Although I may sound like a broken record, I still have mono. What is worse, this mono is impacting my medications, meaning my anxiety is on high gear. On the bright side, however, I am getting much better and my mental health is significantly improving.
When I got diagnosed with mono a few weeks back, I was so tired that I couldn’t even leave my dorm room. I also didn’t feel like seeing my friends for fear of giving them my illness. As a result, I was lonely and depressed along with being incredibly sick and tired.
But when I started to feel better, I was able to get out of my room. While time has proven to be the best medicine, I also noticed that my mood was greatly correlated with my surrounding space. I found that when my environment had lots of sunlight (Vitamin D from sunlight is proven to help with mood) and I was surrounded by some of my close friends, I felt significantly happier. Furthermore, whenever the room was quiet and calm, I was able to better focus on my readings and assignments as well.
The point is your environment can sometimes make all the difference in your mental wellbeing. So without further ado, here are some places I find relaxing and calming around campus, and hope you will too:
- Trinity College Quad
- Philosopher’s Walk
- Junior Common Room (Trinity College)
- Graham Library
- UC Quad
Now you may be thinking- “Haley! It is so cold out! I can hang around the quad or Queen’s Park to relax.” Aside from the fact that I am from Edmonton so I really don’t ever find Toronto cold (as I am writing this now, Edmonton is -20°C…Toronto is -2°C), I am a person that regularly needs to get outside for breaks. Walking around aimlessly out in the sun is one of my favourite activities and something that really calms my mind (hence why I was once so addicted to cigarettes).
Nevertheless, all of us are different. My biggest suggestion is to find something, anything that helps you feel calm during this exam season. For me, managing my stress levels largely comes down to hanging out in a positive and calming environment; for you it might be going to Hart House and exercising for an hour. Whatever it is, I hope you keep it up to stay healthy and stress-free as we head into these final few weeks of the term.
Lots of love,