Somehow its already been over a month of school, we’re almost at midterms and I need to make some changes. I don’t know why, but I feel like I have been way more stressed over my school work than last year, I’ve stopped taking care of my body, I’ve let my stress grow, and I can’t continue the rest of the year, let alone the whole semester like this. Thankfully, it’s never too late to start reflecting on what changes I need to make in order to have a turn around in both my mental and physical well-being:
- Taking care of my body💪:
I used to joke that I’d need to see a chiropractor by the age of 30. I’d already seen one by the end of grade 12, before even starting university. Virtual grade 12 totally messed up my body from sitting improperly in front of my computer all day, and I made all these goals with a physiotherapist to work on this and make change. I did exercises to build my strength, and bought a proper chair and desk to sit ergonomically. I even got a special mouse and mousepad. Now, in my second year, the important skills I learned have fizzled out of my day-to-day life, and my back and wrists have been feeling the effects. As I type this, I’m laying on my back in bed, which really is not maintaining the good posture and 90 degree angle wrist position I ensured my physio I’d implement. Now that I’ve recognized this, I’m going to attempt to regain some better habits and use the resources at U of T to do so by…
- Get moving! Being active and exercising is essential for keeping my muscles limber, relaxed, and strengthening my weaker parts like my back. Since I’m someone who is usually not a fan of working out, I need to find a way to make it fun.
- Cardio Dance Party, Krava Maga, and Zumba are some fun classes I plan to attend as they’ll be more likely to motivate and encourage me to want to work out.💃
- Make my workspace more comfortable at home, so I don’t feel like I need to lie in my bed. 🛌
2. Taking care of my mind🧠:
If being too focused on my work is resulting in stress then I need to find a better way to balance it. At the end of the day, I need to remind myself that it’s just work, and my health and happiness have to come first. I’m here at school to learn, and putting so much pressure on myself turns learning into a stressful experience, which it should not be. Some ways I’m going to try and create a better balance and relieve my stress are by…
- Attending Mindful Moments. I’ve already attended one session and want to try to go to one once a week. Then I’ll at least have one built-in moment of gaining better well-being skills.🧘♀️
- Splitting up work and play–as a commuter student it’s easy to just go to school for class and then head right back home. Maybe spending more time working at libraries at school so that when I’m home I can actually relax and feel like I had a productive day. Separating my school life and home life may help to create balance.
- Attend Health and Wellness workshops. I’ve seen some really cool workshops listed on CLNX titled Pathways to Wellness, Overcoming Your Inner Critic, Coping Skills: Balanced Thinking.
- And circling back to my first points, but being active is known to help relieve stress— it’s a two in one!
October 10 was World Mental Health day, but we need to be taking care of our mental health 365 days a year. Although it’s not easy, it’s never too late to change your lifestyle, habits, and work mindset. I probably won’t follow through with my plan perfectly, but even if I attend just one fitness class, a couple Mindful Moments sessions, or generally be more aware of my feelings, any improvement is an improvement. So, if you’re also experiencing something similar this term, we all need to chill, take a step back and realize we can get through this and we will❤️!
Until next time,