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Self-help resources

Augustana College offers a variety of therapeutic activities through Counseling Services, but we also strive to foster your independence and commitment to healing and growth. As such, we strongly recommend exploring different wellness activities while you are engaged in counseling or while you are waiting for your first appointment.

Below are several links to help you explore different wellness practices like mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing. These practices help people live fuller, richer lives. There are also several links to online self-help programs and video presentations that will help you form healthier, more productive habits.

For example, today, you can make it harder to do the things you feel dissatisfied with while making it easier to do things that fill you with purpose — like child-locking YouTube on your phone and going to bed in your workout clothes for a morning workout. We are sure you can come up with a variety of creative ways to refocus your life. Counseling Services believes in the power of the individual, and we want to help you with the process of becoming more fully you, even outside of the counseling center.

Apps that support mental health and well-being

The following apps help you connect with others or help you keep track of your positive changes. Most of the apps are low-cost or free.

Support groups

Youper (emotional health assistant)

Huddle (share with peers) iTunes or Android

Rise Up + Recover (specifically for people struggling with eating disorders)

Quit That (specifically for people struggling with addiction)

SAM (self-help for anxiety reduction) on iTunes or Android

Tracking progress apps

Moodpath on Android and iTunes

Pacifica

Way of Life

Meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques

These long-practiced skills for coping with stress are a necessary part of your overall well-being. The following stress management practices help you develop a on-judgmental stance and promote healing and growth by focusing on your mind, your body, or your breath.

Meditation

Calm: Android and iPhone

Headspace: Android and iPhone

Insight Timer

One Giant Mind

Yoga

Yoga Studio

Daily Yoga

Pocket Yoga

Yoga-Poses and Classes

Down Dog

Simply Yoga

Breathing techniques

The Breathing App

Breathe2Relax

Universal Breathing: Pranayama

Paced Breathing

Relax: Stress and Anxiety Relief

Prana Breath: Calm and Meditate

Relaxation response

The relaxation response focuses on adopting a passive attitude to your thinking in order to counteract the over-stimulation of the fight-or-flight response from modern living. Below is a website that explores the steps of the relaxation response, and a free phone app that uses the principles of the relaxation response in meditation.

Steps to Elicit the Relaxation Response

1 Giant Mind app

Mental health screenings

If you are concerned about having a mental health disorder, the following self-screening tools can be informative. These screenings do not replace a formal diagnosis or a consultation with a professional; however, these screenings may lead you to recognize where some of your discomfort stems from or help you research self-help materials.

Mental Health America screening tools

Mental Health Online

ULifeline (need to set up school information)

National Eating Disorders Association

MindWise Innovations: Help Yourself, Help Others

Mindwise Innovations: Mental Health Screening

Checkup and Choices (alcohol and drug consumption)

Mental Health American stress screener

Self-compassion

Online self-help programs

The following programs provide education and self-help tools for a variety of mental health symptoms. If you are reluctant to seek professional counseling, try one of these tools first and see if they help you cope with your emotional pain.

Moodgym (depression and anxiety)

E-couch (depression, anxiety)

Mental Health America DIY

Greater Good in Action

Self-Compassion

Most of us struggle to show empathy to ourselves. We often push ourselves to the brink of a breakdown and wonder how we failed when we finally burnout. While accomplishment is a necessary and rewarding part of life, we sometimes push ourselves without any goodwill for ourselves. When we push ourselves without any understanding or empathy, we often are being too cruel to ourselves and our body responds accordingly (with anxiety, depression, or exhaustion).

Think of yourself as a child and examine how potentially antipathetic your inner narrative is being to that child. You must take time to be kind to yourself and practice good will (not good feelings) towards yourself — being grateful for your successes and being understanding of your failures. You must give yourself compassion breaks. Being a driven, successful person and practicing self-compassion are two sides of the same coin: one side invigorates the other; they are not mutually exclusive. You do not have to judge yourself to be successful.

Below are some helpful links to articles and exercises on self-compassion. Most important, you must focus on self-kindness before self-judgement, your common humanity before isolation, and mindfulness before over-identification. Self-compassion is about being emotionally available for yourself.

How to Cultivate More Self-Compassion

Grateful: A Gratitude Journal on iTunes

Self-Compassion Guided Meditations and Exercises

Write a compassionate letter to self

Mindfulness practices

Mindfulness is the practice of using your inner voice to contemplate your internal monologue with a “let it happen” mindset, resisting analysis, judgement, or expectations on your thinking. Mindfulness is similar to the passive attitude adopted in the relaxation response, but mindfulness adds an open, active attention to the present or the here-and-now. Below are links to different practices that improve your focus, reduce your self-criticism, permit feeling, and raise awareness through meditation.

4 Foolproof Ways to Stay Intensely Focused

Getting Beyond Negativity

A Quick Way to Surface Unconscious Emotions

A Basic Meditation to Train Awareness

Mindful