Helping College Students Manage Stress Through A Mindfulness Program
Challenge - Managing college students' stress and mental health
During college, students are more vulnerable to a wide range of emotional and mental health challenges. As college students develop, higher education professionals can use mindfulness techniques and other strategies to assist them with stress reduction, life balance, and unproductive reactions to difficulty. This webinar will provide tangible techniques that can be used by professionals at all levels and offer an introduction to the why, what, and how of using mindfulness and stress relieving strategies with college students to help with managing anxiety and emotional distress.
Participants will explore techniques that can assist students with relaxing their stress responses and activating their relaxation responses, including how to incorporate mindfulness techniques into helping skills to instruct students about stress management and how to assist college students with enhancing focus. Participants will also examine the practical application of mindful strategies, including ideas for creating a mindfulness program on a college campus.
At some point in the collegiate experience, most students will need help with their emotions and reactions to stressors, the campus environment, and uncertainties about life beyond college. One way to help students with improving their mental and emotional health is through mindfulness and body-based stress releasing activities. Using mindfulness strategies in working with students or teaching them to implement them as needed could be beneficial for their overall wellness and self-care. Mindfulness and body-based stress releasing skills are useful in increasing relaxation and coping skills when faced with stressful situations and can be adapted to fit the unique experiences of college life.
By learning such skills, higher education professionals can strategically coach students and help them embrace reality and the present moment instead of referring to the past or to the future. Professionals in higher education who are not trained counseling practitioners can effectively and confidently incorporate or teach mindfulness and stress releasing activities to help students manage anxiety and emotional distress without participating in a lengthy formal training. This session will offer a unique but important introduction to the why, what, and how of using mindfulness and stress releasing activities and strategies with college students.
- Explore the connection between the mind, body and spirit to one’s community connections and relationships and discover activities to link community and connections
- Discuss the connection between the brain and mindfulness practices.
- Learn techniques that can assist students with relaxing their stress responses and activating their relaxation responses
- Identify how to incorporate mindfulness techniques into helping skills to instruct students about stress management
- Identify how to incorporate techniques into helping skills to assist college students with enhancing focus
- Examine a practical application of mindful strategies, including ideas for creating a mindfulness program on a college campus
- Student Services/Affairs
- Health and Wellness departments
- Academic Advisors
- Career Services/Development
- Any educator interested in learning more about mindfulness strategies for students
The college years can be one of the most stressful periods in college students’ lives since they are in a new environment with new people and having to learn new ways of doing and being. When a person is feeling overwhelmed, we cannot ignore the idea that humans are a whole being and our overall health includes our mental states and social environment. Seeing humans as fragmented parts ignores the connection between the physical, emotional, social, mental, and spiritual components of life. Therefore, when college students become stressed and unbalanced, higher education professionals can help them become aware of how their mental thoughts shape and influence their physical and emotional state through the use of mindful strategies.
Dr. Monica Galloway Burke is a Professor in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs at Western Kentucky University. Prior to her 24 years of experience as a faculty member and practitioner in Student Affairs and Higher Education, she worked in the field of mental health. Dr. Burke’s research interests include college student development, helping and coping skills, professional development, and topics related to diversity and societal issues. She served as the lead author for Helping Skills for Working with College Students: Applying Counseling Theory to Student Affairs Practice and Helping Students in Distress: A Faculty Guide. She is also a co-author for Mindful Strategies for Helping College Students Manage Stress: A Guide for Higher Education Professionals. Dr. Burke also served as a co-editor for No Ways Tired: The Journey for Professionals of Color in Student Affairs, a three-set volume and for Contemporary Issues within Caribbean Economies. Additionally, she has conducted numerous workshops and presentations at the international, national, regional, state, and local levels. She has also served on the editorial boards of professional journals as a co-editor, associate editor, and reviewer.
Bio current as of January 2023.
If you are breathing you are amazing. I celebrate those of us that “get to” be a part of the special life experience of students while in college. When the fragile and very vulnerable beauty of young adults with open hearts and minds are presented to us, we should understand how important it is to provide them with a safe and supportive environment of calm while learning. The brain absorbs better this way.
Dr. Lacretia ‘Cre’ Dye is an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs at Western Kentucky University. As a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher - 500, Dr. Dye has served her local, regional and national community with heart, mind and body wellness for over 20+ years. She is trained and certified in a variety of interventions that focus on the integration of counseling, neuroscience and trauma informed body based healing processes. She regularly gives workshops with parents, teachers, students and community professionals in the areas of ancestral healing, yoga & drumming therapy, trauma releasing activities in counseling, urban school counseling and unconscious bias. She has published and presented at national and international conferences on these topics.
Bio current as of January 2023.
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