College students (and everyone actually), take note: Self-care is key to success

Release Date: September 12, 2019

Print
Headshot of Carissa Uschold-Klepfer.
“Learning how to reduce and handle stress, including developing self-care habits, is critical, especially for college students who may be on their own for the first time. ”
Carissa Uschold-Klepfer, Assistant director for outreach
UB Office of Counseling Services

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Now that college students are back on campus, a University at Buffalo mental health counselor has an important message: Self-care is key to healthy stress management.

“Stress is a normal part of life and it can even be a positive force in your life,” said Carissa Uschold-Klepfer, assistant director for outreach in the UB Office of Counseling Services.

“Learning how to reduce and handle stress, including developing self-care habits, is critical, especially for college students who may be on their own for the first time,” she said.

She noted that self-care has five components: physical, mental/emotional, lifestyle, social support and spiritual.

  • Physical self-care: Maintaining balanced nutrition and regular water intake, getting enough sleep, and engaging in physical exercise or activity at least several times a week.
  • Mental/emotional: Making time for enjoyable activities, talking to people you trust about your problems, engaging in positive self-talk, writing in a journal or volunteering, talking to a therapist or participating in mindfulness activities, such as meditation or yoga.
  • Lifestyle: Establishing a structure or routine, setting goals, spending time in nature and taking time to participate in pleasurable and leisure activities.
  • Social needs: Making time to reconnect with old friends or family members, going out with friends, seeking the company of others, getting involved in a support group, mentoring or advising, or doing community service.
  • Spiritual needs: Finding one’s purpose, engaging in meditation or prayer, finding a spiritual community, spending time in nature and engaging in forgiveness.

She noted that resources, such as the UB School of Social Work Self-Care Starter Kit, may also be of value. “While this kit is geared to students and professionals in the helping professions, it is also valuable for anyone seeking to deal more effectively with stress,” she said.

Uschold-Klepfer added that UB’s Counseling Services offer to students a broad range of mental health and referral services, all designed to promote students’ personal well-being and academic success. The UB Counseling Team includes psychologists, social workers and other mental health professionals who serve students at UB. More information is available at https://www.buffalo.edu/studentlife/who-we-are/departments/counseling.html.

Media Contact Information

Ellen Goldbaum
News Content Manager
Medicine
Tel: 716-645-4605
goldbaum@buffalo.edu
Twitter: @UBmednews