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Campus Well-Being

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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.

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.

 

Bell Let’s Talk Day

January 10, 2022

Bell Let’s Talk focuses on destigmatizing, building awareness, acceptance, and action in mental health. Of course, events will look slightly different this year, but continuing conversations about our mental health is more important than ever.

Hearing the stories others have to tell about their experiences overcoming and navigating mental health barriers helps us normalize and minimize the stigma or shame that we may feel concerning our own mental health.

Bell Let’s Talk Day represents a community coming together to learn about ourselves and the experiences of others and to create dialogue about what it means for us to support our mental health and wellness.

The Healthy Minds, Healthy College strategy focuses on ensuring that mental health resources in various capacities are accessible to the staff, students, and faculty at Red River College Polytechnic

For Bell Let’s Talk Day, we have compiled a list of self-led & facilitated activities to encourage participation in the mental health narrative by understanding and destigmatizing our experiences.

Please join us on January 26th from 12:00-1:00pm for a live facilitated workshop where we watch films curated by Student Life on Mental Health and discuss together ways to destigmatize and open up the conversation about mental health and wellness.

Explore Resources

Browse through the Wellness and Counselling Services websites and get up to speed on the variety of resources available to students. Staff resources can be found on the Staff Forum.

Pick up Bell Let’s Talk Merchandise

On January 26th drop by the Student Association Office at the NDC and receive a free Bell Let’s Talk Package including a toque, worksheets, and key fob. For questions about this please contact Pamela Villafranca

Contribute to the Virtual Photo Booth

Capture and share a photo of you wearing a digital Bell Let’s Talk toque and add a message about how you are taking care of your mental health. Access the virtual photo booth here.

Participate in Self-Led Activities

Download the Bell Let’s Talk Toolkit that has self led activities, such as Self Care Activity Challenge, Kindness Box, Chatterbox, and Mandala Art. Access the toolkit here

Jack.org Pre-Recoded Jack Talk (online)

Attend the Jack.Org event on Mental Health 101- a course designed to help and develop an understanding of mental health through storytelling, and hearing individuals lived experiences.  Jack.org

Join the Social Media Campaign

On January 26, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for every applicable text, local or long distance call, tweet or TikTok video using #BellLetsTalk, every Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video, and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Facebook frame or Snapchat filter.

Mental Health Film Viewing- Facilitated Live Event

When: January 26th

TIme: 12:00pm-1:00pm

Platform: WebEx

Join us on January 26th to spend time together and watch a few short films on the topic of mental health, isolation, and stigma. Together we will discuss the films and practice grounding activities. Films are curated by the Student Life team and are chosen to represent various parts of ones mental health. Support will be available to all participants during the event. Register Here

 

 

 

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

Solutions for Better Sleep: Q&A with Dr. Elizabeth Hebert

January 19, 2021

How’s your sleep? If you’re finding it hard to get enough good sleep, you’re not alone.

Sleep is a key part of overall health and wellness so when it’s difficult or disrupted, your whole life can suffer. Join Dr. Elizabeth Hebert, licensed clinical psychologist and sleep expert, to find effective sleep solutions.

Date: Thursday, January 28

Time: 1-2pm

Platform: WebEx (register here)

Improving your sleep will help you do well in your studies, at work, and in life. Don’t miss this session and be sure to bring your questions for Dr. Hebert. All staff and students are welcome.

If you can’t attend at the scheduled time, watch staff and student news for a recording.

Questions or accessibility needs can be directed to Breanna Sawatzky.

Shorter Days Bringing You Down?

November 17, 2020

This time of year, the shortened days and chilly temperatures can take a toll on our mental health. Even in a usual November, less daylight, more time spent indoors, and less physical activity can lead to a case of the winter blues. This year, as many of us are studying and working from home with less reason to leave our home, those winter blues can really drag us down.

Yes, it’s not technically winter yet, but here in Manitoba, we feel it already. Many people report having less energy, experiencing lower mood, and having more intense food cravings.

There are things we can do, however, to help promote good mental health. Here are some suggestions:

  • Get outside during daylight hours. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, the light and air will help.
  • Exercise regularly. Whether indoors or outdoors, regular exercise boosts your mood and energy levels. Movement of any kind helps. Try our livestreamed Friday lunchtime yoga class.
  • Connect with friends virtually. Make a point of spending time with people with whom you can chat and laugh.
  • Develop good sleep habits. Whenever possible, go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Leave smartphones and tablets in another room.
  • Eat a balanced diet. We tend to crave carbs more in the winter, so make sure you’re still eating some veggies and fruit daily.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Sometimes, the seasonal change can trigger the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a treatable mental health condition. SAD is a type of Clinical Depression that is related to changes in the seasons. According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD symptoms that are specific to winter depression are:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain

If you’re feeling low for days at a time, have thoughts of suicide, or are using alcohol/drugs to cope, see your doctor or access RRC supports for students or staff.

Getting Better

Treatments for SAD can include medication, talk therapy, and light therapy. Light therapy involves sitting near a special lamp so that you’re exposed to bright light. Light therapy mimics natural outdoor light and appears to cause a change in brain chemicals linked to mood.

Borrow a Light Therapy Lamp from Library Services

Interested in trying light therapy? SAD Lamps are availaible on loan from Library Services. Simply complete the booking request to arrange the loan.

If you’re feeling the winter blues, whether it’s SAD or not, please reach out to someone and talk about it.

How I Completed My Diploma During a Pandemic: One student’s story

May 8, 2020

Guest post by RRC student, Stuart Maddocks

The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the hardest experiences I have faced as a student. It disrupted my routine of having to leave my home to sit in a classroom with my friends and classmates. Additionally, being at home made me more distracted than I would be in the classroom. To overcome these challenges, I had a few strategies to help me get through the rest of my program. Here are some highlights of the methods I used to complete my final year as a Red River College Library and Information Technology student.

RRC Student, Stuart Maddocks

Work on Mental Fitness

For my first strategy, I used the Headspace meditation app. This application is a subscription-based service that provides meditation and yoga exercises for overcoming negative feelings. Exercises on Headspace range from simple guided meditations to “Everyday Exercises” with a different theme each day. As a student, I love Headspace’s student support section which covers topics from presentation stress to job interview anxiety. These exercises helped me get a good night’s sleep after a stressful day of online learning.

Current and future students can visit Headspace at: https://www.headspace.com/ or download the Headspace app on Apple Store or Google Play.

Get Moving

In addition to Headspace, I exercised at least 30 minutes each day. I would go for walks around my neighbourhood and through parks. It helped me get some fresh air after an intense study session. Walking outside provided me a change in scenery away from my usual surroundings at home. These daily exercises also helped me stretched my legs after sitting at my desk for a few hours. Lastly, walking helped me be more active with the gym being unavailable during the pandemic.

Reward Yourself

As a Red River College Alumnus, I cannot stress enough the importance of awarding yourself. In my case, I would watch movies after I complete assignments. Additionally, watching movies allowed me to escape my day to day life from the stresses of the pandemic and college life. I usually watch escapist movies from the Star Wars or James Bond franchises. The locations and settings transported me to another world for a much-needed distraction.

I hope these strategies will be useful for you when you are studying or starting your careers.

If you are an RRC student, staff or alumnus who would like to write a guest post, please contact Breanna Sawatzky.

 

Coping through this uncertainty

March 19, 2020

During this time of uncertainty it’s natural that our stress response will kick in. We are likely being bombarded with constant updates from the news, social media, our workplace, and our friends and family.

Our routines along with the expectations placed on us are changing quickly. We may also be in a state of waiting for answers or direction, which can be unsettling. With this heightened state of stress, it’s not surprising that our thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours will be affected.

In addition, people who have experienced traumatic medical or other experiences in the past may have some of those feelings, memories, and fears come flooding back.

Here are some common ways that experiencing this stress can effect our body, mind, spirit and emotions.

  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Tearfulness
  • Frustration
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Desire to use drugs or alcohol
  • Hopelessness

Everyone is different and your response is neither right nor wrong, it’s simply your response. You may be experiencing something that is not listed above and that’s okay. What matters is that we are not helpless in the face of this stress; we can do our best to actively manage it.

Think about what you normally do to manage stress and reflect on how you can adapt that to the current circumstance. If you usually spend time with friends, can you chat on the phone or have a video call? If you usually go to the gym, can you walk or run outside? Or stream an online workout video?

Here are some immediate actions that can be helpful at this time.

Limit news and social media consumption. Stay informed, but be sure to take breaks from the feed and focus on information from reputable sources like the RRC newsletter and Manitoba Health. Is there someone in your feed who is triggering extra anxiety? Don’t be afraid to mute or unfollow them for now.

Remember the basics. Be sure to eat nutritious food, get fresh air, move your body, and get enough sleep. Without those basics, it’s hard to manage stress well.

Connect with others. Telephone, text, or video calls can be a great way to stay in touch. Instead of rehashing all the details, try to focus your conversations on how you are feeling, how you are coping, and mundane everyday matters.

Practice kindness. Everyone around us is likely experiencing heightened stress as well. Be kind, be patient, and leave space for people who are not at their best. We can get through this better if we work together.

Breathe. Taking slow, deep breaths that fill you belly can reverse the stress response and bring some clarity to your thoughts and actions. You can find a helpful video tutorial here.

Reach out for support. Sometimes, in order to be at our best we need to consult a mental health professional. There are several people ready to assist you. Read more here.

Wellness Weekly: Curated Readings

October 1, 2019

 

In our Wellness Weekly, mental health roundup feature we curate some of the best writing on the web related to health and wellbeing. Here is some recommended reading for this week.

Food and Mood

Ever wonder if a certain eating pattern is best for your mental health? When we make everyday food choices, many of us think first of our physical health and appearance. But there’s another factor we may want to consider in picking foods: their impact on our mental health. Read What Is The Best Diet for Mental Health by Kira M. Newman.

Creative Hobbies

If you’ve been trying to get a little more mindfulness in your life, whipping up a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies might be exactly what you need. Read more about how Research Suggests Taking Up Baking Can Help You Feel Better by Gwen Moran.

Stress and Memory

You spend weeks studying for an important test. On the big day, you wait nervously as your teacher hands it out. You’re working your way through, when you’re asked to define “ataraxia.” You know you’ve seen the word before, but your mind goes blank. What just happened? Elizabeth Cox details the complex relationship between stress and memory in her Ted-Ed animation: The Surprising Link Between Stress and Memory.

 

Have a favorite health and wellness related read that you think we should feature? Send it over to Breanna.