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 teaches us that it’s important to pay attention to all areas of our well-being.
Although you may think 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
- 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
- Our on-campus fitness centres are temporarily closed during the pandemic but Georgian students can access Grizzlies Fitness on Demand.
- Healthy and nutritious eating
- If you need help securing enough food, check out the Georgian Food Locker. It’s an on-campus, confidential, emergency food bank for students in need.
- Yoga and meditation
- Yoga and meditation are also included in Grizzlies Fitness on Demand right now to help you strengthen your mind and body.
- 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.
- 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.
- Join a club to connect with those who have the same interests as you.
- 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, and encouraging help-seeking and effective responses to Georgian community members in distress.
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.
This article was originally published in July 2019. It was updated and re-shared in November 2020.