My Iona


Information and Updates for the Iona Community on Coronavirus

Getting Help for Yourself

Sometimes we can feel an abundance of negative feelings including, but not limited to: overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, stressed, disappointed, frustrated, and worried. The intensity of those feelings can rise and fall. It’s important to know how to recognize our own distress, how to handle it effectively, and how to manage our emotions in a healthy way on a daily basis.

Worried about yourself? Here's what to do:

One helpful way of managing your emotions in a healthy way is to take care of yourself daily. A helpful skill called PLEASE (adapted from DBT® Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition, 2014) is as follows:

  • Treat physical illness
  • Balance eating
  • Avoid mood-altering drugs
  • Balance sleep
  • Get exercise

A very useful tool for improving our mood is called Behavioral Activation.

  • According to, when we’re depressed, we are less active, leading to having fewer opportunities to engage in positive and rewarding activities. When we don’t do the rewarding things, our mood lowers further.
  • When we engage in activities that give us a feeling of pleasure, grow and develop and give ourselves a sense of mastery, or have positive relationships with others that make us feel connected and valued, we feel better.

More on Behavioral Activation

Seeking support from others is yet another helpful activity that will reduce your stress and enhance your mood. Social support networks are made up of family, friends, and peers. They can provide comfort and reduce one’s feeling of isolation. The goal of building your social network is to decrease your stress, not add to it. Try to avoid those who are constantly negative and critical or those who engage in unhealthy behaviors.

More on Social Support

Having a strong support network can reap benefits including:

  • Improving the ability to cope with stressful situations;
  • Alleviating the effects of emotional distress;
  • Promoting lifelong good mental health;
  • Enhancing self-esteem;
  • Lowering cardiovascular risks, such as lowering blood pressure
  • Promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors; or
  • Encouraging adherence to a treatment plan.

Social Support Networks

Ways to cultivate your social support network:

  • Volunteer
  • Join a gym or fitness group (after being medically cleared)
  • Take a class
  • Visit the Office of Student Development and find a student club organization that you would like to join

Ways to maintain your social support networks:

  • Stay in touch
  • Don’t compete
  • Be a good listener
  • Don’t overdo it (i.e. save the high-demand times for when they’re really needed)
  • Appreciate your friends and family
  • Give back

Sometimes we need extra assistance with feeling better. Some reasons that students come to the Counseling Center include:

  • Stress management
  • Relationship challenges
  • Family conflict
  • Identity development
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief
  • Anger management
  • Self-esteem
  • Trauma

To schedule an appointment at the Counseling Center, please call (914) 633-2038.