Resiliency: How We Can Put Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again

Let’s think back to our childhood nursery rhyme friend Humpty Dumpty. If you need a refresher the nursery rhyme goes like this:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,

All the King’s horses and all the King’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Sometimes I can relate to Humpty. Life, regardless of want or expectation, throws some immense, life altering challenges at us. Sometimes, the challenges, conflicts, and stress can leave you feeling broken, undesirable, and even unable to see hope for your future. We want you to know there is HOPE. You can build your ability to be resilient. Not only can you bounce back from minor hassles or survive major hardships, you can also thrive!

How do you do this? Imagine if Humpty realized that instead of being an ooey gooey disposable mess, he could be transformed into a yummy, fluffy, scrambled egg. A trial turned triumphant! Broken turned resilient! You can reimagine and rebuild your state of being towards resiliency.

Current research indicates that humans have ability to be extremely resilient, and there are protective factors that allow people to build resilience. Resiliency can be taught and learned; it is not a fixed trait.

Our desire is to help you boost your resiliency in order to not only survive college, but thrive! We don’t want anyone to be stuck in a Humpty Dumpty mindset.

Here are some resources on campus to serve as your protective factors towards resiliency:

  1. Health Access- Student Health and Counseling Services is your one stop shop for all your health needs from check ups, pharmacy needs, to mental health services.

Student Health & Counseling Services:

  1. Mentors and Role Models- seek mentors and role models for advising and support.

Peer Mentor Program:

Peer Health Educators:

Faculty Mentoring Program:

  1. Having social connections and a support system helps. Many student clubs and organizations offer opportunities where you can build lasting friendships and authentic relationships.

Student Organizations:

Student Life and Leadership:

Multicultural Programs & Cross-Cultural Center:

Greek Life:

  1. Experience Mastery-See your Academic Advisors to see how you can master your Major and Minor studies or get more connected.

Academic Advising:

  1. Economic Stability- seek out assistance through Financial Aid Services


Types of Financial Aid:


  1. CSUSM’s Cougar Care Network is an early alert initiative to improve student success, retention, and persistence.


screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-2-57-24-pmHere’s what you can do to bounce back, push through, and move forward:

  1. Do not let your problems define you or see them as impossible.
  2. Take good care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
  3. Give yourself time to be creative and express yourself.
  4. Be confident in your abilities and avoid negative self-talk.
  5. Seek out and sustain supportive relationships.
  6. Be flexible, improvise and accept change.
  7. Accept that change is a part of life.
  8. Make goals and move toward them.
  9. Look for opportunities for self-discovery.
  10. Keep things in perspective and be realistic.
  11. Show gratitude. Focus on what you have rather than what you do not.
  12. Be authentic. Stay true to yourself and know when to ask for help.
  13. Do not minimize your pain. Mourn your loses, but do not allow grief to consume you.
  14. Find your purpose. Give back to others, set goals for yourself, and know what you want out of life.
  15. Connect with others. Having a support system to call on for help or to cheer you on is important.
  16. Take initiative. Don’t wait for opportunities or for someone to do it for you.
  17. Remain calm. Tolerate uncomfortable feelings and process them.

The road to resilience is an ongoing process as you accept where you are in life and choose to transform yourselves for the better. In 2017, Resolve to be Resilient!

Written By: Charity Marino (2014 Alumni) SHCS Graduate Intern


Out With the Bad, In With the Good

Did you know there is good and bad stress? Good stress or, eustress, is a mild kind of stress that helps motivate us to complete given tasks and goals. This “good” stress will excite, invigorate, and motivate you. There is a sense of accomplishment and an ability to relax after the task has been completed. This eustress is actually good for the body. The small amount of good stress that pushes you to finish that essay and the period of relaxation and accomplishment felt afterward are good.

So what does it mean to have bad stress? Bad stress, also known as distress, is the type of stress can be debilitating. It is when you are feeling so overwhelmed that your body does not have time to feel accomplished, invigorated, or excited. It is important to know the signs of distress in order to try to decide how to best cope as an individual.

Possible Signs of Distress

Emotional– Depression (general unhappiness), low self-esteem, lonely, worthless, overwhelmed, out of control, frequent crying spells, moodiness, apathy, irritable, short tempered, agitated, inability to relax.

Cognitive– inability to concentrate, seeing only the negative, anxious or “racing” thoughts, difficulty with decision-making, trouble learning new information, constant worrying, nightmares, guilt, poor judgment, forgetfulness, disorganized.

Physical– nervousness, shaking, weakness, fatigue, twitching, aches, pains, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, dizziness, light-headed, hair loss, acne, rashes, numbness, hot/cold waves, low energy, headaches, insomnia, heartburn, panic attacks, difficulty breathing, clenched jaw and grinding teeth, cold sweaty hands/feet, dry mouth, weight gain/loss without diet change.

Behavioral– changes in appetite, sleeping too much or too little, social withdrawal, aggression, low interest in appearance, difficulty communicating, obsessive compulsive thoughts or behaviors, nervous habits (nail biting, pacing, fidgeting), stuttering, procrastinating, neglecting responsibilities, using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax, lies/excuses to cover up poor work, increased number of minor accidents, impulsivity.

If any of this sounds like you or someone you know here are some helpful ways to help de-stress starting now.

  • Breathe
  • Prepare ahead of time
  • Believe in yourself
  • Stop negative self talk
  • Laugh
  • Play
  • Call a friend
  • Meditate
  • Exercise
  • Drink more water and less caffeine or alcohol
  • Learn to say “No” to overcommitting
  • Try something new
  • Go outside
  • Meet your needs
  • Honor your feelings
  • Do things in moderation
  • Journal

Ultimately, we want to help you learn how to manage your stress. We have our Stress Less Event on December 8th from 11am-1pm at the Kellogg Plaza to help our students de-stress. There will be food, activities, puppies to pet, and music! stress_less_spr2016Also, our wonderful on campus counselors are here at Student Health and Counseling Services to listen and help you cope with stress. Call or stop by to make an appointment (760) 750-4915. You are not alone.

Written By: Charity Marino (Alumni 2014) Graduate Intern








Gobble Up Gratitude

gratitude_keep_calmTypically, November kicks off the season of many thanks and celebrations. However, this year we want to shake things up a bit. Rather than just a season, we want to make gratitude a daily lifestyle habit.

Why should a college student make gratitude part of their busy daily routine? By celebrating what we already have we increase our happiness, health, and ability to cope with life’s challenges, all of which increase our academic abilities. Here are several other ways gratitude benefits you:

Emotional-More Positive Feelings, More Relaxed, More Resilient, Happier Memories, Less Envious Continue reading

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall…Where’s the Truth Behind it All?


There are many misconceptions about eating disorders and the people who struggle with them. Student Health and Counseling Services will host a special event with authors Nikki Dubose, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light and Shannon Kopp, Pound for Pound, to dispel some of the myths surrounding eating disorders. Join us as we hear their personal stories and begin the conversation on how to thrive through eating disorders and love yourself!

Lunch and Learn and Exclusive Book Signing

Date: Thursday, October 27th

Time: 11:30am-1:00pm

Location: Dome Terrace

Please RSVP to

*Individuals with disabilities please contact Cheryl Berry, at least seven days prior to the event with special needs request.

Until our Lunch and Learn and Exclusive Book Signing, here are some truths to help start the conversation on eating disorders.

Truth 1: Eating disorders do not discriminate between age, gender, race, class, or sexual orientation.

Truth 2: Eating disorders are not a choice; they are a mental disorder, which require help from a health professional.

Truth 3: You can’t tell by someone’s size whether they have an eating disorder.

Truth 4: Eating disorders come in many forms. Learn the most common signs:

  • Constant thoughts about food, weight, calories, body image, or exercise
  • Obsessed with weight and weighs self frequently
  • Severely restricting the consumption of food
  • Avoiding eating with friends and family
  • Eating as a response to emotions (e.g. stress, anxiety)

Think you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder?

Your next step is to reach out and get help from CSUSM Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS). Please contact our offices for more information and make an appointment at 760-750-4915, or email

Written By: Charity Marino (CSUSM Alum 2014) Graduate Student Intern

Be-Aware: Monthly Breast Self-Exam Will Save Your Life

breast_cancer_awareness_lgOctober is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most people have an unrealistic assumption that they will not be exposed to any serious diseases or disorders in their lifetime. Maybe some might think it’s a plot twist in a movie or a dramatic television show. It’s not a plot twist. It’s reality.

United States statistics:

  • 1 in 8 women each year is diagnosed with breast cancer
  • 1 in 1000 men each year is diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Each year, 246,660 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 die
  • Every 2 minutes, 1 woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and 1 woman dies from it every 13 minutes.
  • There are currently more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors still alive in the United States.

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Depression: What next?

“Anxiety is the cousin visiting out of town that depression felt obligated to bring to the party. Mom, I am the party, only I am a party I don’t want to be at.” –(Button Poetry) Sabrina Benaim.

Depression is a word full of stigma and taboo, that our society often pushes aside and tries to avoid. Now, what exactly does the word depression mean to you? To many it’s a word used as a simple temporary emotion. Reality, depression is defined as a serious mental health condition in which a person feels very hopeless, unimportant and sad. Those affected by it are often unable to live in a normal way, and it typically occurs for prolonged periods of time.

quote-depression-chemistryAn estimate of 25 million individuals in the United States suffer from major depression. According Nami, National Alliance on Mental Illnesses, “Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression, and young adults aged 18–25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people aged 50 or older.”

Being affected by depression makes it difficult to feel motivated to try to push yourself to feel better. Overcoming depression isn’t easy, it takes a lot of time and patience with oneself. You can’t just will yourself or others to simply “snap out of it,” or “get over it” chances are it won’t help them or you. However, there are many options and abilities to govern depression better than you realize—even if it’s severe or very persistent. Feeling better takes time, but can be achieved if you make positive choices for yourself or others each day. It’s important to start small by:

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Women’s Fitness: A mini guide for CSUSM women to stay fit!

Today is National Women’s Health & Fitness Day. As CSUSM students, we are all familiar with the amount of stair climbing it takes to get from point A to point B. Those stairs seem never-ending with a heavy backpack filled with textbooks, binders, and even laptop at times! Let’s not dread those stairs, but instead see it as a chance to be active and be reminded to be motivated to overcome any obstacle that comes in our path. fitness

Have an hour break or falling asleep while studying in the library? Try packing a workout outfit and some tennis shoes and showing those stairs who’s the boss! The stairs will get that heart pumping, sweat dripping, and blood flowing. The blood flow can help wake you up during that afternoon crash and keep your mind fresh for all the information you will be learning during class.

You might be asking, “well, what are some fun stair work outs I can do?” There are actually a ton of work outs you can do with stairs. Here are some videos I found that looked like you would enjoy:

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Men’s Health: Why is it Such a Secret?

What does the word health mean to you? To many it means being healthy sexually, emotionally, physically etc., but to some that word has no affect to them. As college students, many individuals go through many troubling issues and they are being challenged to remove themselves from their own comfort zone.

Many students have to work two jobs while taking on a full load of classes. Some students are dealing with relationship problems and social problems. All these issues can lead to health problems and it’s important to understand what your body is going through and how to get help when it is needed.


We all know men do not like to talk about their own issues to others. That’s a generalized statement, but it may be true. Many do not like to show their weaknesses or they try to prove that they can do whatever they want without having to get help. According to an article published by Mary Brophy Marcus, only a whopping 7% of men talk about their health issues with others (CBS 2016). That can become a problem, especially for those that attend college and deal with many health issues that arise.

Why do men not talk about their health issues as much as women do? Why is this a problem? Men are taught to act tough at such a young age, to be brave, to not have emotions because it would consider them to be less manly or “feminine.” It may be a problem because if one does not share or act fast on any health issue, it could become worse or it could be too late.   Continue reading