Tips with Trish: Lots of value in being grateful

By Tricia Borelli

Dear Trish,

I know you are swamped and unfortunately I can’t seem to find time to make it to your office so I am settling for some written advice. I don’t think I have depression but I have been in a funk lately and have been irritable and unhappy. Any quick tips on helping me get out of this rut?

Signed, No Time for Therapy

Trish says,

It is known around the country that wait times for counseling sessions, both in college and in the private sector, can be long. So my best advice for what might help your irritability and unhappiness is as follows.

1. Get good sleep and eat well.

2. Hang around positive people who bring you joy. Positivity breeds positivity.

3.  Consider a break from social media. As great as it can be to help us stay connected, social media has been found to create anxiety and bring people down more than the reverse.

4. Practice gratitude and kindness. After all, this is the month of Thanksgiving, isn’t it?

And because gratitude is one of my favorite topics I will spend a little more time on this one.

Practicing gratitude daily can take many forms. It can be fun recalling random things that bring your life joy. Doing this can help you contemplate your own blessedness and hence, improve your mood.

Another popular first step in brightening your perspective is starting a gratitude journal where you write down up to five things over the past day that make you feel thankful. It’s a good way to end the day as opposed to what some of us do, dwell on the negatives or worry about the future. Another tip is to re-frame some negative thoughts into positive ones like changing, “Ugh, nothing good in the café again today” to “I’m so glad that I can have a hot meal when so many go hungry.” For me, just not having to cook the meal myself is a blessing.

As students and staff at Loras College, we also know the importance of kindness and that serving others brings us our own joy. It is a part of most of our beings. Try doing something nice for someone else or at the very least, saying something nice. It is so fun to see someone react to a compliment. If you think something nice, say it. If you think something not so nice, don’t say it.

Sounds simple but the truth is, we don’t practice gratitude and kindness enough. Give it a try.

Signed, Trish

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Tricia Borelli is the Director of Counseling Services at Loras College. In Tips with Trish, she will answer student questions concerning anything that relates to keeping it together while doing this crazy thing called college. Send questions or comments to Ms. Borelli, Loras Box 100, or to the e-mail address All names of those sending questions will be kept confidential.

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