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Campus Well-Being

Coping Skills

Improving Mental Wellness for International Students

March 22, 2022

This is a guest post from Rong (Angela) Ge, a current student at the Language Training Center, she is currently completing her practicum with the Campus Well-Being Unit at RRC Polytech. Angela graduated from Nanjing University with major in Psychology. She worked in an education service centre for the past three years and has helped hundreds of international students settle down in Winnipeg. For now, Angela is moving forward to study in the Health Care field and is focusing on the individual mental wellness in the community.

How Do we improve our mental wellness as International Student?

Studying abroad is a challenge for each and every international student. If you are an international student, do you have a moment like this? Not feeling well but can not tell your parents thousands of miles away, or feeling so lonely and overwhelmed at night?

The main cause of mental health barriers among the international students is that they are taking too much pressure. Therefore, it requires special attention on their mental wellness.

Academic Stress

Generally, most of the parents have high expectations. They hope their children can adapt quickly to a non-native language environment and achieve excellent scores. In fact, the students need more time to get used to the new environment, since they just arrived in a different country, meeting different people, having a different life style. However, when the international students are unable to achieve the desired goals, they are considered not working hard enough.

Economic pressure

Most international students, therefore, depend on their family savings to fund the tuition and living expenses. Compared with the local students, their tuition fees are much higher, and they need to live on a budget to keep life balanced.

Emotional and social stress

This barrier is particularly acute among international students. Initially, their parents who used to take care of them are far away, and the old friends who used to listen to them are not around. Lacking friends and social activities make international students feel even more lonely.

What can we do?

In this special period, all of us are gripping for a way out, but we should pay more attention to the international students, especially their psychological construction. Every international student is brave and excellent. It is worth praising that they can go abroad to live and study alone. However, since there are some misapprehensive voices in the society, many international students are afraid to seek help when they encounter psychological issues, for fear of being looked down upon.

Hopefully, every international student can be safe and healthy.

Here are some tips for improving mental wellness.

  • Develop a good habit

Good Habits are essential to our health. They can make the chances of achieving and maintaining our lifestyle goals such as exercising regularly and managing learning time, along with increasing quality of life.

  • Self-regulation

Take a break when we are facing with a tough situation. Take the time to think things through, make a plan, wait patiently before acting.

  • Get enough sleep

Sleep is an essential function that allows our body and mind to recharge. Healthy sleep helps us reduce stress and improve our mood, think more clearly and do better in school, and get along better with people.

  • Go outside and in the sun

Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping us feel calm and focused.

  • Live in the moment

Abraham Maslow once said, “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” Only in the present can help us achieve true happiness, peace, and joy.

  • Seek help in the community

By the time reading this blog, there is no doubt that you are a member of this community. To support students and staff to stay well in spirit and mind, RRC Polytech is committed to providing excellent counselling service and support.

Click here to learn more about counselling here

Keep in mind, you are not alone. Growing and learning are important, but you need to allow yourself to pause, take a break, and then move forward.


关注国际留学生心理健康问题

作者简介:葛蓉(Angela Ge),现就读于红河理工学院语言中心,毕业于南京大学社会心理学专业。 在过去的三年,Angela曾就职于一家教育服务中心,协助和陪伴数百位国际留学生在温尼伯展开留学生活。如今,Angela计划学习医疗领域的相关课程,并且持续关注社区中个人心理健康问题。

对每一位国际留学生而言,海外求学永远是一项挑战。如果你是一名国际留学生,你是否有过如下的时刻?伤心失落却不能告知千里之外的父母,亦或者是某一个深夜,孤独和无措相伴?

造成国际留学生心理健康问题的最主要因素,是他们承担了太多的压力。因此,这需要我们更多的关注。

学业压力

一般来说,大部分的家长给予了过高的期待。他们希望自己的孩子能快速的适应非母语环境且取得完美的分数。可实际上,学生们需要更多的时间来习惯新的环境,因为他们目前正处于一个新的国家,会遇见不同的人,拥有不一样的生活方式。然而,当留学生们没有办法达到预期的目标时,他们就会被认为是努力不够。

经济压力

大多数留学生是需要家庭的支持才能支付学费和生活费的。相较于本地学生,他们的学费会高很多,所以需要省吃俭用来平衡学业和生活。

情绪和社交压力

这个问题存在于大多数的留学生当中。照顾我们的家人远在海外,愿意倾听的挚友不在身边。缺乏朋友和社交活动,使得留学生们越发觉得孤独。

我们可以做什么?

在这个特殊的时期,每个人都在寻求出路,留学生们需要我们更多的关注,尤其是他们的心理健康。每一位留学生都是勇敢和出色的,他们在海外求学和生活的行为值得我们称颂。但是,因为有一些不理解的声音存在,有些留学生在面临心理问题时,不敢寻求帮助,怕被别人瞧不起。

真心的希望,在求学的道路上,留学生们能安全和健康。这里有些小贴士可以帮助大家提高身心健康。

  • 养成良好的生活习惯

好的生活习惯对健康尤其重要。它们可以让我们有机会实现和维持我们的生活目标,比如定期锻炼和管理学习时间,同时提高生活质量。

  • 自我调整

在我们遇到困难的时候,让自己休息一下。在做出下一步行动之前,好好的考虑,做一个计划,或者静静的等待。

  • 保有充足的睡眠

睡眠可以让我们的身体和头脑在夜间充电。健康的睡眠可以减少压力和改善绪,考虑事情更清晰,在学校表现的更好,以及和他人友好相处。

  • 出门晒晒太阳

研究表明,曝露在阳光下,可以使大脑释放一种叫血清素的荷尔蒙。血清素与改善情绪、帮助我们感到平静和专注有关。

  • 活在当下

马斯洛(著名的心理学家)曾经说过:“活在当下的能力是心理健康的一个重要组成部分。”只有活在当下才能帮助我们获得真正的幸福、安宁和欢乐。

  • 在社区中寻求帮助

当你读这篇文章的时候,毫无疑问你已经是我们的一员。为了支持学生和教职员保持良好的精神和思想,红河理工学院致力于提供优秀的心理辅导服务和支持。

点击这里了解更多:    https://www.rrc.ca/counselling

记住,你不是一个人。成长和学习虽很重要,但是你需要允许自己停下来,休息一下,然后继续前行。

Free Self Care Meditation and Journaling Workshop- Immersive Experience

March 15, 2022

Andrea Schroder, from the Creative Dream Incubator, will lead participants through a 60-minute in-person workshop. Join Andrea to relax, get in touch with yourself, and explore the concept of self-care.

We recognize that the last two years have been hard, and the last thing we need right now is to be hard on ourselves. Therefore, this workshop will focus on JOY as a remedy for stress and look for simple and joyful ways to increase self-care.

The workshop is an experiential workshop where you will be guided through different types of meditation and visualization to relax your body and mind deeply. We will go back and forth between meditation and journaling to process your thoughts and feelings and develop new ideas for simple ways to reduce stress and increase joy in your life.

Bring a journal/notebook and something to write with.

About Andrea

Andrea is a life coach, spiritual counselor, artist and avid journaler. She has a degree in fashion design and is an accredited spiritual teacher. Andrea created the Creative Dream Incubator in 2011. Andrea has over 25 years’ experience teaching and studying the intersection of creativity and spirituality.

You can find more information about Andrea on her website here

Event will be held in person at the Notre Dame Campus in the eTV Immersion room. Masks are required. To register contact Pamela Villafranca. Registration is limited so contact Pamela quick!

The Details

Date: March 29th 2022

Time: 12:00pm -1:00pm

Location: eTV Immersion Room

In person: Masks required

For questions or accessibility need, please contact Pamela.

MindWell: Free Events for March

February 28, 2022

MindWell has some incredible trainings and programs coming up for you this month:

  • Mindful Cooking: Healthy Meals Made Simple – Part 4
  • Performance Management from the Inside Out: Mental Health for Leaders
  • Building Fitness Habits
  • Improve Your Sleep

These programs are included as part of your MindWell account. All MindWell Events and Workshops are FREE of Charge for students, faculty and staff at RRC Polytech. Be sure to spread the word to your classmates and colleagues about these events, and make a plan to attend together! Working on our wellness can be a group activity!

Mindful Cooking Thursdays at 1pm ET / 10am PT | Begins Thursday, March 3rd

In Mindful Cooking Part 4, Chef Kristin will show you how to take the stress out of health eating through easy-to-prepare recipes that will keep you full and fueled throughout the day.

Register Here 

Performance Management from the Inside Out: Mental Health for Leaders Wednesday, March 9th, 2022 | 1pm ET / 10amPT

We continue to face new challenges and stressors inside and outside of the workplace as the pandemic continues. As leaders, supporting our own mental health is critical for clear decision-making, effective communication, achieving goals and supporting the success of our teams.

Register Here

Studio Be Build Fitness Habits- Every Monday in March

Lasting habits begin small.

This March, join Lucia’s fitness class every Monday to build the foundation of movement with a focus on the core and explore how a small but consistent commitment to showing up can shift your mindset around lifelong exercise.

Register Here

 Improve Your Sleep – Every Friday in March

For the month of March, join Ross each Friday in our Studio Be class, ‘Experience Mindfulness’ to learn how to tackle restlessness and get a better nights’ sleep.

Register Here

Sign up for a MindWell Account to access all training and workshops for Free! Click here to sign up. 

February Paint Night- Paint Night Creations

February 7, 2022

In January, we asked staff, students, and faculty to share the art they created at our January Paint Night- Below are the wonderful creations!

Art can be used to decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels in our brain and releases endorphins that help us manage the experiences of anxiety. Creating art is a fantastic stress reliever! Paint night can mean taking care of yourself in a different way than what we usually do for ourselves. Keep an eye open in the staff news/student news for our next paint night updates.

Painting is just one way that creativity can promote stress management, but if painting is not for you that’s okay! We curated a list of accessible and beginner friendly crafts, take a look at the list below.

Creative Projects

February Paint Night

With a Cold and Dreary winter, we may be searching for hobbies or ways to help promote our own self-care. We will be holding another paint night for folks to join in and tune in to their creative side. Practicing art and embracing our creativity can help us to feel grounded, assist with managing stress, and an opportunity to focus on creating with our hands. Please join us for a free Paint Night to tune in to that part ourselves as we approach spring.

The Details

Date: February 17th, 2022

Time: 6-8pm

Platform: WebEx

Register Here

About the Artist

Kisa MacIsaac, RRC grad and owner of Power of Painting, will (virtually) lead you through an evening of self-care as you create your very own painting.

THRIVE events encourage balance and self-care that in turn supports good mental health. All THRIVE events are offered at no charge to participants and are open to staff, students, and faculty.

Need Supplies?

For this virtual paint night, you’re welcome to use your own supplies or sign up to borrow a supply pack. Supply packs will include the canvas, paint, and brushes and can be requested when you register. Brushes and unused paint must be returned to your campus so they can be reused.

We have a limited number of supply packs, so be sure to register early.

There is abundant evidence that taking time to express ourselves through creativity in a social group improves mental health and overall well-being. Don’t miss this chance to make yourself a priority.

More on the Instructor

Kisa MacIsaac (she/her) is Métis, a mother, artist, educator, and a RRC graduate (ECE diploma 2005). She works in a nonprofit early learning and

childcare program in Winnipeg’s inner city and leads wellness painting events as well as creating custom artworks. Making art is medicine –

it has the power reduce stress and anxiety, it is relaxing. Everyone can make art, it’s all about letting go of fear and just creating and going with the flow!
Check out: Power of Painting – Workshops and Art by Kisa
Facebook.com/powerofpainting
IG: @powerofpainting204

February Fitness Classes: Yoga, Strength and Movement

February 1, 2022

Campus Well-Being Coordinator, Evelyn Carriere, delivering Full Body Strength and Conditioning class to students and staff who are working out at home.

The Campus Well-Being team is here to support your physical and mental health. Until we can welcome you to our facilities in person, we invite students and staff to join our live, virtual classes.

To join, simply register and show up ready to move. Your camera and microphone will be turned off, but you will be able to communicate with your instructor using the chat box. Our goal is to help you refresh and rejuvenate before you get back to your school or work day.

Full Body Strength and Conditioning with Evelyn Carriere

  • Mondays and Wednesdays 12:15-12:45pm
  • Body weight only, equipment is optional for additional challenge
  • Modifications for all fitness levels

Register for each class that works for you:

Functional Moving with Mario De Negri

  • Thursdays 12:15-12:45pm
  • Functional movement and restoring
  • Rubber exercise bands, body weight and light weights are used
  • Modifications for all fitness levels

Register for each class that works for you:

Yoga with Holly Pluchinski

  • Tuesdays 4-4:30pm
  • Fridays at noon-12:30pm
  • Yoga for all levels

Register for each class that works for you:

For any questions or accessibility needs, please contact recreation@rrc.ca.

To further support your wellness, check out our virtual paint night, cooking night and our free fitness and lifestyle consultations.

Wellness in the time of COVID-19  

January 21, 2022

Many of us feel the continued pressure that the global pandemic has brought into our lives. Many of us are still working and learning from home, which can feel not very reassuring for some. In contrast, others may feel comfortable with the continuation of virtual life. Many of us are also sitting in a place where we feel tired and unsure of what the future has to bring. The Campus Wellness Team curated resources that approach wellness through a holistic lens- meaning the body and mind are parts of ourselves that require care during challenging and difficult times. Prioritizing caring for our mind and body during grief helps us combat isolation. And It gives us the tools to be able to support our mental health.

Below you will find some resources to help maintain physical and mental wellness during a time of social distancing. For additional information, continue to check www.rrc.ca for updates. 

RRCP Recreation Services

  • Monthly fitness challenges – challenge your friends to see how many you can accomplish at home!
  • New: Weekly Fitness classes facilitated live- Check out staff and student news 

Fitness Apps 

Several are free, but check to ensure before you download. Some examples include: 

  • Tone It Up (Apple and Google Play) 
  • New: BodySpace – this includes an online community component (Free)
  • New: 7 Minute Workout: Fitness App (Apple and Google Play) (Free with paid options) 
  • New: NIKE Training Club App (NTC (Free with paid options)

Fitness Bloggers 

Follow your favorite fitness professional on social media, or check out a new community to share your progress. 

  Many fitness facilities and companies are live streaming classes or providing online content. Check your local yoga studio, gym or other fitness facility to see if they are hosting anything. Alternatively, check out one of the options below. 

Fitness Subscription & Online Classes 

Please note that these options may involve fees. 

Fitness Streaming  

Mindfulness & Meditation 

  Mental Health Bloggers 

Relaxation 

Social Connection 

  • Check staff news for events organized by Campus Wellbeing  
  • Connect with mental health coordinator 
  • Schedule a fitness and lifestyle consultation 
  • Schedule an informal coffee break on WebEx. Grab your beverage and just chat about whatever you feel like. 
  • Challenge yourself to reach out to colleagues and friends  
  • Send voice messages or hold video calls with friends and family 
  • Plan a skating day at the Forks 
  • Send in a Cheers for Peers to a colleague
  • If children are home from school, consider creating a daily schedule 
  • New:  Take a course at McNally Robinson 
  • New: Meet friends at the Winnipeg Art Galley- Free and Paid Classes  

Creativity 

 

Stress and anxiety are normal reactions to abnormal situations. Now more than ever, it’s important to prioritize self-care and finding activities that help us feel grounded.   Reach out to the Campus Well-being Team if you have any questions about campus Mental Health and Fitness resources.

 

New! Fitness and Lifestyle Consultations

January 16, 2022

Campus Well-Being is now offering fitness and lifestyle consultations to staff and students.

Looking for some expert fitness advice? Not sure where to start on your journey to better overall health? Book a free, virtual session with one of our certified fitness professionals.

What to expect from a consultation

Your consultation will will take 30 to 40 minutes and can be done over the phone or via MS Teams. Your coach will ask you some questions about your current health, fitness, and lifestyle before collaborating with you on a plan to take concrete, actionable steps to better your health.

You are welcome to book up to two additional check-ins with your coach to talk about your progress and any obstacles you’ve faced.

How to book a session

To book a consultation, please contact a coach directly to set up a mutually agreeable time.

Your coaches

Mario De Negri

Mario De Negri is the Fitness Coordinator for Red River College Polytechnic. He’s been training in fitness and wellness for over 20 years and has a number of certifications in personal training, yoga and massage. He’s traveled abroad to study different forms of training in health and wellness and has completed a couple 10-day non-speaking meditations. His personal goal is to live to be 100 years old. He believes that being healthy isn’t just about picking up weights, but involves working on one’s inner and outer aspects in order to naturally feel more comfortable in one’s own body.

Mario is available Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-6pm. Book a consultation by contacting him at mdenegri@rrc.ca.

Evelyn Carriere

The reason Evelyn trains is to keep up with her Grandma. Evelyn has always admired her energy and adventurous lifestyle! By 90 years of age, she was still doing handstands against the wall in her condo. Evelyn wants to follow in Grandma’s footsteps while encouraging others to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. It’s never too late to be a boss.

Certifications

  • CPT (Certified Personal Trainer), American Council on Exercise
  • Senior Fitness Specialist
  • Emergency First Aid & CPR/AED Level C, Canadian Red Cross

Experience

  • 2 + Years in Fitness Industry (Small group + team training, 1-on-1 coaching, Crossfit Masterclass 55+)
  • 13 + Years Coaching Volleyball (Canada and Europe)
  • 3 Years as a Professional Athlete (Indoor Volleyball)

Evelyn is available to Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-11am. Book a consultation by contacting her at emcarriere@rrc.ca.

Limitations

Fitness and lifestyle consultations are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Staff and students should consult a medical professional if they are seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.

Cookies with Kerri- Creativity, Coping, and Cookies

December 20, 2021

The holiday season is the perfect time for gathering with friends, new and old, and sampling sweet treats.

This heart-warming combination came together in a special virtual event planned by RRC Polytech’s Language Training Centre (LTC) and Student Life as part of the Healthy Minds, Healthy College Strategy. 

“Cookies with Kerri,” hosted by Kerri Korabelnikov, dean for the School of Education, Arts & Sciences, saw 50 students register for an online chocolate chip cookie baking lesson. While everyone got to enjoy a tasty treat at the end, the aim of the event went beyond baking.

“This wasn’t about just chocolate chip cookies, it was about connecting with people and creating a community,” says Korabelnikov. “It was very energizing; everyone was laughing and having a lot of fun.”

Students now living in Winnipeg but originally from around the world, including Korea, Mexico, and Colombia, collected ingredient kits in advance. On a blustery December evening, they joined together to participate step-by-step in a two-hour online session, hosted by Korabelnikov and supported by Michelle Johnson, manager of Student Integration and Employment Outreach at the LTC.

Students were also encouraged to involve their children in the cookie-making class, which made the experience even more special, says Korabelnikov.

The online baking activity was a family affair for LTC student Heidi Novelo Poot and her eight-year-old daughter, Maya.

“It was something different that you can enjoy with the kids and meet other people,” says Novelo Poot. “She (Maya) was so proud, and I think that was the best part. And those cookies were very good, and the recipe was easy.”

Another student, Gabriel Novelo (no relation to Novelo Poot), has been in Manitoba since moving from Mexico in August and is taking classes with the LTC. Activities like “Cookies with Kerri” are a good way to connect with people, Novelo says, something that is more challenging in the middle of a pandemic.

“I wanted to participate with students from other classes. As a newcomer, I need to be in touch with as many students as possible,” Novelo says. “As a newcomer, you need to integrate and take part in all of the activities.”

For Novelo, who operated a food truck in Mexico, the experience marked another first.

“It was fantastic because I used to cook in my food truck, but I never baked. This was the first time I had the chance to bake something,” says Novelo, adding the cookies “magically disappeared” quickly.

In addition to building a stronger sense of community, there are other positive mental health benefits to activities like baking, says Pamela Villafranca, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC Polytech.

“We want to introduce students to different self-care activities. We may not think of it this way, but cooking, baking and prepping food can be a form of self-care; it can be therapeutic for some folks, the process of working with your hands, mixing the ingredients, and getting to sample the final product can feel really good,” says Villafranca. “This workshop promoted connection and community building, and taking a break from your studies to learn a new skill.”

Villafranca shares some key wellness tips to stay connected and support your mental health:

  • Find ways to stay connected with your peers and your instructors – join group chats, use instructor office hours, turn on your video in class, and participate, such as asking questions in class
  • Recognize that we need a variety of forms of self-care, and we may need varying types of self-care at different times of our lives
  • Try something new! Baking cookies is one example of a self-care activity that helps you get creative, learn something new, and work with your hands
  • Learn about the services that you can access for support, including the Mental Health Coordinator and Student Support Services department

Above all, Villafranca notes: “We want the students to know that staff and faculty are here for them, and we want to support them.”

To learn more about wellness initiatives at RRC Polytech, the Healthy Minds Healthy College Blog. 

You can also try out Kerri’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup white sugar 1 tsp baking soda
1 cup margarine or butter 2 tsp hot water
1 1/2 cups brown sugar 2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix white sugar, margarine or butter and brown sugar together
  3. Combine baking soda and hot water in separate dish
  4. Add baking soda/water, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour to sugar mixture and stir
  5. Stir in chocolate chips
  6. Form dough into small balls and place on cookie sheet
  7. Bake at 350F for 9 -11 minutes
  8. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and let cool
  9. Enjoy your delicious cookies

And feel free to reach out and let us know what you think!

2022 Mental Health Events- Create a Vision Board!

December 14, 2021

Join RRC alumni, Amanda Le Rougetel for a night of Vision Board fun!

What is a Vision Board?

Also known as dream boards, a vision board is a visualization tool which refers to a board of any sort used to build a collage of words and pictures that represent your goals and dreams. These inspirational collages serve as your image of the future – a tangible example, idea or representation of where you are going. By putting a vision board somewhere you can see it every day, you will prompt yourself to visualize your ideal life on a regular basis.

What supplies do you need?

All you need is: a pair of scissors, glue, stock paper/poster board, and magazines!

Don’t have any magazines, but still want to participate? Register below, and check ‘yes‘ to needing supplies.

Magazines must be picked up at the Notre Dame or Exchange District campus. Pick-up times will be directly e-mailed to you.

Don’t forget – you can also participate virtually with absolutely no supplies with the help of Canva!

REGISTER HERE

Mindwell Programs- Leadership, Meditation, and Drop-In Mindfulness

December 14, 2021

As we step into the new year, MindWell is offering bite-sized programs and classes to help you create lasting positive change to support your mental health and wellness into the new year. Below are some of the offerings of MindWell programs and drop-ins available to RRC Polytech, staff, faculty and students.  All you have to do is sign up for a MindWell account and you will have access to all mental health workshops and drop-ins. 

 

What’s on Offer?

  • Taking Care of the Mind that Leads

For all managers and people leaders, learn how to ground and remain resourced, relaxed and responsive as you effectively lead your team to success.

Learn more >>>

app.mindwellu.com/rrc/webinar

  • Learn to Meditate: Modern Mindfulness for a Busy Life

Akin to training your muscles at the gym, mindfulness capabilities can be strengthened by meditation. Learn the basics and create your own simple meditation practice.  All skill levels welcome! 

Learn more >>>

app.mindwellu.com/rrc/dropin#thu_programs

  • Choose Your Own Well-Being

MindWell’s virtual mindfulness studio with drop-in classes every day of the week! Sign up for one of these 20-minute sessions to get your daily dose of mindfulness and community! Find what works for you, and learn new skills to support your wellness.

Learn more >>> 

app.mindwellu.com/rrc/dropin 

 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Mental Health Coordinator, Pamela at pvillafranca@rrc.ca