Although you’ve probably heard about self-care over the past few years, you might still be wondering: what exactly is self-care and how can I incorporate it into my life as a college student? In honour of International Self-Care Day, we chatted with Jennifer Lloyd, Manager, Mental Health Strategy at Georgian to put together everything you need to know about self-care, along with a few tips for making it part of your daily routine.
What is self-care?
At Georgian we refer to self-care as, taking action to improve one’s own physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual well-being. Wisdom from our Indigenous community members teach us that it’s important to pay attention to all areas of our well-being. Although you may think that you don’t have time for this, it’s extremely important as self-care can help you manage stress and increases your ability to learn and succeed in your academics. Here’s some ideas to get you started:
- Get enough proper sleep
- To learn more, check out this article on how to get a better sleep as a student.
- Here’s 5 desk stretches you can try.
- Even walking for 5 to 10 minutes can really clear your mind.
- Engage in physical activity
- Did you know that full-time students at the Barrie, Orillia and Owen Sound campuses have access to the Fitness Centre as part of their tuition? Check it out!
- Healthy and nutritious eating
- If you need help accessing enough food, check out the Georgian Food Locker. It’s an on-campus, confidential, emergency food bank for students in need.
- Yoga classes are available in the Barrie Fitness Centre and they’re included in your membership.
- Stress management
- Learn how you can better manage your time and reduce stress.
- Even though forgiveness can be difficult, there are many benefits.
- Kristin Neff has some great resources on self-compassion.
- Consent is one of the most important boundaries that you can set for yourself. Read Georgian’s Sexual Violence Policy.
- Support systems
- Having a close friend or family member to talk to about your worries is extremely helpful. Look for people in your life who make you feel valuable as a person and remind you of your strengths.
- Positive social media
- Read this article on 5 ways you can make social media a positive force in your life.
- Time together
- Here’s some tips on how to make friends in college.
- Ask for help
- Reach out for support when you need it. Student Services offers many services that can help you be successful.
- Sacred space
- If you’re at the Orillia Campus, do a walking meditation through the labyrinth located outside the library.
- Prayer rooms are available at both the Barrie and Orillia campuses.
- Time alone
- Check out An introvert’s guide to thriving in college.
- Check out the Mindfulness Mondays tips by Sarah Hunter on the student portal under Mental Health and Well-Being.
- Join a club to connect with those who have the same interests as you.
- Here are the Top things to do around every Georgian campus, including nature activities and locations.
- Read this article on 13 reasons for students to have a bullet journal.
Mental Health and Well-Being at Georgian College
The Mental Health and Well-being Strategic Plan at Georgian focuses on promoting a healthy campus community, creating resilience, encouraging help-seeking and effective responses to Georgian community members in distress. For more information about the plan or to access mental health and well-being resources, please visit the student portal.
We want to hear from you!
Even though this article provides ideas on some ways to practise self-care, we invite everyone at Georgian to email us with your tips and strategies. We will post your ideas on a new self-care at Georgian page that’s currently being constructed on our site in the student portal.
Jennifer Lloyd understands how challenging it can be to give ourselves permission to add self-care to our long to-do lists, not to mention putting it at the top! As the Manager, Mental Health Strategy, she is responsible for promoting a culture of excellence regarding mental health and well-being for everyone at Georgian. Jennifer is leading the implementation of the college’s Mental Health and Well-Being strategic plan, looking at creative ways to empower everyone at Georgian to prioritize their well-being, in order to succeed in their academic and career pursuits. Her favourite self-care activities include reading with her children, hiking and spending time near the water.