How to take care of yourself on World Mental Health Day

Posted on Thursday, October 10th, 2019

October 7-11 is Mental Health Awareness Week, so we’re taking a moment to pause on this important subject. While university is full of opportunities, it is not without its challenges. We want all Gryphons and future Gryphons to know that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes, and that you are never alone. Today we’re going over some on- and off-campus mental wellness resources as well as some de-stressing tips!

If You Need To Unwind

  • Hang out in the Arboretum: Spending time in nature is proven to improve your mood, so taking a rest in the Arboretum’s peaceful forests and gardens is always a good idea.
  • Toss a frisbee with a friend on Johnston Green: Physical activity, beautiful views, and spending time with friends means a triple shot of a mental wellbeing boost.
  • Visit the quiet study floors in the library: Sometimes a little peace and quiet is just what the doctor ordered. Check out the basement and the second, third, fifth, and sixth floors of the library for a peaceful atmosphere perfect for studying, reading, and relaxing.
  • Drop-in for an Athletic Centre program: Whether you relax best by doing some yoga or by boxing, you can get those feel-good endorphins flowing at the Athletic Centre! The AC offers a wide range of drop-in recreational activities that are free for all students. Drop-in sessions are also a great way to make new friends!
  • Unplug with a book, notebook, drawing pad, musical instrument, etc. in the Conservatory Gardens: Take some time out of your day to pursue your hobbies. The Conservatory Gardens is a great place to find inspiration or just find your zen amidst the beautiful scenery.
  • Academic Action Program: If the source of your stress is academics, you may wish to consider joining the Academic Action Program offered by the library. This program pairs you with an Academic Coach who helps you manage your workload, avoid procrastination, and prepare effectively for midterms and exams. Academic Coaches also encourage a holistic approach that balances schoolwork with the rest of your life, helping you ensure academic expectations don’t take over your mental wellbeing. Learn more about the Academic Action Program on the Library website.
  • Schedule selfcare: Make sure to be kind to yourself and set aside time in your week for whatever brings you joy or relaxation. It can feel hard to squeeze in time for selfcare when you’re juggling schoolwork, relationships, jobs, and more; but the more packed your schedule, the more important it is to take time-outs to avoid burnout and stress.
  • Check-in with your physical health: Physical health and mental health go hand in hand, so your eating and sleeping habits can make a big impact on your mental wellness. If you need help creating healthy habits, there are oncampus resources ready to assist you. The Student Nutrition Awareness Program (SNAP) encourages students to develop healthy eating habits by providing nutrition education and peer support. In addition to answering nutrition questions and concerns, SNAP provides nutrition resources to help students adjust to campus life. If you have concerns about your sleeping habits, you can book an appointment with the on-campus Physician Services. One of the physicians will help you address those concerns.


If You Need To Talk To Someone

  • Student Support Network (Peer Support Services): The U of G Student Support Network (SSN) offers dropin peer support during the school year. A team of student volunteers, extensively trained in active listening and communication skills, is ready to provide a supportive ear to any member of the campus community. Dropin peer support space is located at the entrance of the JT Powell Building, as well as in the McLaughlin Library (Room 111).
  • Counselling Services: Counselling Services offers individual counselling sessions to help support students as they work through the personal challenges that impair their ability to succeed at school and in other areas of their lives. Oncampus counselling services are free for all students.
  • Off-Campus Counselling Services: If it makes more sense for you to seek help offcampus, there are several mental health resources available in the city of Guelph. The University of Guelph Student Health Benefit Plan covers 80% of the cost of treatment by a psychologist to a maximum of $500 per year. Check out the Family Service website for more info.
  • Helplines and Online Counselling:
    • Good2Talk is free, confidential helpline providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to post-secondary students in Ontario
    • Here 24/7 is a 24-hour crisis help and referral to Waterloo-Wellington Addictions, Mental Health & Crisis Services
    • Ontario Mental Health Helpline - Connex (1-866-531-2600) is a free, 24-hour confidential helpline providing about mental illness and support services available to help.


Online Resources

  • Learn more about all the oncampus services offered by U of G Student Wellness on their website! You can also go here to book appointments and volunteer!
  • Follow @wellness_uofg on Instagram to keep tabs on all the student wellness resources and events on campus!
  • Check out the Library’s great guide to mindfulness apps, podcasts, and websites!
  • Follow us on Instagram and Snapchat (both @uofgadmission) and tune in this week as our Social Media Ambassadors share how they unwind and destress on- and off-campus!

Thank you for reading our post on de-stressing tips and mental health resources at the U of G! If you’re struggling with mental health on campus, help is never far away. We hope you found this post helpful and that you take the time out of your day to take care of yourself today. Always remember: you are important, and your mental health matters.

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