Since we don't have much control over the negative impact of the budget cuts on our lives, it's a natural response to feel anxious in these uncertian times, As students, we are impacted by fee increases, class size increase, loss of class sessions, and potential delay in graduation. As faculty, staff, and administrators, we are impacted by loss of income, increased workload, and job reduction. It is obvious that stress is taking its toll on all of us in different forms. It would be important to have an immense amount of compassion for yourself during these times.
Now, we all can explore the ways in which we can go through this difficult transition. One healthy and constructive approach would be to take on this negative event as an opportunity to reflect on our lives in a new way. This way, the energy that we otherwise waste on worries, negative thoughts, and complaints, could be used in a much more productive way. In fact, the approaches that we choose to take during difficult times can be transformative in our lives.
Some examples are:
- Slowing down for the purpose of re-evaluating our life activities
- Reviewing and enhancing our gratitude about life as a gift
- Reminding ourselves about our abilities, and resilience
- Accepting the fact that we have little control over certain life circumstances.
- Integrate some of the following practical suggestions to minimize the negative impact of the issue:
Simplify your life:
- Eliminate your unnecessary spending
- Share and exchange your resources with others
- Reach out for support and give support
- Eliminate unwanted material in your life
- Make use of free-of-charge or inexpensive activities
- Manage your time in an efficient way
Pay attention to your health:
- Remind yourself that with better health you can better mange your stress
- Eat healthy; be physically active, and sleep well
- Add relaxation exercise in your life (i.e. reflection, prayer, yoga, meditation)
- Remind yourself of the importance of positive thoughts, and attitude
- Get engaged in suiting social network of family and friends
- Re-connect to your spirituality
- Explore different spiritual paths, communities, or support groups
- If you continue to feel overwhelmed by stress, then consider seeking professional help. Remember that: YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE, support is available at SFSU Counseling & Psychological Services.
About the author: Taghi Amjadi, Ph.D., is a faculty member at San Francisco State University Counseling & Psychological Services. Taghi has been working with Bay Area's multicultural populations in his private practice, and variety of community based organizations since the mid 1990s. His concentration is in the areas of relationships, personal growth, trauma, and cross-cultural psychotherapy. Taghi's therapeutic work includes assisting students in accessing their inner strength in overcoming their stress and anxiety. Meditation is one of his therapeutic instruments for this purpose. Taghi is a recipient of two awards from Contra Costa County for "out standing community support and services". He is fluent in Persian.