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Getting crafty at Mental Wellness Month

The past few weeks or so have been jam-packed. I’ve had so much work to do that I’ve barely had time to breathe, relax, eat, sleep, and all of those kind of important aspects of being a human. If you’re looking for me, you can probably find me at a campus library, eyes glued to a computer screen, agenda open and full of undone to-do’s. I’ve been pulling a lot of late nights and keeping myself awake artificially through an endless stream of coffee.

When you’re stressed out and have a lot of work to do, it’s really tempting to push everything else to the side – your social life, healthy eating, going to the gym, or taking a moment to relax at the end of the day. For me, I often feel like I just don’t have time for all that – all I have time for is moving through assignments, readings, class, and work.

October is Mental Wellness Month, and there has been a lot going on around campus to help students learn more about mental health.

A banner that reads "October is Mental Wellness Month"

October is Mental Wellness Month!

 

Last week, I checked out Thursday’s Get Crafty: Thursdays for Mental Wellness Month. I was stressed about taking time out of my day to go to the event, but it wound up being a really fun and relaxing hour. The craft of the day was to make stationery and envelopes to write letters with.

As you may know if you’ve read my blog posts, I’m a big fan of letter writing – check out my post from this summer about the perks of pen pals.

I made a ton of lovely stationery that I can’t wait to write letters on and send to friends. Plus, letting my mind actually relax for an hour and letting myself have a little fun and be creative made me feel a lot more invigorated when I sat down to do my assignments later that day. I was able to come back to my work refreshed and got a lot more done that I had the day before. 

A collage: left photo shows various tape rolls and sheet music; top right shows some envelopes and stationery I made; bottom right shows a cup of tea amidst paper scraps.

Some of my favourite things at Get Crafty: infinity decorative tape; beautiful sheet music; tea; underwater photography.

It’s a lesson I’ve had to relearn time and time again: it’s actually not productive to work constantly. You may feel like you’re making progress, but as you become more run down and exhausted, your ability to work productively lessens and you become more stressed out. Conversely, if you take some time to relax, you’ll have a clearer head when you return to your work and be able to get more done and feel less anxious.

Looking to take a mental health break? Check out the Mental Wellness Month calendar on the Healthy U of T website. Plus, check out Get Crafty every week at Hart House! 

Got tips for mental wellness, or questions? Share them in the comments below or on twitter with the hashtag #BeWellUofT.

 

danielle

Danielle is the summer 2015 Communications Intern at the Office of Student Life. She wrapped up her undergrad this year and will be entering a master's program at U of T in the fall, studying in the Faculty of Information. She previously studied English and Jewish Studies with a minor in History. Danielle studied abroad twice, in Jerusalem and Berlin, did a service learning course, and did a few work-study positions. Her favourite part of her undergrad was working at The Varsity, the campus newspaper. She was the editor-in-chief in her final year. She's passionate about good writing, student journalism, reading, knitting, long walks (on the beach or otherwise), and table tennis, which she insists she is very good at, though her friends may not agree. You can reach her on twitter @lifeatuoft over the summer if you want to chat!

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