Ways to Wellness
Campus life provides access to many exciting learning opportunities and engaging experiences. It can also be very stressful, with roadblocks and overwhelming pressures to overcome. Learning ways to support your mental health and wellbeing can be a helpful strategy.
The ‘Ways to Wellness’, outlined in the next section, are some ways to support overall health and mental wellbeing. Although they seem obvious, they can be easily forgotten with the transition to University.
Ways to wellness can (but don’t have to) include many different types of things. You can try some, all, or none of these things and they may or may not be helpful to you. You should never feel guilty about the way that you choose to approach mental wellness, because the most important thing that you can do is be yourself!
#ShareYourWay is an opportunity to learn and reflect on the ways that you and others take care of your mental health. There are many ways to wellness: share, learn and explore different ways through #ShareYourWay.
Being aware of what your mental health looks like and what works for you, can help identify when extra support is needed. Take notice and talk to others if you notice that there are changes to your thoughts, mood and behaviour. That goes the other way too – take notice of changes in those around you and try to connect them to resources. Remember that mental health looks different for everyone – if you don’t know, just ask. There are supports available on campus and in the community. Whether you’re caring for yourself, or others- sometimes reaching out to supports in the community can help.
- Contributes to self-knowledge, sense of understanding and ability to reflect.
- Familiarization of where to seek help, or how to support a friend
- Contributes to a culture of caring
- Getting to know your mood and habits
- Reach out to others to see how they’re doing
- If you need help supporting others, peer support services on campus can give you some suggestions and resources.
On Campus – In the Community
- Student Wellness Centre – ext. 27700, provides counselling options, medical services and wellness education.
- Student Accessibility Services – provides academic accommodation assistance and related supports to students with disabilities at McMaster.
- Peer Support Line, ext. 28888. The Peer Support line can tell you about the peer support services available. They are also a confidential phone line that any McMaster student can call, providing phone and on-line based support, 7 days a week.
- SHEC Commuter Resource Hub
- MSU Peer Support services
After Hours Resources
When things get tough, it’s easy to feel isolated. Surrounding yourself with healthy and positive relationships through a supportive community can make things easier.
- Communities offer a sense of belonging and connectedness
- Supportive relationships can increase feelings of happiness and improve self-worth
- Going for coffee or tea with a friend
- Becoming a member of a club or student society
- Getting to know someone over lunch
- Making time for family
- Join an intramural team
- Find an organization in the community that you can volunteer with
Trying things that are new to you outside the classroom like having a hobby or engaging with the community through volunteer work can be really rewarding!
- Increased confidence and a sense of satisfaction
- New personal or career skills like the ability to adapt to challenges
- Trying out new hobbies
- Learning a new skill
- Gaining new skills through volunteering
- Exploring the Hamilton community
- Learning new cooking skills
Being mindful of yourself is an important step to help expand your mental wellness. Some people take a few minutes every day to breathe and take notice of the world. Some people take a few minutes to take their medication and recalibrate their days according to how they are feeling. Being mindful and practicing self-care looks different for everyone, do what feels best for you!
- Improved attention, concentration, emotion regulation, ability to cope with stress
- Paying attention to the present can help in getting out of being stuck in the past or worrying about the future.
- Taking time to reflect on feelings and conversations
- Be aware of your limits and when you would like to take time for yourself
- Taking time to enjoy your meals
- Stopping to enjoy a sunset or nature
- Trying activities that focus on breathing – yoga, mindfulness
Making time for activity throughout the week can be very helpful. On that note – Remember that being active doesn’t necessarily mean formal exercise at the gym –it could be walking to class or trying a new sport or activity. Choosing an activity that you enjoy and makes you feel best is the most important thing.
- Can improve mood, self-esteem, concentration, memory, sleep
- Acts as a stress relief and can help increase energy
- Walking to campus
- Meeting a friend to go outside
- Going for a hike and explore local trails
- Playing an instrument
- Join an intramural team