Health Minds Healthy College

Campus Well-Being

News and Events

Cooking for Wellness

April 12, 2022

Show yourself some love by cooking a delicious and balanced meal!

Learn how to make the Filipino classic, pork adobo, while cooking alongside your instructor, Abby Legaspi! This workshop is part of our Thrive event series, hosted by the RRCSA and Healthy Minds Healthy College. Spend some time cooking with your peers and colleagues, and enjoy a night filled with laughter and fun!

The Instructor

Abby Legaspi is a Nutrition graduate from the University of Manitoba with 10 years’ experience running cooking programs for different non-profit and grass roots organizations. She now works at Norwest Co-Op Community Food Centre and is passionate about almost everything related to food, from gardening to cooking. Abby sees food as a means to connect people while recognizing that food insecurity can be experienced by so many. As an advocate for good food, it is Abby’s hope that one day everyone will be food secure.

Bring Your Own Ingredients

• pork or chicken (thigh, legs, ribs or wings suggested)
• vinegar
• soy sauce
• pepper
• garlic

*You can also cook rice if that is you would like!

Register for Cooking for Wellness Here

In-Person Yoga With Holly

April 4, 2022

In-Person Yoga with Holly is starting this month! Holly will be joining us to lead full hour-long classes of mindfulness-based Yoga in the College’s immersion room (GM32, NDC). You can register for a class by emailing Pamela Villafranca. Space is limited. Join us for a unique yoga experience, and allow yourself to take a break, recharge, and focus on yourself. Please bring your own mat to class for this month!

April Dates

April 13th 12:00pm-1:00pm
April 27th 12:00pm-1:00pm
Location: : The Immersion room (GM32, NDC- Mall level just outside the North Gym)
Registration Required: email Pamela.

About the Instructor

Holly Pluchinski is a 400 hour registered yoga teacher who has been teaching since 2016. She believes that yoga can be both a tool for introspective growth and also fun which is why oftentimes there’s laughter in her classes. Holly’s yoga classes are often designed to embrace the brain to body connection through classic yoga poses and a focus on functional movements.

For questions and accessibility needs, please contact Pamela Villafranca

April Fitness Centre Hours & Gymnasium Updates

April 1, 2022

Exchange District Fitness Centre  

We are excited to announce that our EDC Fitness Centre will be extending its hours. Starting April 4th the Centre will be open 6:30am-6:00pm.

An April calendar, indicating that the EDC Fitness Centre will be open Monday to Friday from 6:30am to 6:00pm each day in April except for April 15 and 18 when we will be closed for good friday and easter monday.

Notre Dame Campus Loft Fitness Centre

The NDC Loft Fitness Centre will remain open from 6:30am to 6:00pm. Please note that there will be more closures this month due to holidays and exams.

An image of an April calendar that indicates the Loft fitness centre at notre dame campus will be open monday to friday from 6:30 am to 6pm except on the following days: April 15, 18, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 29. On April 12 the centre will be closed from noon to 2pm. On April 21 the centre will be closed from 11:45 to 2:15 pm.

Gymnasiums and Walking Track

Our South Gym walking track is NOW OPEN from 6:30am-6:00pm Monday to Friday. Come get moving and get your steps in!

We are now also offering lunch hour drop-in opportunities for basketball and pickleball in our South Gym. Please click here for more details and for information about other April Campus Well-Being events.

These spaces and programs are open to all current students and staff with a College issued ID card. On your first visit you will be asked to review and complete a waiver form. Be sure to bring a change of clothes, athletic footwear, and a lock to secure your belongings.

Questions? Please email

Campus Well-Being Events for April

April 1, 2022

Wellness Events

April 5th 12:00pm-1:00pm In-Person Immersive Meditation with Crystal Bowl Healing

April 7th 11:30-1:00pm Therapy Dogs at RRC Polytechnic STTC Lobby (Drop in) 

April 12th 12:00pm- 1:00pm Immersive Journaling & Meditation*
April 13th 12:00pm -1:00pm In-Person Immersive Yoga with Holly

April 14th– 6:00pm-8:00pm Virtual Paint Night 

April 21st  6:00pm -8:00pm Virtual Cooking for Wellness

April 27th 12:00pm -1:00pm In-Person Immersive Yoga with Holly * 

April 28th 6:00pm-8:00pm Virtual Vision Board  

*In-Person events require registration by emailing  
All in-person events taking place in- The immersion room (GM32, NDC- Mall level just outside the North Gym at NDC)

Drop-in Sports

For the month of April, we will be opening up our South Gym for lunch hour basketball and pickleball drop-in! See below for more information: 

Basketball- Monday, Wednesday & Friday, NDC, 11:00am-1:00pm

  • Details: We will leave a cart of basketballs at the South Gym, along with spray bottles and rags. Please wipe down your basketball once you are finished and return it to the cart when finished.
  • Monday April 4th
  • Wednesday April 6th
  • Friday April 8th   
  • Monday April 11th
  • Wednesday April 13th
  • Wednesday April 20th
  • Friday April 22nd   
  • No drop-in from Apr 25-29 due to exams

Pickleball- Tuesday and Thursday, NDC, 11:00am-1:00pm

  • Details: Pickleball equipment will need to be signed out from the North Gym front desk, and returned at the end of use. You will be required to leave your student or staff ID card with the front desk staff in exchange for your equipment loan.
  • Tuesday April 5th
  • Thursday April 7th
  • Tuesdays April 12th  
  • Tuesday April 19th
  • Thursday April 21st
  • No drop-in from Apr 25-29 due to exams

Virtual Yoga with Holly Pluchinski

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

Friday, April 1st 
Tuesday April 5th 
Friday April 8th  
Tuesday April 12  
Tuesday April 19th  
Friday April 22nd  
Tuesday April 26th   
Friday April 29th  

Therapy Dogs are Back at RRC Polytech

March 28, 2022

Therapy Dogs are back at Red River College Polytechnic!!! Come say hello to a few dogs from the St. Johns Ambulance Therapy Dog Program (Zeus and Mark-Cuss). Animal and human interactions can offer many positive health benefits to us. For example, animals can help us decrease cortisol levels (stress hormone), lower our blood pressure, reduce feelings of loneliness, and help boost our moods.

Join us on April 7th in the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre Lobby to spend some time with these fantastic dogs and give yourself the space to take a break from your studies and practice self-care.

The Details

Date: April 7th 2022
Time: 11:30-1:00pm
Location: STTC Lobby

you have any questions about the visit feel free to reach out to Pamela Villafranca Villafranca.

Free In-Person Meditation Event

March 28, 2022

Curious about meditation? Unsure where to start?
Join us in person on April 5th to experience a guided Imagery meditation with sound healing to help to us find peace within, while relaxing to the healing intention and vibration of the crystal singing bowls. l’aura Carrol will guide us into nature and peaceful places as a way to unwind, restore and rejuvenate.

About the Facilitator

l’aura Carroll has been offering healing sessions and meditation opportunities for 25 years working with individuals, groups, workshops and recordings. l’aura is an Intuitive Energy Sound Healer, Hypnotherapist, Shamanic Practitioner, Reflexologist and Reiki Master. 

Find out more about l’aura on her website here.

The Details

Date: April 5th

Time: 12:00- 1:00pm

Location: eTV Immersion Room

For more information about meditation and the benefits of introducing meditation into your self care routine check out this great article discussing both the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of meditation.

Registration required, to register please email Pamela Villafranca, Mental Health Coordinator.

For questions and accessibility needs, please contact Pamela Villafranca

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.


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。












  • 养成良好的生活习惯


  • 自我调整


  • 保有充足的睡眠


  • 出门晒晒太阳


  • 活在当下


  • 在社区中寻求帮助




Free Virtual Paint Night

March 15, 2022

The idea of creating art can sometimes feel stressful for folks. We may not consider ourselves artists, or we might be worried about the end product and if it will look nice. Painting and art can be so much more than the final product. Art can be a ritual that represents us staying in touch with our needs, allowing us to take a break from our everyday stress to focus on the colours, feelings, and textures of the painting process. Above are some featured paintings from last months paint night from both students and staff!

Join the RRC Polytech Students’ Association (RRCSA) and Healthy Minds Healthy College (HMHC) for the last paint night of the academic year!

What is Paint Night?

Paint Night has become very popular in the last couple of years, but if you’ve never been to paint night before, you may find yourself wondering what it is! At its core, paint night is a creative way to hang out with your friends and create a masterpiece!

You Learn to Paint

At paint night, you learn to paint. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a pro painter, there will be an instructor to guide you the whole time! Everyone in the class is working toward creating their own version of the same painting. The teacher will lead you through your painting step-by-step. Our paint nights last two hours.

It’s Therapeutic

Painting is good for you! Paint night is great for people who love to try new things, meet new people, and explore new sides to themselves.

Bring Your Own Supplies

  • three paintbrushes (large, medium, and small) • any size painting canvas (12″x16″ is the average size) • acrylic paints (all primary colors)

The Details:

Date: March 24th

Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm

Register Here

Join us for some fun self care to spark your creative side. For any questions please feel free to contact Pamela Villafranca.

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.

7 Stretches To Try at Your Desk

March 8, 2022

The following is a guest post by RRC Polytech’s Fitness Coordinator, Mario De Negri

Most of us have to sit for long periods because of our work or school. When we sit for long periods of time it becomes easy to let our posture slip into a position that has us slouching or hunching forward which can lead to sore muscles and an aching body. Unfortunately, with the increase of work that requires us to be sitting, we can find ourselves deskbound for most of the day and sometimes long into the evening. However, by taking short breaks from sitting, we can help increase our cardiovascular function, increasing our life expectancy! Incorporating stretching throughout the day will also help increase your blood flow and improve your posture.

It is important to find reasons to get up from the chair and incorporate extra movement in our routines to minimize body stiffness and pain. A general rule of thumb is for every 60-90 minutes of sitting, we should get up and try to move for a minimum of 20 minutes. The longer we remain seated, the harder it will feel to get up and move. Movement does not mean we have to go for a long run or head to the gym. Increasing our activity can be as simple as doing a few stretches to switch up our routine.

So, if you find yourself having to be deskbound for long periods at a time, take a few of these easy stretches and put them in your pocket to use throughout the day. They require no equipment, take very little space, and can even be done while sitting in your chair.

Click here to find 7 simple stretching exercises you can do while sitting at your desk.