January 2020

The power of music on emotions, stress, and mental health

Olivia Shortt

Good mental health is achieved through many habits like a healthy diet, exercise, connecting with others, expressing emotions in constructive ways, and the list goes on. Many of these habits can involve creating or listening to music. Of the many benefits music has on mental health, the most noticeable is the release of stress and emotions.

Creative Self-Care: Activities to Cultivate Positive Mental Health

colouring page

Let’s take a moment to talk about self-care, creativity, and mental health. It can be difficult to learn how to take care of ourselves, but regularly taking part in new activities can help to cultivate positive mental health.

Accepting Your Emotions: Fostering Positive Mental Health

Purple flowers

Let’s take a moment to talk about mental health. Sometimes, it can be difficult for us to recognize when our mental health may be suffering.

How to Be a Better Ally: A Non-Exhaustive List of Resources

Pride March

Happy Pride Month Warriors!

As we near the end of June, we want to remind everyone that even though Pride Month is coming to an end, your advocacy, support, and allyship for the LGBTQ+ community should never end! Here are some of the ways you can continuously work to be a better ally for the LGBTQ+ community.

We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.

George Takei

Maintaining Healthy Long-Distance Relationships

Hands passing heart cutout

Back in March, during the fast-paced transition to social distancing, many of us found ourselves unable to receive the closure needed before switching to a virtual environment. For the majority of us, we did not know that the last time we saw our friends and loved ones would be the last time for quite a while.

Keeping Busy During Quarantine

Woman reading book

As quarantine measures extend, it is not uncommon to find yourself at a loss for what to do while spending most of your time at home. As we enter our fourth month of physical distancing, you may feel as though you have exhausted all activities and are starting to feel yourself losing motivation and productivity.

Diet and your immune system

green vegetables

Nutrition misinformation is rampant at any time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a further increase in deceitful marketing scams.

Cannabis 101 and Your Health


You might be curious about or considering trying pot. Or maybe you are already a person who uses cannabis and are interested in leaning how to enjoy cannabis responsibly. The perception of the prevalence of use of marijuana is different than reality. According to the University’s 2019 National College Health Assessment survey, 61.5% of University of Waterloo students surveyed had never tried cannabis. Whatever the case, you should take some time to learn more about cannabis so that you can make an informed decision.

Easy ways to add a little meditation into your daily routine

man meditating

Meditation and practising mindfulness can help you when you are in or approaching stressful situations. Meditation and mindfulness exercises are two ways you can help your body relax by focusing your thoughts and slowing your breathing.

Navigating the Food Environment During a Pandemic

women shopping

Eating well during a pandemic might seem like an impossible goal with all these guidelines and safety precautions in place. There is a lot of information and misinformation out there when it comes to food, grocery shopping, unpacking groceries and ordering take-out. With a little planning and savvy shopping, you can conquer this ever-changing environment, while still including healthy choices into your daily meals and staying safe! Use these tips to make your pandemic shopping a breeze:

Positive Psychology and Your Happiness

happy man

With the recent pandemic and major changes to our everyday way of life, we have been thinking about ways to experience meaning, purpose, and positive emotions in our daily activities. This has led us to do some further reading in the area of Positive Psychology - a relatively new and growing field of psychology. Positive Psychology can be defined as the study of “the good life” - or aspects of our experience that help build a life worth living. Martin Seligman, who is considered one of the founders of Positive Psychology, summarizes it as the 

How do you practice mindfulness in difficult moments?


You might have heard of the term mindfulness in connection to meditation. But mindfulness strategies include more than just meditation.

Making the Most of Working and Studying from Home

home office

With many students studying and working from home in order to practice #socialdistancing amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, many have been addressing concerns about online learning and how to stay productive and focused. We know you might be thinking - how do I prepare to move from in-class instruction to online learning?

Social Distancing and Your Mental Health

take care of yourself

With all that has changed in our daily lives over the past week, you might be starting to notice some changes to your mood, as social distancing and social isolation become the “new normal." Perhaps you are feeling more lonely, on edge, disconnected and even becoming anxious when worrying about the uncertainty of the future.

Managing your anxiety and stress during COVID-19

file folders

Your social media feeds, news outlets and email inbox have probably been flooded with COVID-19 updates. For many of us, the uncertainty of COVID-19 and the disruptions it has caused to daily life might be causing feelings of anxiety and stress. While these feelings are normal to experience—feelings of worry should not consume your life.

Put Safety First this St. Patrick's Day

dog with St. Patrick's hat

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon 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:

Myth or Fact - More Than Food


Welcome to March and Nutrition Month! For the ninth consecutive year, Sandra Ace, Dietitian for Campus Wellness has been sharing insights and advice related to nutririon. Sandra mentioned "that’s long enough to remember the humble origin of the largest nutrition-related public awareness campaign in Canada, which started at a community level over 30 years ago as “Nutrition Week.”" National Nutrition Month now informs millions of Canadians every year.

Boundaries, Respect and Consent!

candy hearts

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?

How can you THRIVE under stress? Good stress versus distress

positive message - thrive

Stress is not always a bad thing. Stress is simply the body's response to changes that create demands. There is a difference between Eustress (positive stress), and Distress (negative stress). In daily life, we often use the term "stress" to describe negative situations. This leads many people to believe that all stress is bad for you, which is not true.

Here are some characteristics and examples of Eustress and Distress. 

Mirrorless Monday Reminds Us Self-Worth Comes from Within

love yourself

Not everyone is fortunate enough to pass a mirror and see there reflection and think nothing of it. Some people get trapped in mirrors when they catch sight of some perceived flaw or defect – these imperfections can become all-consuming. Other people in passing may not even notice, but for some individuals, when they look at themselves, it is the ONLY thing they see.

Breaking Bad Habits


With the first month of the New Year wrapping up, taking a moment to reflect on how you’ve started off the new decade is a good idea. You may recall a post we did a few weeks ago on how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions.

Did you know we offer Interpretation Services?

interpreter symbol

The University of Waterloo is proud to have such a diverse student population. We have students from all over Canada, and even the world. In fact, 20% of our undergraduates and 40% of our graduate students are international.

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