Awareness of ourselves and our surroundings allows for deeper connection and enhanced perspectives. Know and use your strengths, practice mindfulness, and exercise gratitude.


Mindfulness is an awareness that arises from paying attention to the present moment, without judgement. Practicing mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve relationships, memory, and concentration.

  • Try a guided mindfulness session available through recordings created by SFU counsellors or apps
  • Take 5 deep breaths in and out, and try to keep your mind focused on the feeling of your breathing
  • Take 5 minutes to imagine or remember a place where you feel happy, calm, and at peace. When you find yourself feeling stressed, take 2 minutes to imagine yourself there
  • Make eating, walking, or other activities mindful activities by focusing your mind fully on experiencing the activity while you do it
  • Attend a free guided meditation or yoga session at SFU to connect with your body and unwind


Our strengths are positive traits that are shown through our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When we are using our strengths, we are functioning at our best.

  • Go online and complete a strengths survey such as the VIA Character Strengths tool to learn more about your best attributes and how to maximize them
  • Take a moment to think about one of your personal strengths—for instance, creativity, perseverance, or kindness, and consider how you could use this strength in a new way
  • Each night for a week, reflect on how you used your key strengths throughout the day
  • Be aware of overusing your strengths (i.e. too much curiosity may result in nosiness, too much humility may result in self-deprecation)


Gratitude involves noticing, appreciating, and being thankful for the things of value in your life. It has one of the strongest links to mental health and satisfaction with life of any personality trait.

  • Write down a few things you can smell, taste, touch and hear using a Bliss List
  • Before you go to sleep, write down three things you’re grateful for from your day (these don’t need to be big things; they can be as simple as being grateful for a warm cup of coffee)
  • Start “Thankful Thursdays” - a weekly gratitude practice with friends or colleagues that encourage you each to share what you are thankful for on a regular basis
  • Start a gratitude jar. Write one thing you are grateful for on a piece of paper everyday and place it in the jar. You can look back at it whenever you need to
Faculty and staff

Are you looking for ways to help grow social connections in your classroom or workplace? Everyone at SFU can work to make our campus a healthy community. Learn how you can support well-being as a teacher or administrator.