Uncertain political times can leave students, faculty, and staff feeling unsure about the future. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help you stay well during these times of stress and uncertainty.
Limit Your Intake of News and Social Media
If you feel distressed by what is in the media, limit your consumption of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sources. This also includes watching and reading the news. There are apps and websites (such as LeechBlock or SelfControl) that can help you by temporarily blocking access to social media or certain websites. Sites like Positive News allow you to read true and uplifting stories from around the world. If disengaging completely feels like too much, create limits for yourself: set a timer that allows you to engage, but reminds you to stop.
Maintain Your Routine and Engage in Healthy Activities
Try to strike a balance between keeping up with current events and going about your daily life. Basic acts of self-care can make a real difference during times of stress: take breaks while studying, connect more often with family and friends, take on fewer commitments, engage in spiritual or religious practices, or go for a walk. Find what feels nurturing to you.
Try self-soothing strategies like walking, meditating, breathing exercises, listening to music, or whatever you find helpful.
All BU Students have free access to Headspace – a research-backed app for mindfulness and meditation, through BU’s Wellbeing Project. Here are some Headspace meditations that may be helpful:
Move Your Body
When you experience stress, your muscles tense. Movement that releases tension can help you process difficult emotions. Try shaking out parts of your body, doing gentle stretches, self-massage, or other forms of mindful movement.
Recognize Your Limits
Remember that you may not be as efficient as usual, and you might need more time or help to complete tasks. It’s OK! We’re all human. Just plan accordingly, show yourself kindness, and ask for support when needed.
Engage in Healthy Communication and Seek Community
Sharing experiences and ideas with others can be a way to strengthen positive community values and shared identities. Check in with one another. Even when you don’t know the “right” thing to say, just being with others during difficult times can be powerful.
Reactions to events vary from person to person. Some experience intense feelings while others experience nothing at all. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and don’t judge your personal experience or the experience of others.
When we feel powerless, it is important to find ways to have a voice. You might get involved in forms of activism, join organizations, attend events, talk to others about what you value, or work to protect others’ rights. Consider how you might balance action with rest.
Remember that Self and Community Care are Connected
It can be tempting to prioritize activist work over your own self-care, but these two are interconnected. Taking time for yourself helps you show up as a kinder and more compassionate person to others, and can refuel your capacity for activism.
We are fortunate to have an office on campus dedicated to supporting our international community. Visit the ISSO website for up-to-date and accurate information on policies affecting international students and their families.
If you need additional mental health support please contact SHS Behavioral Medicine.