January 2019

What are SMART goals and how to set them

notebook with motivational text

New goals can be exciting. You’re ready to make changes to improve yourself, you’re motivated to do what you’ve got to do to achieve this goal—so how do you get there? As we all know, New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to stick with, especially after the magic of the holidays wears off and life gets busy again. A great way to stick to goals that you want to achieve this year, is through practicing SMART goal setting!

What are SMART goals? SMART goals are a strategically thought out goals that are framed for success. SMART stands for…

Tips for Coping with S.A.D.

Person in yellow coat looking up to a grey sky

Ever had that experience where you’re studying inside in the morning, and the next thing you know, it’s 5 o’clock and it’s pitch black outside? Despite the fact that you still have plenty of time left in your day, the darkness can make you feel like the day is already done. 

What is a Lab Technician?

Microscope on black table

Visiting Campus Wellness can be overwhelming. It almost seems as if turning every corner leads down another hall filled with rooms and offices. At the same time, there are so many smiling faces ready to help you, whatever your need may be! We’d like to introduce you to Matt Sytsma!

Take Care of Yourself this Exam Season

Laptop, ceramic mug, notebook and phone on desk

Only a few more days before the end of the term- that means it’s time to hit the books. As time ticks down, you may be feeling stressed. It’s easy to forget about yourself when you’re trying to remember 3 months’ worth of content. Taking care of yourself is important, check out these tips to keep you in a healthy mindset: 

Benefits of unplugging


Trying to do some last-minute studying for finals, but notice that you can’t help but do one more scroll through social media? Don’t let your screen slow you down! Taking a break from screen time has tons of benefits:

Budget Friendly Meals

Seasonal produce lined up

As the term ends, you may be recalling all the times you went out with friends to grab a late-night meal in the warmer months and are running low on funds. Not to mention the impending holiday season, which might mean spending a little more than usual. Regardless of the reason, money can be a little tight right now, but that doesn't mean you need to sacrifice eating good food!

Why we should work towards a smoke-free campus

Black "no smoking" sign on a grey brick wall

Across the country, 65 universities are adopting a smoke free campus policy.

How to Thrive during the School Year

Three students jumping happily in the snow

            We know that studying can be stressful at times, and sometimes it feels like it’s taking up most of your days. With this week being THRIVE, we wanted to reach out and remind everyone that there are a many different ways to thrive on campus! Learning to balance your personal life and academics is really important to thriving. Here are some tips to help:

How to Survive Halloween Night

Halloween safety rules

It’s Halloween, and you know what that means: costumes, treats and lots of spooky fun. We understand that it’s time to unwind after midterms and before final season starts ramping up. Here are some tips to make sure you can enjoy Halloween safely:

Trouble with time management? Here are some tips to help you during this busy time.

We’re back from reading week and the term is officially halfway over. Midterms may still be approaching for some, or maybe you’re already gearing up for finals. On top of prepping for midterm or finals, you may also be juggling upcoming deadlines, co-op interviews, social obligations and more . . .

Flu Season is Coming!

tissue and tea

As the weather is getting colder, the flu season is upon us. In preparation for this, Health Services is hosting a number of vaccination clinics for the entire campus community. Here are some questions that you may have during this time:

What is the flu?

What is a Patient Flow Facilitator?

Patient Flow Facilitator

Ever wonder who those smiling faces are in those blue t-shirts at Health Services? They are Health Services’ Patient Flow Facilitators (PFF). We sat down with one of our PFFs, Ayesha Khan.

So tell us a little bit about yourself, what are you studying at UWaterloo?

I’m in my 4A in Health Studies, minoring in Gerontology.

Resolve Your Roommate Conflict

talking at a cafe

Sometimes, you may have a bad day. Maybe you woke up late, or you didn’t do as well as you would have liked on an assignment. When we don’t feel our best, we may not act our best. Next thing you know, you’re lashing out at a roommate over a small thing. Things can happen, and you may say things you don’t mean. But now things are awkward between you two. What can you do?

Thinking about birth control?

girls chatting

There are many options available to prevent pregnancy and regulate your period.

Some options include:              

  • Oral contraceptive pill
  • Contraceptive patch
  • Vaginal ring
  • Depo provera injection
  • Intrauterine Contraception (IUD/IUS)

Condoms are also effective in preventing most sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

For more information about birth control options, visit sexandu.ca

Which birth control is best for me? How do I get birth control?

Noticing Signs of Distress in You and Your Friends

Students reading a book

Tips for practicing healthy habits and managing your health at university

Student working on laptop outside

Starting a new chapter at university is an exciting time. There are lots of new things to learn academically, new things to try, and new people to meet. You also might be new to managing your health. There are many things to consider to keep yourself healthy. Keep reading for our top 10 ways to stay healthy while at university:

UW Co-op Connection: Combatting Loneliness While on Co-op

skiing students

Marina Angel, a 3rd year co-op student, shares her story with loneliness on co-op and how she combated isolation. Loneliness is a common feeling for university students, and can affect your mental wellness and ability to cope in new environments. Learn more about Co-op Connection and how you can stay connected to campus.

Welcome wellness into your new school year

sitting in the grass

Tips from Campus Wellness for leading a better-balanced lifestyle

Trans Health Care

pride flag outside

To serve our transgender student health needs at the University of Waterloo, Health Services provides inclusive Transgender care. Transgender primary care at Health Services is offered by physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, & dietician. Our staff have the specific training, knowledge, and skills necessary for providing best-practice focused care for transgender and gender diverse patients. Services provided at the clinic encompass general health care and assessments, referrals for surgery, hormone therapy, nutrition services and mental health support.

Our Family Health Clinic

family in sunset

One of the many services offered at UW’s Health Services is the Family Health Clinic. This clinic was created to support family members of registered University of Waterloo undergraduate and graduate students, visiting scholars, and post-doctorates. This clinic provides family members (parents, spouses, children) their primary health care (prenatal, well child, chronic illness management, urgent illness) so they are not left having to seek routine care provision through emergency rooms and walk-in clinics.

How to make a nutritious smoothie

nutritious smoothie

What makes a healthy smoothie?

Smoothies can be as simple or as complex as you would like, but they also vary widely in their nutrition. A nutritious smoothie should include a variety of nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals and include whole foods like vegetables and fruits. Be mindful of store-bought smoothies which can include processed ingredients such as syrups, concentrated fruit sugars, or sweetened dairy products. 

5- Minute Warrior Workout

shoes and water bottle

Take a 5 minute study break outside to try this 5 minute warrior workout!

Healthy snack ideas for study sessions

fruits and vegetables

Snacking on the right foods can help keep your body and brain well-fuelled during a busy day. You can prevent a mid-day energy crisis or a loss of concentration during that late-night study session by including a power-providing snack to keep you focused. Sugary or starchy foods, like cookies, crackers or candies will give you an immediate energy boost but can leave you feeling drowsy and sluggish after an hour or two. 

The Seven Pillars of Self-Care

pillars of self care

Self-care is a broadly used term to describe what people do for themselves to maintain health and prevent or deal with illness. International Self Care Day is July 24th but of course focusing on our wellness is something that is important in all aspects of our life every day!

Two Truths and a Lie about Vaping

vaping infographic

Vaping use has skyrocketed in the last couple years and can be seen within campus, in dorms and sometimes even in class. Unfortunately, most people see vapes as more of an accessory than a harmful substance.

E-cigarettes were originally marketed as a smoking cessation aid for people who were unable to quit. Ironically enough, the majority of e-cigarette users have never smoked cigarettes.

Cycling Safety and Bike Theft

two people riding bikes together

Riding a bike is one of the easiest ways to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine whether for transport or recreation. Cycling uses all major muscle groups among other benefits such as increased cardiovascular fitness and improved joint mobility. However, there are a number of bike riding safety tips that we should all be aware of when sharing the road with motorized vehicles.

With an increase in bikes left outdoors during warmer weather, bike thefts also become more frequent. Fortunately, there are ways to make your bike and its parts more secure!

Wellness Collaborative launch event in review

brochure about wellness collaborative

What does it look like when 400 people come together to create a culture of wellness? On June 25th, 2019 amid a sea of staff, faculty and students engaged in discussion and plans for the future of the University of Waterloo, it looked like a community ready to make a change. 

Finding a sense of belonging

group of young adults at a lake

Each one of us needs to feel appreciated and understood; we all need help

Campus and community wellness resources

scrabble support word

There are many services, programs, and resources available at the University of Waterloo and the surrounding area. Find one that is right for you from the list below or by visiting the Wellness Resource Database!

How to help a friend

two friends sitting on a bench

Being close friends with someone means we are often the first ones to notice a change in their behavior or appearance. Sometimes you might notice a friend is struggling with their mental health and want to help, but it can be really hard to know how, or if you should approach them.

Sun's Out, Work Out(side)

person walking in the forest

With warmer weather comes the opportunity to enjoy a beach day, hike to see a waterfall, bike to school, or take a walk without layers of sweaters. So what are the positive effects of doing physical activity outside and why should you consider it? Learn more about the benefits of outdoor workouts and how to include them in your routine.

Summer Safety Tip: Bee Stings and Bug Bites

girl sitting in grass reading a book

One of the best parts about campus during the spring, besides shorter lines for coffee, is enjoying the weather outside. Whether you’re studying on one of the patio chairs at Dana Porter or taking a nap on the grass, it is important to know how to handle any bug bites or bee stings that might occur.

Summer Safety Tip: Drinking Responsibly

laughing people in a patio party

As the warm weather approaches you might find yourself attending more BBQ’s, pool parties and other outdoor events, where alcohol may be present. If you are going to consume, here are some tips to remember to drink responsibly! 

Learn how to control your asthma

Respiratory therapist with patient

Do you have Asthma? A Respiratory Therapist from St. Mary’s General Hospital comes to Health Services regularly to assist students in managing their asthma. You can talk to your Health Services Doctor or Nurse Practitioner about making an appointment.

During a visit with the Respiratory Therapist you’ll complete:

Spring term resources and hours

Students in a workshop

Welcome back for another term at University of Waterloo. Here’s an overview of some of the Campus Wellness services you can access as a University of Waterloo student:

Why take a seminar or workshop from Campus Wellness?

Students in a workshop

Interview with Gursharan Kahlon

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your work here at Campus Wellness.

Resiliency Skills

Plant growing out of a street

We all experience times in our lives where we face challenges and difficulties, especially as a student. We are often told to ‘Be strong,’ or ‘Be more resilient’ when going through these times.

App and Podcast Reviews: Wehl – A Social Community for Wellness & Meditation Podcast

Wehl Screens


Wehl is a mobile friendly social media community for your wellness. “It’s a place to be inspired, inspire others and spread good.”

Meditation for Busy People

Balanced Rocks

Meditation and practising mindfulness can help you when you are in or approaching stressful situations such as exams. Carving time out of your day to calm your mind has numerous potential benefits such as stress reduction, increased self-awareness, promotes emotional health and many more.

Sleep Tips

Sleeping Cat

Do you have a tough time staying awake throughout the day? Do you struggle with falling asleep at night or do you routinely procrastinate leading you to pull all-nighters to meet deadlines? If you answered yes to any of those, research shows that these habits are not helpful for academic performance and aren’t healthy. Making good optimal sleep a routine can help you succeed academically, eat less, and help you remain healthy mentally and physically. A good night’s rest is a vital component to our health and well-being, making sleep just as important as a healthy diet and exercise.

Nutrition FAQs

Eat Right

Don’t forget the most important meal of the day!

Studies have shown students who skip breakfast have more fatigue, poorer concentration and miss out on key nutrients. While it’s tempting to hit that snooze button and get a few extra minutes of sleep, giving yourself time to eat is worth it. Don’t fall for the early morning sugar trap of eating sweet cereals or pastries. Your afternoon self will thank you for doing so!

Here are 5 great and quick healthy breakfast ideas:

St. Patrick's Day

Clover Leaves

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this week and if you choose to drink, make sure you take some steps to stay safe. Make sure you tell someone about your plans, carry your ID, Health Card and emergency contact info just in case you visit the hospital.

Keep the following tips in mind if you decide to make alcohol a part of your St. Patrick’s Day plans:

7 Tips for Exam Prep

Desk filled with books and computer

Exams can be one of the most stressful times during a student’s education. Here are 7 tips to keep in mind during these periods of high stress to help you conquer your exams.

5 Self Care Tips

Sunset Clouds

We all strive for a balance between every aspect of our lives such as socialization, school, activities, time for ourselves, etc. While academics are very important, it’s vital to find time to care for yourself as well. Learning these skills now can help you even beyond university. Here are some tips to help you get through stressful times and to reset your mind:

1.    Sleep

Effective Relaxation Techniques

and breathe

The all mighty midterm season is upon us. Whether you are going to be taking your midterms or marking them, it can be a stressful time for us all. Remaining relaxed during the midterm weeks can improve focus, reduce stress, boost working memory, and combat trouble sleeping. Here are some relaxation exercises provided by Campus Wellness to help you relax during these high-stress weeks.

If you want to be my lover, you gotta get my consent

heart balloons in the air

Before you assume, there’s this thing called consent. Do you know what consent entails? Have you asked for consent yet? Have both you and your partner said yes?

Seven tips to forming and maintaining a healthy relationship

Hands in a heart shape

Relationships can be exciting and fulfilling. From acquaintances to romances, there is the potential that relationships can add enjoyment to our lives. Even though our goal is to have healthy relationships, there are unhealthy relationships to be aware of. Although no relationship is perfect, a healthy relationship should bring you more happiness than stress in your life.

So what does a healthy relationship look like?

Bell Let's Talk Day 2019

Bell Let's Talk, 30th of January 2019

Bell Let’s Talk is back this year, and you're invited to get engaged with the world’s largest conversation about mental health. On Wednesday, January 30th, Bell Let’s Talk Day will engage Canadians for the eighth time, to destigmatize mental health concerns.

Canada’s 2019 Food Guide: What’s in and what’s out

Food plate

New year, new recommendations for how to design your plate! If you haven’t heard already, Health Canada just released a revamped food guide, making some substantial changes. The biggest updates? A spotlight on plant-based eating and a phasing out of specific food groups and serving sizes, replaced with a balanced, healthy plate. 

It’s time to stick to your new year’s resolution

The new year is here! What better time for the Wouldurather contest helping you with your new year resolutions and habits. The Wouldurather contest is back offering young adults their shot at $10,000 in cash prizes in exchange for their commitment to quitting, cutting back, or staying smoke-free during the span of the contest. Registration is completely free and online, no appointments necessary. The contest begins, and registration closes on Monday, January 28th, 2019 hosted by Leave The Pack Behind.

Ways of overcoming seasonal depression this winter term

Snowy Trees

Winter term has begun which means the days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping, and the amount of geese is declining. If you get the “winter blues” this season, you may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This condition is a kind of depression appearing only at certain times of the year. For most people, SAD begins in the fall when the days get shorter and lasts through the winter. Some common symptoms of SAD are feeling sleepy all the time, sad, low energy, hopeless, stressed, etc. It is common for Canadians to encounter SAD due to having a northern climate. It is believed that winter SAD may be caused by the lack of sunlight which interferes with the body’s biological clock that regulates sleep, hormones and mood.

Campus Wellness services available for you

counsellor with student

Welcome back for another term at University of Waterloo. Here’s an overview of some of the Campus Wellness services you can access as a University of Waterloo student:

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