Your Winter Stress Kit
It’s that time of year when winter settles in and some people are starting to gear up for the holidays. The winter months can be full of mixed feelings, which is why we created a tool kit to help you navigate this season.
Conflict Resolution Strategies
Conflict is a natural part of the human experience but with stress mounting people may be feeling more on edge. Whether you are experiencing conflict at home, with loved ones, at school, or at work, we have added some links to help you:
- Harvard Law School Tips for Conflict Resolution
- Conflict Resolution Using the "Interest-Based Relational" Approach
- Lincoln University about Conflict Management Styles
We have listed 4 steps and a few tips to remember when setting boundaries.
- First, define the personal boundary. A few types of boundaries are work, school, peers, family, technology, health related, and with self.
- Second, communicate your needs with the people involved in setting the boundary or limit.
- Third, stay simple in your explanations. When you communicate a boundary it’s a courtesy to provide an explanation, however it’s not necessary. Do what feels comfortable for you.
- Fourth, identify and set consequences with limits for if the boundary is crossed. For example, “If this keeps happening, I will not be able to attend these events.”
Things to remember when setting boundaries are:
- Give yourself permission to say “No”.
- Make safety a priority.
We have listed two links to help you learn more about boundaries.
- Positive Psychology page for setting boundaries
- Podcast by Tiffany Roe about boundary setting with family
Loneliness during the winter months
It is not unheard of for people to feel lonelier and isolated during the winter months. We want you to know that whether you are new to the city, far from home, quarantining, or struggling with support, that you are not alone. We have created a list of links to help with challenging feelings of loneliness.
A list of links for social distancing and virtual ways to connect to others.
- Google Hangouts. You can use this to video chat for social distancing activities.
- Netflix Party, a virtual way to watch movies while distancing.
- Discord, an online gaming community. You can find or invite friends to play with you.
- House Party, an application where you can video chat with multiple users and play games.
- learn how to create a collaborative playlist on Spotify with loved ones.
- Go Live, a website that allows people to interact with artists and musicians.
- Master Class Live website, a place to watch free videos and learn about various topics.
- Meet Up Louisville website, a place to meet others that care about similar hobbies.
- Engage at the University of Louisville website, a place to find campus organizations and events.
- University of Louisville Counseling Center Support Groups.
- Psychology Today website to find Support and/or Therapy Groups in Louisville.
Things to Consider for Social Inclusiveness
- Be Aware. People come from a variety of traditions and faiths. Also, people celebrate at different times of the year.
- Learn. Educate yourself on other cultures and lifestyles.
- Rethink. Check with yourself if you maybe using stereotypes, assumptions, & restrictive language with others.
- Practice. Try to shift to more inclusive language, as well as setting boundaries and respecting boundaries.
We know things can get tough and even a bit sticky when we are in our feels. We have provided you with some strategies on managing hard emotions.
- Accumulate positive experiences
- Build mastery
- Cope ahead of time
- V- Validate self
- T- Take small steps
- Applaud yourself
- L- Lighten your load
- S- Sweeten the pot
Additional Emotional Regulation Information
The four categories of self-care:
When planning a self-care routine think of ideas that can soothe, channel, or challenge.
For this self-care category think of it as strength training for your brain. Here is a list of ideas:
- Start and finish a puzzle
- Simplify your schedule
- Unplug for a day
- Pick a task you usually do without thinking instead explore it with mindfulness
- Read a book
- Try something new
- Sit in silence for a minute and tune into your environment
- Take a nap
- Practice as skill you’ve been working on
- Practice being ambidextrous
- Do a brain game like one of these:
- Play a board game to work on executive functioning skills like one of these:
- Skills for planning and organizing
- Skills for flexibility and time management
- Skills for planning, flexibility, and working memory
- Skills for perseverance and working memory
- Calm website with mediations
- Learn something new like crocheting, a dance, or a computer program like photoshop.
- Listen to a podcast
- Explore a somewhere new
- Close your eyes for a visual rest
This is your physical heath. Here is a list of ideas:
- Take a walk
- Give yourself a massage
- Find a nutrition routine that works well for you.
- Tell your body thank you
- Try sensory play, like finger painting, clay, or even with food.
- Try to eat every color of the rainbow
- Eat mindfully without distractions
- Yoga or Pilates
- Practice good sleep hygiene
- Wash your face
- Get 8 hours of sleep
- Drink a mocktail
- Try mindful movement
- Drink water
- Get cozy with a soft blanket
- Play with your pet
- Practice one of these deep breathing exercises
A place where you can feel safe and explore your genuine self, passions, vulnerability, and courage. Here is a list of ideas:
- Connect with nature
- Live cam from Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Create something
- Take a virtual museum tour.
- Start a compliment box for yourself
- Journal prompts
- Volunteer for something you are passionate about
- Practice self-compassion
- Cook a new recipe
- Write a poem or son
- Be an observer
- Observer meditation
- Connect with your inner child
- Buzzfeed Video with inner child crafts
- Practice loving-kindness meditation
- Loving-kindness meditation
- Connect with a loved one
- Watch the sunrise or sunset
- Find and read a new blog
- Know you signs for stress
- Say no and advocate boundaries and limits for yourself
- Identify supportive people in your life
- Decorate an area in your living space
- Create a cozy corner
- Connect with the world
- Live cameras around the world
- Make someone a gift
- Reconnect to something you love
- Schedule self-care time
- Wear your comfort clothes
- Explore your passions
- Start a gratitude log
This is what fuels your spirit. Your essence is at the center of your sol. It’s what guides us in purpose and meaning. Here is a list of heart self-care ideas:
- Say positive affirmations
- Watch a concert online
- Create a supportive environment for you to flourish and grow
- Do what brings you joy
- Cleanse your living space
- Connect with your community
- Reflect on things through expressive art
- Get to know yourself
- Find your direction for your path
- Try soul gazing
- Celebrate your success
- Give yourself permission to rest
- Write a letter to your intuition
- Create bucket list
- Ook at pictures from a special memory
- Challenge comparative thinking
- Expand your mind
- Do something that empowers you
- Do something that challenges you
- Identify your strengths
- Engage in a spiritual practice (if you have one)
- Explore your values
- De-clutter your mind
It’s easy for routines to be knocked off course during this season. Create schedule that works for you. Let it include your sleep, exercise, nutrition, budget & goals for the winter.
- Link mental health America national organization routine planning worksheet (PDF)
- Mayo Clinic Coping with Holiday Stress Worksheet
- SARDAA Holiday Planning Worksheet
SleepSleep quality and quantity affects our physical and mental health. Try to wake up and fall asleep near the same time each day. Schedule a wind down time and limit screen time.
During this time of year, food can be a source of stress for man people. Check out these resources to help you get through the winter season.
- Video from Eating Disorder Hope about support and coping
- Article from National Eating Disorder Association about navigating the holiday season
Cultivate Resiliency through these 6 points
- Create a plan
- Identify your norm
- Connect with support
- Identify your triggers
- Identify and use your coping skills
- Bring your own food/ drink
Alcohol and Drug use
‘tis the season for stress, challenges, and success. Think ahead of ways you can limit and reduce harm.
Here are 9 steps to keep in mind
- Check in with yourself
- Reflect on how you want to handle the season
- Explore and manage the expectations with yourself and loved ones
- Schedule time to rest and reset.
- Review your values
- Set limits and boundaries
- Have an exit plan
- Give yourself permission to do what works best for you
- Remember your life and recovery is important!
We have added some resources to help you through the season.
Living in Uncertainty
Some of us will be traveling, others will be staying local, and then there are some who will be in between. Regardless of how you will be spending your winter break visit the CDC for guidelines.
Making U of L an Anti-Racist Institution
U of L has taken a stance to commit to Anti-Racism. For more about this please visit our website.
If you are looking for ways to learn or as Rachel Cargle says, “The Great Un-Learn” here are some resources.
- “Decolonizing Thanksgiving”
- Native Hope
- Native Lands
- the Great Unlearn
- Center for Racial Justice, “Guide to the Holidays”
- “6 Facts About Economic Inequality”
- “Understanding Income Equality”
Winter can be a tough time for various reasons, but if you are living in a time of uncertainty with accessing basic needs, winter can become more about survival. We have gathered a list of resources to help you access basic needs.
- U of L Resource Guide
- Aunt Bertha, to find local assistance
- Benefits.Gov to apply for assistance
- Coalition for Homelessness, if you are struggling with housing
- Dare to Care, for food assistance
- Louie connect, to find local assistance based on your needs
- Low Income home energy assistance (LIHEAP), to apply for assistance with heat and energy.
- Metro 211, to find local Assistance
- Academic Advising
- Anonymous Reporting
- Campus Health
- Campus Life
- Cardinal Cupboard
- Career Center
- Concern Center
- Counseling Center
- Cultural Center
- Dean of Students
- Disability Resource Center
- Diversity and Equity
- Free Store
- International Center
- Intramural and Recreational Sports
- LGBT+ Center
- Reach: Resources for Academic Achievement
- Religious Life Association
- Student Involvement
- Trio Student Services
- Veteran Student Services
- Women’s Center
Counseling Center Information
The counseling center is offering virtual individual, group, and urgent consultation services to students.
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 9 A.M. – 5 P.M.
For closures and other information please visit the Counseling Center website.
Counseling Center Social Media Links
Do you need help now?
In case of a life-threatening emergency (including thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else), call:
911 or University Police (ULPD):
- Emergency Psychiatry at the University of Louisville Hospital:
- Adult Crisis Hotline 24/7:
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline:
- Crisis Text Line:
Text “HOME” to 741741
- The Trevor Project:
If you would like to learn more about mental health visit JED Foundation’s Mental Health Resource.
Mental Health Hotlines
The Louisville 24/7 Crisis Hotline: A local crisis hotline provided by seven counties to provide mental health services to those in crisis.
24/7 Addiction Help: 502-583- 3951
24/7 Adult Crisis Line: 502-589- 4313
24/7 Child Crisis Line: 502-589- 8070
The National Alliance on Mental illness (NAMl):1-800-950-6264
NAMI operates an emergency mental health hotline Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Operators can provide information about mental illness and refer callers to treatment, support groups, family support, and legal support, if needed. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):(806) 615-6464
This organization has a variety of methods for you to communicate with knowledgeable people about mental health issues. In addition to the phone line, there is a live online chat option. These resources are available Monday- Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
Crisis Text Line:Text CONNECT to 74l741
Specialized crisis counselors are just a text message away on this free, confidential 24-hour support line. To further· protect your privacy, these messages do not appear on a phone bill. The text line also provides services and support if you are upset, scared, hurt, frustrated, or distressed.
Mental Health America Hotline:Text MHA to 741741
Mental Health America is a nationwide organization that provides assistance through this text line. You will be linked to someone who can guide you through a crisis or just provide information.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health(800) 662-4357
SAMHSA runs a 24-hour mental health hotline that provides education, support, and connections to treatment. It also offers an online Behavioral Health Treatment Locator to help you find suitable behavioral health treatment programs.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255
Crisis intervention free emotional support is avail, which is helpful when you need confidential assistance during a time of emotional distress for you or a loved one. The helpline is open 24/7, and a live online chat is available as well.
Trevor Project:1-866-488-7386 or select TrevorChat online
If you are thinking about suicide and in need of immediate support, please call the TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386 or select TrevorChat online to connect with a counselor. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, & questioning youth.
Trans Lifeline is a trans-led organization that connects trans people to the community, support, and resources they need to survive and thrive.
National Domestic Violence Hotline:1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
For any victims and survivors who need support, if you're unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org. For deaf and hard of hearing contact l-800-787-3224 (TTY) or by chat. We offer the same advocacy through chat services, available 24/7/365.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network:800-656-HOPE (4673)
Nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Individuals can speak confidentially to a trained staff member by live chat or calling. Staff members are available 24/7.
Veterans Crisis Line:1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or Text 838255
Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves.
National Eating Disorders Association Helpline:1-800-931-2237 or text NEDA to 74174
NEDA offers support Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. EST, and Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST. You can expect to receive support, information, referrals, and guidance. You can also contact this helpline through its online chat function.
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders:1-630-577-1330
ANAD strives to let callers know we are here for them and provide resources for further support. The helpline is available between 9am and 5pm CST, and we will return messages left outside those hours.
The Disaster Distress Helpline:1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 6674
A 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. It’s toll-free, multilingual, and confidential.