping jacks.  

Aromatherapy can be beneficial with its calming scents of candles and perfumes. Cirus scented fragrances are helpful to remain focus, and in fact in small increments of time is effective as coffee. The counseling center has several of these scents that Gaels are welcome to try out. Food is known to be comforting. Chocolate, tea and snack bars are all popular options. To calm yourself, photos, drawings and quotes that invoke happy memories are particularly effective. Fidget toys, bubble wrap and putty are excellent tools to relieve stress. Finally, music and white noise can ease tension in a very stressful moment.