How Are You Today? …

When was the last time someone asked you that question, and actually wanted a true, genuine answer beyond the ever-so-polite, “Fine, good or great.”

That’s what this post is all about. I’ve been reading a lot of leadership books lately—one of the greatest takeaways I’ve embraced is being humble enough to ask others, “What’s going on with you? How can I best serve you?” So, how are you really? Click on the Campus Calm forum here and leave me your honest, authentic response. When we find the courage to self-communicate we self-celebrate and we lead others to do the same.

April is National Stress Awareness Month; what I know about stress is that it can eat you up inside. Developing resilience is a choice I made for myself nine years ago when I was a new college graduate physically sick from years of chronic, unmanaged academic stress. Nine years later, I’m not perfectly resilient, but I’m so much stronger than I ever was before, and consider it great progress in the journey of my life.

What about you, are you resilient? Can you bounce back from life’s setbacks and see opportunity everywhere, even in your failures? Are you equipped with an arsenal of positive coping strategies that uniquely work for you? If you’re struggling, can you ask for help?

So many students contact me to share their stories of unrealistic pressures, academic worries and personal neglect (ie, sleep deprivation, no time for joy, no sense of purpose, and feelings of burnout, depression, apathy and anxiety). When I encourage these stressed-out students to reach out to their campus counseling centers or wellness offices to ask for help, many respond, “Oh, I’m not that bad, I’m ok, I can handle it.” What they seem to want to say is, “I don’t need to see a counselor. I’m not crazy. I’m not that student.”

As someone who visited my college counseling and career centers on a number of occasions, both as a student and a recent college graduate, I have to ask, “Have you ever considered a new perspective?” What if by choosing to not get help–whether it be by talking to a counselor, coach or advisor–you’re denying yourself the opportunity to surpass your current limitations so you can be the best person you can be, and contribute to your campus community the best part of yourself? How’s that for a positive view of counseling!

In honor of National Stress Awareness Month, let’s start a new trend on high school and college campuses nationwide. If you’re struggling emotionally in any way, be a leader and lead yourself to ask for help. Call a friend, talk to a professor, career advisor, or school counselor. Take advantage of the resources that you pay for as part of tuition. If your friend is struggling, be a leader, a positive role model, and walk him or her to your school’s counseling center. Remember, we empower ourselves from within when we choose to practice resilience, then we empower our friends and generations to come to do the same. I cannot think of a better way to lead.

How are you today? Click here and let me know.

Life your vision of a happy, purposeful life,
Maria Pascucci
Founder & President, Campus Calm

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