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    Getting Back on Track after the Holidays

    Many people find the adjustment back to school and work after a vacation period to be challenging. Depression after winter break is common and even has a name: “post-holiday blues.” The short, dark days of winter and a whole semester of classes, papers, and exams looming up ahead can dampen moods and contribute to a less than optimistic outlook. Here are some tips for getting yourself back on track and enthusiastic about your new semester:

    1) Exercise is nature's antidepressant and tranquilizer. Get your body moving, whether it’s a fast-paced cardio workout, relaxing yoga, or a simple 30 minute walk. The study break, rhythmic movement of your body, and change of pace (literally!) will give you renewed vigor and motivation.

    2) Stay connected with others. Try to make sure that at least once each day you have a connection with someone where you are able to feel that you are listened to and cared about.

    3) Take life one day at a time. You don’t have to complete your whole semester today. Make a schedule for yourself of assignments and the steps you need to take to complete each task. Schedule them into your planner and follow the plan you outline. When you start to worry about how you are going to get everything done, remind yourself that you have a plan and everything will get done on time.

    4) Schedule at least one fun thing into each day, something that when you get up you can say: “Oh, good, today I get to __________!!”

    If you are struggling with adjusting back to school, CAPS has helpful resources online and in our office in the Gallo Recreation Center.

    Welcome to our new students, and to those returning, welcome back and happy new academic year!

    As we reflect on what we’re doing well and how we’d like to improve and grow, many of us use the new year as an opportunity to set goals and resolutions for where we’d like to be by year’s end. For some of us, it may be fitness or financial goals, improving our GPA or finding that stellar internship.

    Regardless of your goal, we’d like to help you achieve it. Often, the more we want to achieve a goal, the higher we set the bar and sometimes goals can seem daunting. Proper goal selection is critical!

    To help you select goals that push you just the right amount, try making your goal a SMART goal.

    Specific – It’s easier to stay on track when the goal is clearly defined. To help make your goal specific, try asking Who, What, Where, When, Which and Why.

    Measurable —Part of setting a goal is knowing when you’ve met it! Make your goal concrete so you know how far you are from it and what still needs to be done. Being able to see progress helps us stay motivated.

    Actionable —What needs to happen in order for this goal to be met, and what are steps you can take to overcome barriers that might stand in your way?

    Realistic —Goals that balance a challenge with good odds for success are ideal. Are you both willing and able to do the work necessary? Have you accomplished anything similar in the past? Sometimes splitting a large goal into multiple smaller goals helps make this happen.

    Timely —Having a deadline helps keep us accountable. With no time-frame, there is no urgency to meet our goals.

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