From the College Counsellor

Stay positive and motivated!

Time flies! We are already half way through Term 1 and I can already see students getting anxious over school commitments. It is really important that you balance your workload with some strategies that help you feel relaxed, motivated and happy. Here are some basic strategies that I recommend:

  1. Focus on your strengths. People often hyper-focus on their flaws and try to find ways to fix them which can often put a downer on your mood. At the end of everyday focus on 3 things you did well in the day.
  2. Positive coping strategies. It is important to incorporate positive coping strategies in your routine including exercise, drawing, and relaxation.
  3. Positive self-talk. The running commentary in our brains can really impact on how we view ourselves and the things around us. Catch yourself having negative thoughts and try to challenge and reframe them in a positive way.
  4. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. We can’t change the fact that stressful events happen but we can change how we interpret and respond to these situations. Try to work through the present by looking at past events that you have overcome, and what you can do to make the future a little better.
  5. Maintain a hopeful outlook. An optimistic and positive outlook allows you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.
  6. Take time out. Set aside some time to liberate yourself from the psychological bombardment of mobile phones, laptops and other technological intruders. Take some deep breaths and just absorb the joys of just being.
  7. Forgive. Forgiveness is the emotional equivalent of losing weight. Focus on your goals/values and don’t let the negative effects of grudges/revenge weigh you down or take you off track. Accept whatever has happened and that it cannot be changed, let it go and move on.
  8. Live by your values. Values are different to goals as they drive the way we want to interact with our world day to day. Think about what actions you choose to take that will help you live a life in line with your values.
  9. Keep Learning. We sometimes take learning opportunities for granted. Stop and reflect on how lucky we are to live in a country in which the pursuit of knowledge is so easily fulfilled. Always aspire to keep learning as part of your social, emotional and intellectual growth!
  10. Spend time with family. Make sure you set aside at least one day a week to do an activity with the family without distractions e.g. have dinner together, playing a board game, going for a walk etc. Family time is good for the soul.
  11. Praise. Look for opportunities to praise others as this can have a positive and empowering effect on yourself and those around you.

Most of all just enjoy the journey of life!


Katerina Stratilas
College Counsellor