Prioritizing your mental health with IVCC resources

Hope Stunkel, IV Leader Columnist

We have all been through this pandemic with struggles, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, having to wear masks and not wanting to wear them, people arguing with one another about whether to get the vaccine or not, who our new president was going to be, people dying of the Coronavirus, Zoom university and how to manage online classes with life, and the mental well-being for everyone during these changing times.

We all focus on the negativity so much that we forget to think positive and being optimistic, no matter how troubled we are with so much hatred.

I know that this may seem easier said than done but look for something positive everyday even if it is the smallest thing as being thankful for the sunshine or the fresh air that day.

Tina Hardy, who is the coordinator for the Center for Accessibility and Neurodiversity has some great resources for those who feel overwhelmed like the digital well-being portal in YOU@IVCC, Muse headband, and counseling services as needed during these difficult times.

Doing the YOU@IVCC portal will help students get a better perspective on the pressures of college life that all students go through, normalize their experience whether students do classes online or in-person, and learn useful coping mechanisms to deal with external and internal stress surrounding them.

The Muse headband that is offered at the Center for Accessibility and Neurodiversity is a great tool for students that feel stressed or anxious before, during, or after a class, when studying or preparing for quizzes/exams, or just stress with the overload of school work.
This is a piece of wearable technology that can help students practice meditations and get their mind back to focusing and being successful.

Going to counseling helps students not to just be successful in school, but it also helps them emotionally over any anxieties that college brings along with work and family things going on outside of school.

If students ever feel like they are in a crisis, the Counseling services here can do P-CAP (personal counseling appointments) on a limited basis.

One of the counselors here at IVCC, Missy Killian says that the pandemic has forced everybody to transition to online learning which some succeeded and others did not. She also says that COVID-19 has stressed out students academically and has affected their school performance with so much going on in the world.

It is really important to pay attention to your emotional and mental state with self-care and trying to follow a routine which is easier said than done.

Some coping skills that students can use that I personally use are calling a friend or parent, doing or reading affirmations, hang out with my friends, getting involved in the community, going outside for fresh air, listening to music, journaling, doing gratitude logs, eating healthy and consuming natural foods with little or no processed food, and playing with my kitten.

Doing all of these is easier said than done. When you start to practice at least one of these a day and eventually making all of these a part of your daily routine, you will start to feel better emotionally and feel less overwhelmed even though this is a lot. Put 30 to 45 minutes of self-care in a day, it doesn’t seem like a chore but more of coping skill.

Here are a few numbers and resources for student who feel overwhelmed or are in a crisis:, (800) 950-6264 (NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness), and (815) 224-1610 (North Central Crisis Hotline).