We are going through an unprecedented time at Red River College. Many of us have been asked to work or study from home, and aren’t participating in our usual activities. When our usual routine is disrupted, it can have an effect on both our physical and mental health.
Below you will find some resources to help maintain physical and mental wellness during a time of social distancing. Whenever possible, the following resources are free to either Red River College staff and students (look for the ^), or free for t0 general public (look for the *). For additional information, continue to check www.rrc.ca for updates.
Fitness and Physical Health Options
RRC Recreation Services ^
Several are free, but check to ensure before you download. Some examples include:
Follow your favourite 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.
- Planet Fitness – Facebook
- Host your own! Use a video chat or meeting service to join your friends in a virtual group workout.
Please note that these options may involve fees.
Mental Health and Wellness Options
Mindfulness & Meditation
- ADAM* audio guided relaxation
- Get outside and observe nature
- Clear the Deck exercise to calm worry*
- Have a cup of tea
- Enjoy a warm bath or shower
- Schedule an informal coffee break on WebEx. Grab your beverage and just chat about whatever you feel like.
- Send voice messages or hold video calls with friends and family
- Virtual friends/family meals
- Proactive #COVIDkindness, while keeping physical distance
- Send thank you notes
- If children are home from school, consider creating a daily schedule
Remember, taking care of your wellness will help sustain you through this challenging time. Be sure to make your well-being a priority.
On February 5th, Jordin Tootoo visited RRC to share his story of hope, hockey and mental health. Many staff and students were moved by Jordin’s authentic presentation. Jordin spoke about his journey from Rankin Inlet to the NHL and then, in retirement, to suicide prevention work.
Jordin spoke candidly of being a suicide loss survivor, recovery from alcohol addiction, love of family and finding his sense of belonging.
Thankfully, you can:
- Read all about why we invited him and the message he shared.
- View the event photo gallery.
- Watch the recorded presentation.
Jordin also took time to connect with many attendees, signing books and memorabilia. It’s clear that his life experience resonates with so many.
If you are curious about mental health supports for staff and students, please visit rrc.ca/wellness/supports or contact Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator.
Earlier this month we enjoyed Thrive Week, a time to focus on balance and self-care to promote positive mental health. Our planning group delivered a variety of activities to encourage staff and students to get active, relaxed, connected and creative. Here are some activities that folks enjoyed.
The Paint Party at EDC, featuring Kisa MacIsaac from Power of Painting (and RRC alum).
A nature walk through Chickadee Trail at Birds Hill Provincial Park
A student enjoying a visit from St. John Ambulance therapy dogs. Photo: Gabby Piche
Thrive Ambassador and Business Administration student, Veronica Feliz, helping students and staff sign up for a free massage. Photo: Katlyn Streilein
Registered Massage Therapist, Jason Mathes, helping a student de-stress. Photo: Katlyn Streilein
MC College students providing free manicures and braids. Photo: Sarah Vandale.
A few of the painters from the NDC party with Painting on the Prairies.
There was so much more going on that we didn’t manage to capture through photos. Even many of the regional campuses hosted activities.
We hope everyone who participated in Thrive Week enjoyed a break from the grind of school and work and is inspired to make time for balance and self-care on an ongoing basis.
This week was possible thanks to funding from the Red River College Students’ Association, Human Resource Department and Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative. Big thanks as well to the planning group: Amanda Dorscheid, Beverly Wood, Priyanji Mediwake, Arsalan Zaheer, Carmen McIntosh, Erin Edwards and Breanna Sawatzky. Student volunteers who served as Thrive Ambassadors were a huge help.
Stay tuned for more Thrive style events in the new year.
A walking path through Birds Hill Park
Being active in nature is great for your mental health. When the seasons change and the temperatures drop, we tend to stay inside more. Getting out for some fresh air and movement (even just walking), before the January deep freeze, can be really helpful.
This is why, for Thrive Week, we’re heading for a nature walk at Birds Hill Park.
All students and staff are invited; we have a bus chartered to transport us all.
To join the nature walk, simply email Breanna to reserve a seat on the bus. Meet us at the Notre Dame Campus bus loop at 10am Saturday, November 9th. The bus will return us to the same place at 2pm.
We’ll spend some time bird watching, walking through the trails, and enjoying some hot chocolate.
According to Manitoba Sustainable Development, this park is “a mosaic of landscapes not commonly found in such close association, such as esker ridges, dry prairie, wet meadows, bogs, and aspen-oak and mixed boreal forest communities.”
Dress for the weather and pack some water and a snack. Family members are welcome.
Date: Saturday, November 9
Location: Meet at the Notre Dame Campus Bus Loop
Pick up time: 10am
Drop off time: 2pm
Contact: Breanna Sawatzky
RRC’s 2019 Ride Don’t Hide Team, post-ride at The Forks
On Sunday, June 23 a team of RRC staff and students, along with some family members, supported Canadian Mental Health Association by participating in Ride Don’t Hide – Canada’s largest mental health bike ride.
The team enjoyed a beautiful 20 km ride, beginning at The Forks and continuing through St. Boniface, Assiniboine Ave., Wolseley, River Heights, Tuxedo, Crescentwood and back along the river path to The Forks.
Sponsored by RRC’s Healthy Minds, Healthy College Initiative, the team raised funds and awareness, bringing mental health out into the open.
Three cheers for your RRC team members:
- Angela Tessier (and partner Tom)
- Michelle Lodewyks (and partner Josh)
- Tom Liu
- Leslie Ternowetsky
- Breanna Sawatzky (with family Joel, Vincent and Nevica)
- Sherry Seymour
- Tanya Cole
- Lori Cutrone (not pictured)
- Nicki Albus (not pictured)
Across Canada, over 10 000 riders participated, raising over $2 million dollars for community based mental health supports. Go team!
RRC’s 2018 Ride Don’t Hide Team
You’re invited to participate in CMHA’s ‘Ride Don’t Hide’ – Canada’s largest bike ride for mental health. The event is held on Sunday June 23rd in 25 communities across the country with 4 and 20 kilometer route options. CMHA’s Manitoba and Winnipeg division is starting recruit bike riders for the event and RRC is excited to participate.
According to CMHA, Ride Don’t Hide is a nationwide fundraising bike ride that brings mental health out into the open. With almost 10,000 riders and hundreds more family members, friends and volunteers across Canada taking part, the ride raises more than $2 million each year for the Canadian Mental Health Association. Get on your bike and join the movement. Ride. Don’t hide.
CMHA is a community partner, helping RRC with our Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative. This makes participating in Ride Don’t Hide an ideal opportunity for us to show support in return.
In 2018, our team had a wonderful time participating in this meaningful and well organized event.
If you’d like to be part of the RRC team for Ride Don’t Hide, please contact Breanna Sawatzky or 204-632-2061. Participants can chose to raise funds, or just ride. Students, staff and faculty are welcome.
On Tuesday, March 26 RRC welcomed Waneek Horn Miller – Mohawk woman, activist, and Olympian – to speak about turning trauma into motivation and reclaiming well-being.
Waneek captivated the audience with stories of her strong mother, embracing her identity, introduction to sport, and resilience in the face of obstacles. She shared lessons learned on her path to becoming captain of the Canadian Olympic water polo team and finding her sense of inner strength.
Her talk was fantastic and is a “must watch” for all students, staff and faculty members interested in resilience, well-being, and truth and reconciliation.
Thanks to the folks at eTV, the recording of her presentation can be found here.
Read more about Waneek here.
RRC’s Recreation Services is hosting this year’s Get Movin’ Challenge. Those who are involved are trying to log 7,000 steps per day, through a variety of activities. Sign up to join the fun. The prizes are fantastic this year!
Since physical activity contributes to a healthy mind, we’re supporting the Challenge with three group walks outdoors at the Notre Dame Campus. These walks are a perfect opportunity to connect with friends or colleagues, meet new people, get fresh air and sunshine, while logging 3000 steps.
Walks will start at 12:15 outside the Campus Store (NDC) and will return to the same place by 12:50.
Bring your warm gear; walks will go ahead unless the Environment Canada website indicates a temperature of -27 C or lower with the wind chill factor.
Wednesday February 6, 13, and 27
All students, staff and faculty are welcome to join; there is no need to register.
During THRIVE Week we take time to reflect on the role of self-care and balance on developing positive mental health that supports academic and career success. This year, THRIVE will be held November 5-9 at all RRC campuses.
Events and activities provide an opportunity for rest, social connection, physical activity, fun, personal growth, and learning. All students, staff, and faculty members are invited to participate.
Some events to look forward to are:
- paint night
- therapy dogs
- board game night
- tour of the sweat lodge
- visit from Rob Nash
- mindfulness workshop and much more!
Check out the NDC Thrive Guide and EDC Thrive Guide to see the slate of activities.
Subscribe for updates to ensure you receive all THRIVE related information.
The weeklong series of events is a partnership between the RRC Students’ Association and the Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative.
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.
Don’t forget to #GETLOUD for Mental Health Week.
- Mental Health Commission of Canada Statement on Mental Health Week. In her statement, Louise Bradley (President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada) encourages Canadians to monitor their mental state with the same interest they devote to managing their blood-pressure or any other physical concern. She also draws a link between public services like education and childcare and good mental health.
- How Physical Fitness can Boost Your Career. Here Ivan Ho makes the case for developing good exercise related habits, encouraging readers to put health first. He ties physical activity with mental clarity, improved energy, and increased ability to meet work demands.
Do you have some favorite reading you’d like featured? Contact Breanna.