Mental health at SFU

Your time at SFU is important -- that's why we're here to provide support when you need it, where you need it.

Access counselling 24/7, explore our support options, or learn more about your well-being: all in one place.

Physical health

Physical health is important for overall well-being and is linked to positive mental health. Support your physical health by maintaining your digital well-being, getting restful sleep, nourishing your body with nutritious food, being active, and practicing safer sex.

Explore ways you can maintain well-being while using technology:

  • Check out digital well-being tips on how to reduce eye strain, use technology mindfully, and be productive

  • Set small goals. Take regular breaks from the computer throughout the day, and move your body or stretch outdoors if possible

Maintain sleeping habits that give you the energy you need:

Sleep is an important part of our daily routine as it allows our body to repair itself, to process information, and to better cope with daily stressors.

  • Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night

  • Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends

  • Practice a pre-bedtime routine to allow your body and mind to wind down from stimulating activities. This will allow you to separate your rest and sleep time from activities that may cause you anxiety and excitement

  • Schedule 30 minutes of technology-free time before going to bed

  • Try drinking herbal tea a couple of hours before bed instead of consuming caffeine, alcohol, cannabis, or tobacco in the evenings

  • Create a sleep-friendly environment that is dark, cool, quiet and comfortable

  • Find the answers to common questions related to sleep

Maintain eating habits that give you the energy you need:

We need nutritious food to function at our best both physically and mentally.

  • Consider checking out Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating to get some ideas on nutritious, balanced meals. Eat a variety of healthy foods each day

  • Drink water regularly and before you start feeling thirsty

  • Food is a celebration and brings people together. Make plans to eat with others when possible

  • Make a meal plan at the start of each week

  • Check out ways to get involved with community gardens or other food projects to learn where your food comes from

Find time in a busy schedule to be physically active:

Regular physical activity has been shown to have a strong, positive influence on mental well-being.

  • Move your body in ways that feel good to you. 

  • Schedule study or movement breaks at the same time as a friend so you can support each other being active

  • Add 10-minute movement activities throughout the day

  • Take a short break from work or study every hour or two to keep you energized, focused, and feeling your best

  • Plan to do something active that you enjoy at least once this week. 

  • Explore a variety of activities and services offered by SFU Recreation, a nearby community centre, or free resources online

Practice safer sex:

  • Communicate with your partner if you have questions or concerns

  • Connect with a health care provider to talk one-on-one in a safe environment about your sexual health

 

SFU Resources

Below find some on campus resources that are related to your physical wellness. For a full listing of resources related to all aspects of your health and wellness see sfu.ca/students/health/resources.html

Health & Counselling Services (HCS): HCS offers support for nutrition through a free Community Cooking workshops led by the SFU Health Peers. They provide sexual health support in person, by phone or virtual appointment with a nurse or physician.

SFU Student Affordability Committee: This committee aims to improve food security at SFU by providing the SFU community with more affordable food, more accessible food and improved food utilization skills

Out on Campus: Out on Campus is SFU's centre for lesbian, gay, transgendered and bisexual people and their allies. The centre offers events and resources in a safe space where you can identify yourself however you want without prejudice or discrimination

SFSS Women’s Centre: The Women’s Centre provides support and resources for all self-identified women, trans, and intersex people, and offers education and services to all visitors and allies. They offer programming on a variety of different topics and activities all year round

Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO): SVSPO provides free and confidential support for SFU community who have been impacted by sexual violence, such as sexual assault or harassment, regardless of when or where it took place. People of all gender identities and sexual orientations are welcome

SFU Recreation:

  • Healthy At Home: SFU Recreation’s Healthy at Home initiative strives to make it easier to incorporate movement and meditation in your routine. Check out their live workout classes, at home work out videos, and/or stretch and meditation videos

  • Burnaby Campus: Regular physical activity helps to manage stress and enhance your mood. Whether you prefer to go to the fitness centre, a fitness class, join an intramural league, or swim a few laps at the pool, there's something for you. 

  • Surrey Campus or Vancouver Campus: There are various facility locations in Surrey or Vancouver for SFU staff/students offering swimming, weight rooms, racquetball, skating and fitness classes.

 

Additional Resources

Below find some off campus resources that are related to your physical wellness.

Canada's Food Guide: This site has information on eating well, choosing the right foods for you and maintaining lifelong healthy habits.

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP): Learn about the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and participate in a variety of physical activities that are enjoyable and safe. Physical activity guidelines are relevant to all healthy adults, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic status.

Healthy Families BC: This website offers tips for people of all ages to increase activity and eat healthy

Health Initiative for Men: Health Initiative for Men provides resources, education, and support to strengthen the health and well-being of gay men.

Health and Wellness Daily Organizer: The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) created this organizer to support community members to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle using the 4 Wellness Streams: Be Active, Eat Healthy, Nurture Spirit and Respect Tobacco.

Options for Sexual Health: Options for Sexual Health provides quality education, information, and clinical services to promote optimal sexual health for all British Columbians.

Quit Now – Smoking Cessation: This site offers quitting tips, support and resources for those trying to quit smoking - all services are provided free of charge.

Calm: It has free access to a wide range of soothing meditations, mindfulness practices, sleep stories and more.

Physical Wellness Apps

  • AllTrails - Has over 100,000 hiking trails and mountain bike routes that you can use the GPS for a map/directions, track your trips, and save your favourite trails. 

  • FitOn (iTunes / GooglePlay) Unlimited access to various workout classes including cardio, strength training, HIIT, yoga, Pilates, and more to help stay active and reduce stress. 

  • JEFIT - Exercise tracker app with detailed workout programs, video exercise instructions, and tools to track and log your workouts. 

  • MyFitnessPal - Track your food intake, water consumption, exercise and more. 

  • Period Tracker Lite (iTunes / GooglePlay) - Log and track your menstrual cycle to predict future period dates, ovulation and fertile days, symptoms, mood, and more.  

  • Sleep Cycle - This app tracks and analyzes your sleeping patterns to wake you up when you would feel the most well-rested.
  • Cookspiration - Recommends recipes with nutritional information.

 

Faculty and staff

Are you looking to promote physical health in your classroom or workplace? Everyone at SFU can help create a healthy campus community. Learn how you can support physical health as a teacher or administrator below.