By: Layla Lopez and Vanessa Castaneda
Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed as this quarter comes to an end? With finals week approaching, CSUSB students might be feeling physically exhausted and mentally drained as their assignments continue to pile up. If the pressure begins to feel unbearable, students have resources such as the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) available to them on campus.
From cramming for exams to writing lengthy papers, it’s easy for students to get caught up in all of their work and to forget to take care of the most important thing: their health.
Kaiser Permanente M.D. and psychiatrist, Mohammed Haqqani, stated, “Sleep deprivation is a common cause of an increase in underlying mental illnesses such as depression.” Dr. Haggani explains that lack of sleep is most commonly found among college students or people between the ages of 18 to 25.
Dr. Haqqani advises students to get their rest as he stated, “Sleep hygiene is the most important thing, especially for memory consolidation, energy the next day, and hormone regulation.”
At times, it can be difficult to get a sufficient amount of rest when anxious thoughts are clouding people’s minds. Some students have learned to fight off their negative thoughts and to handle the stress by using their own healthy coping mechanisms.
“As a Social Work major, I have learned that self care is crucial when trying to unwind,” commented CSUSB Senior, Jacqueline Nunez. She pointed out the importance of staying organized and mentioned, “a method that helps me de-stress is creating a daily to-do list, which helps me see how much work I have for the day.”
While Nunez relies on her organizational skills to help keep her thoughts aligned, some students use relaxing techniques to help keep their mind at ease.
Grad student Bianca Tripp stated, “Lately I’ve been doing aromatherapy because the scents are really relaxing and help me feel calm.”
When making to-do lists or sniffing essential oils aren’t enough, some students like to focus on their physical health to help strengthen their mental well-being.
Liberal Arts major Giovanni Leon commented, “If I’m really stressed, I’ll just work out as hard as I can and come back to my schoolwork, or my concerns in general, with a clear head.”
Despite all of these coping mechanisms, this still might not be enough for some students to get through overwhelming emotions, and that’s okay. CAPS are available to all full time and part time students Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
These counselors and trained psychologists are there to talk to students about any concerns that might be troubling their mental state. According to their webpage, a few of the common concerns that are discussed by students are anxiety or depression, decision making, balancing academics with social needs, and personal trauma.
Despite many students knowing about what CAPS has to offer, not very many people are taking advantage of this free service. Nutrition and Health Science major, Jennifer Flores, commented, “I think if it got to the point where I knew I needed to go see someone or talk to someone, then I would.”
Nunez states, “I have not used CAPS before because of the stigma associated with seeking psychological services.” She continued with, “I am aware that the stigma is not as strong as it was before, but I am still afraid of what others might say or think if they know that I am seeking psychological help.”
Although this is a common feeling among many people of all ages, these services would not be offered to students if these medical professionals didn’t think that they needed it. These health services are covered through the student’s tuition fee, which means that a counseling session that could potentially cost someone up to $200 per session, have already been paid for through their tuition. Students should not feel embarrassed or hesitant to take advantage of a service that could only benefit them.
To schedule an appointment, students can visit CAPS in the Health Center building or can contact them at (909) 537- 5040.
As students enter finals, Finance major Alexis De la Rosa reminds them to, “Just breathe and remember you’re going to be okay, because this is going to set you up so that you have less stress in the future, and the thought of that sounds exciting.”