November 28, 2020
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Vital Signs: Coping with an uncertain future

By Anika Pruthi
Staff Writer

In an already stressful year, the presidential election has brought even more anxiety. Alongside the Covid-19 pandemic, racial strife and uncertainty in returning to the classroom, the stakes seem high. No matter the determined future, know that there are some resources and events happening at the College to help cope during this difficult time.

The 2020 presidential election is leaving many uncertain of what the future of the United States holds (Envato Elements).

MHS Individual Support Services

Mental Health Services offers a “Let’s Talk” program from Wednesdays to Fridays at 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.. This is a very brief, informal consultation session where students are free to confidentially discuss whatever they would like. For instance, “Let’s Talk” sessions can be focused on emotional support for challenges related to the pandemic or receiving assistance on creating a plan of action to cope with stress. 

Informal Group Discussions

The Office of Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion offers a “Can We Just Talk” discussion series via Zoom on the first Friday of every month at 6:30 p.m. to discuss emotions over current events on and off campus. For more information, contact Mr. Marvin Carter at carterm@tcnj.edu.

Education and Discussion Opportunities

The Department of Political Science “Politics Forum” is hosting Dr. Dan Bowen, Chair of the Department of Political Science, in their “Making Sense of the 2020 Presidential Election” event on Nov. 10 at 12:30 p.m..

The Division of Inclusive Excellence offers an “Actors, Allies, and Accomplices” workshop with guest trainer, Chianti Blackmon, on Nov. 11 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.. This workshop will talk about learning how to use your privileged identities for advocacy in social justice. Students must RSVP to attend the workshop.

Beyond TCNJ resources, here are some other tips that can help:

Take a break from social media

To break the momentum of uncertainty and stress, it can be helpful to go for a walk or run an errand. The constant scrolling can drive up stress levels when reading other people’s views, beliefs, and opinions that contradict your own. Setting boundaries with social media prevents you from screen burnout and offers more time for self-care.

Prepare for difficult conversations

At some point, you will have to acknowledge the state of current events. Although it may be frustrating, remember to accept the present state of affairs without yelling at another person. It may help to talk about your feelings with friends who can engage in racially and politically conscious conversations or look into guided meditation techniques to transform your anger. SELF offers different mental health apps and program options that may be helpful.

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