Research shows that about 1 in 3 college students experience a death of a family member or close friend who died within the last 12 months. This fall we are thinking of the thousands of college students going back to school (or leaving home for the first time). Difficult in the most normal times, how much more so now, especially if you experienced a death or other loss this summer or prior. College students may be feeling an additional level of uncertainty, grief, and anxiety right now.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you return or go to college for the first time:
Take good care of your body. Eat healthy (easier said than done when away at school but it makes a difference!) Move your body when you can and nap/sleep when you need rest. Grief can be exhausting.
Feeling overwhelmed is normal. Ask for help when you need it. Do what you can, when you can.
Grief bursts. Whether your feelings of grief seem to show up out of the blue, or remain a low steady hum, trust that there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s okay to cry and all of your feelings are OKAY! Reach out for support to campus health, call/text a friend or family member, write in a journal, blast some music, get physical.
Focus on self-care. Check out the Woebot app for self care and be open to ways of sustaining and nourishing your body, mind, and being. Here are three more great Apps for when you are feeling blue or just need some additional support:
- Actively Moving Forward® (AMF) is a national network created in response to the needs of grieving young adults. Here is their App we highly recommend.
- My3 is an app designed to help when you are feeling like hurting yourself or dying. Identify the 3 people you feel can best be there to provide support when you need it.
- Virtual Hope Box is an App with simple tools to help you with coping, relaxation, distraction, and positive thinking.