Healthy "U" September Newsletter
by Deborah F. Sudduth, LCSW-C, Staff Counselor
Most people's thoughts and feelings about themselves tend to fluctuate somewhat based on the experiences of the day - for instance receiving a poor grade, feeling "snubbed" by a co-worker, or related to romantic ups and downs. And for many people, they can weather these events in a short period of time and bounce back. But if your feelings about yourself lead you down a "rabbit hole" of self-criticism and catastrophizing that "it is always going to be this way", then you may be suffering from low self-esteem.
People with low self-esteem are frequently plagued by negative thoughts and feelings, and tend to rely on feedback from others or positive experiences to offset their "harsh inner critic". And even then, the relief may only be temporary. People with high self-esteem don't think they are "great", but do tend to have a healthy sense of their own strengths and weaknesses and are more able to be self-reassuring and to bounce back from failures. So, what does your inner voice say?
Low self-esteem can lead to isolation, loneliness, depression and anxiety. It is also associated with poor academic and occupational performance and has been linked to a higher risk for substance abuse. Low self-esteem can also cause difficulties in interpersonal relationships.
So, what can you do about low self-esteem? First of all, it is important to learn to rebut your inner critic! Challenge those underlying assumptions. Because you did poorly on a test does not mean you are going to fail the class. Practice self-compassion. That means treating yourself to the same empathy that you show others. Forgive yourself, accept your limitations, recognize we are all human and make mistakes. And finally, ask for help from others. Talk to your friends, even a trusted faculty member. If none of this helps or if the feelings are just too painful, make an appointment at the Counseling Center to explore other options.
For additional information on influenza, please see the attached article.
Star-Spangled Banner Fitbit Challenge
To be part of this challenge walk/jog/run 200 miles between July 4th and September 14th. There is no per day mile requirement. You just need to accumulate a total of 200 miles to be entered into the prize drawing.
Mindfulness Meditation - Begins September 8
Relax and learn stress reduction techniques by meditating with Beth O'Malley in the McHenry Interfaith Prayer Room, Mondays, 12:15-12:45 pm and Thursdays, 2:00-2:30 pm in the Coffman Chapel basement.
Yoga Classes - Returning September 9
Meet in the Gambrill Gymnasium Dance Studio on Tuesdays, 5:15-6:15 pm. These free yoga classes are sponsored by Sol Yoga.
Hood Walking Group
- Still Walking on Tuesdays
Hood's walking group leaves at noon from the Jeanne Zimmerman Gearey '52 Alumni Plaza and Blazer Brick Promenade (between Alumnae Hall and Hodson). The
group walks for approximately 30 minutes rain or shine.