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Mental Health Tips

April 2020

Mindfulness Meditation free Drop-in Zoom Class

Mindfulness Meditation is a free zoom drop-in class open to SFU students, faculty, and staff

Connect with your body, relax your mind, and discover tools for bringing more calm and ease into your life. Each session includes mindfulness practice, information on habits of mind, and the opportunity for a brief discussion about the practice.

No previous experience is necessary.

For details, please visit:  https://www.sfu.ca/students/health/events-and-workshops/drop-in-groups/meditation.html

COVID-19 EMOTIONAL SUPPORT GROUP

During this unprecendented time, our dedicated team of mental health professionals are here to support you. 

Are you emotionally struggling with the distress and anxiety with the COVID-19 pandemic? Has your mental health been impacted by social distancing or self-isolating? Are you feeling alone? Come join our daily virtual session and create a safe space where you can connect with one another, share how you feel and receive support. Register here!

This group is open to all Simon Fraser University students.

Program dates & times:

  • Friday, April 24 - 1:30 to 2:30pm
  • Monday, April 27 - 1:30 to 2:30pm
  • Tuesday, April 28 - 1:30 to 2:30pm
  • Wednesday, April 29 - 1:30 to 2:30pm
  • Thursday, April 30 - 1:30 to 2:30pm
  • Friday, May 1 - 1:30 to 2:30pm
  • Monday, May 4 - 1:30 to 2:30pm
  • Tuesday, May 5 - 1:30 to 2:30pm
  • Wednesday, May 6 - 1:30 to 2:30pm
  • Thursday, May 7 - 1:30 to 2:30pm
  • Friday, May 8 - 1:30 to 2:30pm

* for full details visit: https://www.sfu.ca/students/health/events-and-workshops/EmotionalSupportGroup.html

March 2020

Hi BPKers!  Your mental health tip for March comes from undergraduate student Charlotte Mackenzie encouraging you to come to our upcoming, specifically designed, BPK Mental Health Workshop.

University is a tough go. Midterms, projects, work, volunteering- sometimes it feels like you don’t have time to breathe. With our busy lives, students tend to put their mental health and well-being on the back burner, with the expectation that after graduation, mental distress will disintegrate. Unfortunately, mental health is something that will always be in our lives. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.  Learning how to recognize your mental distress and find tools to take care of yourself is a life-long investment for success. Come join us at our BPK Mental Health Workshop on March 11th, 6:30-8:30 pm.  Students and faculty alike will be given the chance to engage in open discussion regarding their struggles and successes with mental health. Registration is free and includes dinner! We will be discussing how to recognize levels of mental distress or mental disorders and different tools to help you lead a healthy life. Joining us will be Ly Hoang, a clinical counsellor from SFU Health and Counselling.

To register for this event, click the link below! 

https://forms.gle/TDEqk9zUL5MzXhpB7

See you there! 

~ Charlotte Mackenzie

February 2020

A craft a day keeps the doctor away. Ok, ok, you’re right, the saying is actually “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” However, recent studies report that repetitive motions, such as those performed during knitting, make crafters feel calm, focused, and grounded. Here are five reasons why it is worthwhile to carve out a bit of crafting time:

  • Crafts promote mindfulness. By focusing on your textile, metalwork, woodcraft, or glasswork, you develop a better awareness for how the material behaves – especially in response to your emotions.
  • Crafts encourage socialization. Whether you connect with fellow crafters online or in-person, crafts provide an opportunity to broaden your social network. Crafty-minded people come from all walks of life. Their stories, knowledge, and support are valuable resources for your mental wellbeing as well as your crafting.
  • Crafts improve your confidence. As you learn a new skill, a new technique, or how to use a new material, your self-confidence improves. You learn that you are capable despite initially lacking experience. Perhaps you’ll even teach your friends how to forge, knit, sew, blow glass, paint, fold origami, or carve wood. Teaching improves your own knowledge and further boosts your self-esteem. *cough* Transferable skill *cough*
  • Crafts improve your problem-solving skills. You probably know problem-solving is a necessary skill but how does one improve it? Practice it? Crafting. You use your knowledge to come up with creative solutions to mistakes. By identifying and correcting errors, you learn to solve problems using logic and reasoning.
  • Crafts improve your brain. Crafting helps you stay mentally (and sometimes physically) active. Repetitive motions require memory formation, memory recall, fine motor control, and hand-eye co-ordination. These processes keep your brain active by creating more synapses and improving existing ones.

Maintaining your mental health is well worth the effort. Whether you spend time learning a new craft or honing a familiar skill, you and your brain will reap the benefits. On behalf of the Mental Health, Wellness, and Engagement Committee, I wish you a crafty February!

~ Gaby Jensen

January 2020

Hi all, 

Now that the new semester is back in full swing (and appears to have brought a true Canadian winter along with it), the Mental Health and Engagement Committee tip of the month is back! 

One thing to keep in mind as we head into this new semester, focused on all our academic stressors, is burnout. Students and faculty have both been found to be susceptible to burnout. Whether feeling emotionally exhausted, dissatisfied with work, or cynical (more than usual anyway), it is important for everyone to take a step back and give themselves a break.  

If you’re unsure about what coping strategies work best for you, here is a short article that can offer some ideas on how to reduce burnout -  personally, I prefer to bake and get involved in extracurricular activities (such as this committee)!

Feel free to share your stress-reducing tips with your friends, faculty, and staff and enjoy the new year, 

The Mental Health and Engagement Committee

Regards,

Natalie Heeney, MsC.