Posts for Current graduate students

Healthy eating during stressful times

Healthy meal

Our need for nutrients actually increases during periods of stress. Ironically, this is the time when many people choose less nutritious foods. If you skip meals or rely on processed or fast foods instead of a balanced diet, your nutrient needs will not be met. Research links diets low in nutrients to an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Choosing nutritious foods and eating regular meals can improve your mood, enhance your energy and immune system and make it easier to manage stress.

How to practice moment-to-moment mindfulness

Girl walking with backpack

You might have heard of the term mindfulness in connection to meditation. But mindfulness strategies include more than just meditation. Mindfulness is the process of being present-focused (which means attending to the moment and not being pulled away by worries or regrets), non-judgmental (observing and describing our experiences), and accepting (not actively struggling against your experience). The great news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of time to practice mindfulness.

Test your sleep health knowledge

a bedroom

How well do you sleep on an average week? If you aren’t sure, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you ever fall asleep in class or at your computer?
  • Do you watch the clock as you struggle to fall asleep?
  • Do you routinely procrastinate and then pull all-nighters to meet your deadlines?

Sleep is an important part of a healthy self-care routine which also includes nutritious food, exercise, and mindfulness. Research shows that all-nighters and skipping sleep can impact your academic performance. Consistently getting an optimum amount of sleep is a way that you can do your best academically.

Spending time in nature to increase your wellness

Tents in a campground

Spending time outside can increase both your physical and mental wellness. A UK study which challenged people to do something outside for 30 days in a row found that “there was a scientifically significant increase in people’s health, happiness, connection to nature and active nature behaviours, such as feeding the birds and planting flowers for bees – not just throughout the challenge, but sustained for months after the challenge had been completed.”[i] Your time in nature doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Keep reading for some ways to spend mindful moments outside.

Study break exercises you can do at a desk

cartoon woman doing yoga

When you are focused on studying or getting that latest assignment done, it can be easy to sit down and look up only to see several hours have passed without noticing. But long periods of sitting have been shown to be detrimental to both our physical and mental health. Try to take a physical activity break at least once an hour with these exercises that can be done at or near your desk.

Making friends and finding a sense of belonging

friends talking

A sense of belonging to a greater community can improve your motivation, health, and happiness. Studies demonstrate that a sense of social belonging can affect motivation and continued persistence, even on impossible tasks. That is, if you don't feel like you belong, you are both less motivated and less likely to hang in there in the face of obstacles.  

If you are feeling lonely or like you don’t belong it is important to remember:

Grocery shopping tips

Grocery store aisle

When you keep your kitchen stocked with healthy food, you’re more likely to eat better, so shop for groceries regularly. Before you go, have your menu planned and shopping list written out. One more thing: don’t shop with an empty stomach!

Learn about sexual health to help you make informed choices and protect yourself

condoms

According to a Statistics Canada study, 3/10 young adults did not use a condom the last time they had sex. Having sex without a condom increases your risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS.

Meal planning tips to save you time and money

noodles

While it may not be high on the list of things that you look forward to doing, planning meals can make life much easier and can also save you time and money. You’ll be amazed at how much less stressful meals can be if you sit down for 10 minutes once a week to figure out what you’re going to eat and write out a shopping list before going to the store. Here are more tips.

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