Be Kind to Your Mind
Information Box Group
Self talk is the way you talk to yourself, or your inner voice. This inner voice combines conscious thoughts with inbuilt beliefs and biases to create an internal monologue throughout the day. Your inner voice is the voice you hear most often – it can be a critic, or it can be a friend.
- Reduce negative self-talk
- Increase positive self-talk
- Practice Self-Love Affirmations
- Be your own BFF / advocate
- Speak to yourself as if you’re speaking to someone you love
- Give yourself the benefit of doubt
Use gentle words with yourself
- What compliment do you most like to receive?
- Have you given that compliment to yourself?
Mindfulness is the mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. Calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, without judgement. No thought or feeling is good or bad – it just is.
- Try to notice when your mind starts racing from one thought to another
- Try to notice when you’re being harsh on yourself
- Try out meditation and breathing exercises
- Schedule in quiet time, time
- When was the last time your mind felt at peace?
- What can help you slow your mind down?
‘Fun’ looks different for everyone, but it is critical that we all make time to feel joy and excitement. While we don’t want to disregard our responsibilities completely, we also need to remember to LET ourselves have fun, especially when we are stressed!
- Stay connected with friends
- Join a club, sports team, or volunteer
- Explore off campus
- Make time for your hobbies
- What activity makes you lose track of time?
- When was the last time you laughed until your sides hurt?
It is OKAY to ask for help – everyone needs help to succeed and thrive. Needing help doesn’t mean you’ve failed or that you’re weak. You’ve done scary things before – you can do it scared! You’re braver thank you think! It is ok to ask for help.
- Reach out to someone who you trust
- This could be family members friends, CA’s, mentors, upper year students
- Ask about what services can help you
- academic skills workshops at the SSC, research help from a librarian or TA, wellness programs at the SWC, & more!
- What do you think you’ll need most support with this year?
- Who has cared for you or helped you in the past?
Balance is having the right amount — not too much or too little — of any quality, which leads to harmony or evenness. While starting University can bring about tons of new or exciting commitments, managing your time to allow for rest, academics, and social time is super important.
- Schedule down-time or rest in your calendar
- Don’t overcommit
- Remember that you don’t have to ‘earn’ rest, you deserve it!
- Maintain social connections, don’t isolate yourself!
- What does balance look like in your life?
- What do you wish you had more time for?
Be Kind to Your Body
Information Box Group
Fueling your body with nutritious food and a balanced diet is an important part of staying healthy and boosting your energy & mood. However, on days when that isn’t possible, having some food is better than no food!
Balance your meals with fruits and vegetables as much as you can. If your produce goes bad before you eat it, try frozen! Frozen fruits retain their nutritional value and last longer.
If you struggle to eat consistently, scheduling time to eat with others can help. Try out different food spots on campus together! Listen to your body and your stomach. If you feel tired or drained, you may need to ask yourself, when was the last time I ate?
- What are some of your favourite foods?
- Are there places for you to get or make your favourite foods?
Hydration is the process of replacing water in the body. Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons:
- Regulate body temperature
- Keeping joints lubricated
- Preventing infections
- Delivering nutrients to cells
- Keeping organs functioning properly
- Aim to drink 8 cups of water a day
- Invest in a reusable water bottle, and take it with you
- Learn where the water stations are on campus!
- Add berries, lemons, oranges or cucumber to your water for flavour
- Have extra water if you’re out in the sun
- Take a sip of water: do you like it cold, room temp., warm, or hot?
- It can be easy to forget to drink water. What can you do to give yourself a reminder?
Sleep & Rest
Sleep hygiene refers to building various healthy sleep habits to help you get a good night’s rest. Good sleep hygiene is important because getting good sleep benefits your mental and physical health, as well as your overall quality of life.
- Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep daily
- Create a sleep schedule or routine that works for you
- Be respectful of your roommates sleep needs
- Try out a sleep meditation
- Invest in ear plugs if you are a light sleeper
- Adjusting to sleeping in a new place is difficult! What might help make your new space feel more familiar?
- What is your preferred bedtime and wake up time? What is your roommates? Discuss it with each other.
We can all benefit from adding active movement into our daily routines! Being physically active can improve your brain health, reduce the risk of disease, and strengthen bones and muscles.
- Stand, move around, or stretch when you are scrolling on social media or watching TV
- Find a friend to keep each other motivated to move
- Put on some music and let your body move how it wants to!
Explore different types of physical activities to find what you enjoy
- Adjusting to a new routine, a new place, and a new phase of your life can lead to changes in your movement. What will change and what movement helps you replenish?
Body image is both the mental picture you have of your own body and how you see yourself when you look in a mirror. Self-esteem is how you value and respect yourself as a person. Self-esteem affects how you take care of yourself, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Poor body image can lead to: Low self-esteem.
- Try not to compare – all bodies are good bodies
- Find ways to love & value what you got!
- Wear clothes you are comfy in
- Believe others when they compliment you
- Compliment yourself!
- What is one thing your body does for you that you appreciate?
- When was the last time you felt comfortable in what you were wearing? What about that was comfortable?
Be Kind to Others
Information Box Group
Healthy boundaries are the limits you place around your time, emotions, body, and mental health to stay resilient, solid, and content with who you are. Setting healthy boundaries requires self-awareness. We need to be clear about our expectations of ourselves and others, and what we are and are not comfortable with in specific situations.
- Establish with roommates
- Know / respect your own
- Respect other’s requests
- Do you feel like you respect other people’s boundaries?
- How do you feel when others do not respect your boundaries?
A simple gesture such as checking in can go a long way. Checking in at the right time can help people to overcome challenges. It can also be an opportunity to learn and grow, individually or together.
- Text / Call friends & family
- Practice active listening
- Plan a hangout
- Respect boundaries
- Do you check in on the people that check in on you?
- How does it make you feel when others check in on you?
Healthy Communication is essential to building and maintaining healthy relationships. Good communication is key to having positive social interactions. Unhealthy communication can lead to escalation which can result in intense reactions.
- Practice empathy
- Be honest
- Ask for clarification
- Be authentic
- Be open-minded
- How does the way you communicate make those around you feel
- What do you think you do well when you communicate?
While it can be challenging to meet new people, social connection is important. A friendship can blossom out of almost any chance meeting if all parties are open to the idea. Open yourself up to the possibilities by participating in social occasions.
- Invite new friends out for a meal
- Join a club / go to club fest
- Talk to someone new in class
- Volunteer on campus
- Do you initiate conversations with others?
- What do you want others to know about you?
Judging means to form an opinion about someone or something based on thoughts, feelings and evidence. Judging other people has nothing to do with the people you are judging. However, judging others can increase fears of being judged and can decrease feelings of connection.
- Give the benefit of doubt
- Embrace differences
- Lead with curiosity
- Have you ever been judged wrongly? How did that make you feel?
- Have you ever judged someone else wrongly? How did that make you feel?