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Five Tips for Staying Safe, Healthy and Happy

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Rebecca A. Eckland

Needless to say, being a college student certainly has its rewards and challenges—especially in 2020! While there isn’t much we can do to ease the stress of exams and homework (those are some of the expected challenges you’ll always face in higher education), it’s important that you take time to focus on yourself as you pursue your certificate or degree to make sure that you stay safe, healthy and happy. 

The reason for this is relatively simple: you have to take care of your basic needs first before you can attend to “higher” needs, such as getting an education and fulfilling your life goals. This idea comes from a theory called “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” and makes the point that you can’t pursue higher goals before you’ve taken steps to make sure you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally well. 

While TMCC has an entire database of resources available to you, the TMCC Student Resources Committee put together a list of five tips that you can take with you wherever your life journey takes you to keep yourself safe, healthy, and happy—three conditions that can support your future success and that can provide a solid foundation for the future you are hoping to build.  

Keep these simple tips in mind as you continue to study and to work toward your goals. Although it might seem counterintuitive, due to the ongoing pandemic, these resources are only one click away. Support services that are offered virtually mean you can access them (basically) at any time from the comfort and confidentiality of your own home.  In other words, now is not the time to be shy. Reach out for these free resources that can help you take the next step into your educational and professional journeys.

Five Tips for Staying Safe, Healthy, and Happy

  1. Keep yourself safe. Keeping yourself safe is step number one of self-care no matter what your goals are. If you do not feel safe, learning complicated ideas, studying, and taking care of yourself in other ways are probably not going to happen. While there are several resources that can help you to stay safe, the Crisis Support Services of Nevada is a free, 24/7, confidential resource that can help you or someone you care for in danger of depression and suicide, sexual assault, elder abuse, child abuse, domestic violence or substance abuse. They can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 or text “care” to 839863. In addition to the Crisis Support Services of Nevada, TMCC has curated a handful of Emergency Resources/Crisis Hotlines that can help keep you and your loved ones safe. 
  2. Keep yourself well-nourished. It’s no secret that a healthy diet plays a large part in your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also goes without saying that it’s hard to focus on learning, studying, or taking an exam when your stomach is rumbling because you’re hungry! That’s why it’s important to attend to the many aspects of proper nutrition, which include getting the right number of calories and nutrients from lean protein sources, vegetables, fruits, and grains. To support our students nutritionally, TMCC hosts two food pantries called Wizard’s Warehouse at the Dandini Campus and Meadowood Center. The food pantries are a part of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, which has partnered with 147 agencies statewide in the fight against hunger. Wizard’s Warehouse and any assistance from the Food Bank of Northern Nevada is completely free to those in need. 
  3. Keep yourself physically healthy. Beyond eating well, keeping hydrated and well-rested, it is important that you keep your physical health in check, too. This means taking care of your body through daily activity, whether that’s walking, hiking, doing yoga, running, riding a bike—whatever brings you physical movement and joy. This also means making sure you’re getting enough rest and hydration throughout the day, and seeking out medical care when you need it. Whether you need prevention or treatment services, dental care, help with a chronic condition, or behavioral health, the Community Health Alliance is a one-stop-shop to provide you with all of these services.  
  4. Keep your mental health in check. Back-to-back Zoom meetings, feelings of disconnection, fear, and depression have left so many of us struggling with our mental health. Just like physical health, mental health is something that we need to take care of each and every day.  This means building in breaks throughout your day to step away from the computer screen and to feel the sunshine on your skin. Many people have started a meditation practice to embrace the quiet and to regain their sense of grounding and purpose. Other mental health activities can include journaling, drawing, or any activity that you enjoy that enables your mind to “play.” If, however, you need additional support in beginning to care for your mental wellness, the TMCC Counseling Center is available for virtual or phone appointments. You can also take your mental wellness into your own hands because, yes, there’s an app for that!  TMCC’s Counseling Center has curated a list of Apps for Good Mental Health.
  5. Keep up healthy budgeting practices. Nothing can stress you out more than issues surrounding your personal finances. That is especially true when you are a student, given the cost of tuition, books, and the investment of your time that you are undoubtedly putting into your classes. Learning how to budget can reduce the amount of stress in your life, and help you to make sound decisions as you work toward your goals. TMCC’s Financial Literacy and Money Education by Students (FLAMES) is a free resource that can help you gain a better understanding of simple budgeting, credit cards, fraud prevention, FAFSA Applications, Student Loans, and developing financial security. Another useful financial resource in the community is the Financial Guidance Center, which offers services for those who have experienced a loss of income, considerable debt, and other financial counseling services for a variety of financial challenges. 

There’s Much, Much More...

If you are facing specific life challenges not addressed by the five tips above, please see the entire list of Community Resources for TMCC students. These resources can direct you to find assistance with housing, disabilities, transportation, family support, employment and training, and spirituality, to name a few. This list has been compiled by the Student Resources Committee, which is comprised of a membership that includes TMCC Administrative, Academic and Classified staff as well as TMCC students.

For more information about the resources that are available to TMCC students, please contact the TMCC Counseling Center at 775-673-7060.