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Simple Strategies to Stress Less

Hello! My name is Mary DeCenzo LISW-S. Dr. Stefanie Day and I are your “Embedded” Clinicians from OSU Counseling and Consultation Services, which means we are specifically assigned to serve students enrolled in the College of Engineering. 

Now that were are officially half way through the 2019-2020 academic year, you may likely feel relieved that you have finished your fall semester final exams and have hopefully enjoyed a break in the action and stress of student life. However, you may also be experiencing feelings of nervousness, worries or fears about what could happen in the upcoming spring semester. While such apprehension is common, many students may experience symptoms that are so intense that the symptoms pose a barrier to a student’s ability to function physically or socially, or present a barrier to moving forward in the student’s education. 

Below are links to a couple of articles you may find helpful to better understand our hard-wired, innate response to stress:

Mindfulness and meditation have been found to be one of the most successful types of interventions to manage symptoms of stress and anxiety. Read more about this at the link below:

OSU has several excellent resources available on campus to assist you in practicing these skills, as well as others skills, which are helpful in reducing symptoms of anxiety. In addition to one on one outpatient counseling services through CCS, the following resources are available to students:

Is Self-Help Your Style?

  • CCS Phone App: CCS offers a free smartphone application that provides self-help resources. Search for OSUCCS in your app store and look for the buckeye leaf! (Available for Android and iPhone.) In the app you will find tips for stress busting and happiness hacks like deep breathing, visualization, test anxiety busters, muscle relaxation, gratitude journaling, mindfulness information and more! 
  • Other phone Apps: Other free smartphone apps you may find helpful to develop mindful relaxation skills include “Stop, Breathe, Think” and “Breathe 2 Relax.”  Apps such as, “Calm” and “Headspace” are popular and very helpful, but may cost money.  “Calm” offers some limited features available at no cost, while others require you to subscribe. Headspace offers a low initial subscription rate available to students.   
  • OSU SMART Lab: The SMART Lab offers a free services to students. During self-guided biofeedback sessions, you will work through web-based modules to learn about mindfulness based stress reduction and will utilize their HeartMath biomedical feedback technology. Utilizing your heart rhythm as well as several breathing techniques, you will engage in practical exercises to increase your wellness, decrease your stress levels, and increase your overall resilience.  

Want to Read More About it?

  • Check out the CCS Emotional Fitness Blog: This blog is written by Dr. Ryan Patel, DO, FAPA (OSU-CCS Psychiatrist). Search the archives for his post on “Meditation for Attention, Stress and Anxiety”, and find other helpful information to assist you in staying mentally healthy. Follow the link below to learn more:
  • Check Out Our CCS Staff Recommendations Page: This page includes recommendations from our staff for books, videos, and other media that has helped them as well as their clients. The staff recommendations page also includes our Book of the Month feature. Follow the link below to learn more:

Tired of Reading?  Relax and Listen!

  • Try the Audible Original by Catherine Singer titled, “Press Pause, A Young Person’s Guide to Managing Life’s Challenges.” This publication offers many ideas for incorporating mindful strategies into your daily life. (No cost to audible members.)

Prefer Talking It Out?

  • Let’s Talk: This is a free and confidential drop-in, informal consultation held on a first-come, first served basis. They last about 15 - 20 minutes, and are held every Thursday evening during the Academic Year from 6 - 8pm at the Multicultural Center at the Ohio Union. Just drop in during these times and let the attendant at the desk know you are there for Let’s Talk.
  • PAL Line: The Buckeye Peer Access Line (PAL) is a non-emergency talk line that provides a space for students to engage in brief phone conversations with trained peer volunteers to gain support and learn about campus resources. Call 614-514-3333.

I wish all of you peace, resourcefulness and positivity in the New Year!

Take care,


"You are the sky. Everything else - it's just the weather." - Pema Chodron

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