Be travel ready for February Break

As an out-of-province student, I’ve had my fair share of traveling during these last two years at UBC. With reading week around the corner, and thus, hopefully some time for you to take a step back from school work and go on a trip somewhere, I’m here to share with you some techniques I use to get me into the right mindset when I’m about to set out for another journey. Whether I am simply heading back home or traveling to a new city, the past couple of years have taught me how to be a mindful traveler.

I am no stranger to feeling anxious about traveling. Traveling can be a stressful thing. Right before a trip, a myriad of questions swirl through my mind: Have I packed everything? Will I get through security easily? What if I miss my flight? What if something goes completely wrong? One step into the airport and travellers often feel as if they’ve been swept up into a flurry of impatience, anxiety, and perpetually feeling rushed. We become so preoccupied with getting where we need to go, we lose sight of where we are; airports function as means to the end and our eyes are set solely on the end goal: our destination. When moments of anxiety come rushing (no pun intended!) in, take a moment to catch your breath and notice where you are.

You may very well have forgotten something and, chances are, things will not go exactly as planned during your travels, but instead of feeling exasperated by circumstance, consider taking a couple of seconds to pause where you are, perhaps accepting your frustration, but – and this is key – letting it go. Doing so will help you attain the mental clarity you need to shift your attitude, taking you into the rest of your travels, mindfully. Although problems may arise, you can determine how you choose to respond to them. Any mishap can be perceived as a learning experience, any moment of misadventure as a chance to simply reroute your plan.

Learning to be a mindful traveler from the minute you step into an airport will transform your experience, even after you step off the plane at your destination. My most memorable journeys are those that have become impressed into my bones not by having followed my original plans, but by having opened myself up to embracing where I stood. The sounds, tastes, and feelings I experienced when I approached traveling with a healthy mindset became all the more vibrant. Don’t be afraid to take this moment to soak in the environment around you, acknowledge the exhaustion you may feel from having been on a plane for 7 hours or the butterflies fluttering in your belly because you’re about set out for unchartered waters. Listen to the sounds around you, maybe taste something new, or feel the sand between your toes, if your reading week consists of a vacation to a sunny destination. Even if you end up staying in Vancouver during reading week, take some time for yourself: maybe explore the city, walk down to the beach, or even feel the rain against your skin. Whatever you do and wherever you are, notice where you are in the moment when you are there. I guarantee these moments will become some of your most memorable.

Post Written by Taylor. L.

3 Easy and Alternative Ways to Manage Stress

With midterms and papers right around the corner, you’re probably starting to feel the pressure that comes with mid-semester madness. Although sleeping well, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet are all very important to the management of stress, it can also be beneficial to explore other options to see what combination works for you!

Below are some tried-and-true strategies that just might help you take the edge off:

Make Your Home a Stress-Free Sanctuary. Taking action to create a safe, comfortable home – whether this means keeping your place tidy, reducing clutter, filling your room with flowers and/or succulents, or simply lighting a few candles – can make all the difference in combatting stress, especially after a long day of studying.

Essential Oils. Aromatherapy is thought to reduce stress by acting on our limbic system. Essential oils are concentrated liquids that contain the aroma compounds of plants. These oils can either be rubbed directly on the skin, burned using an oil burner, or diffused into the air by nebulizers (my personal favourite). Health food stores are my go-to for all things scent-related.

Favourite Oil blend: Stress Release – a blend of Lavender, Chamomile, and Orange

Favourite Oil blend: Quiet – a blend of Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Amyris, and Clary Sage

Sub Coffee for Matcha Green Tea. Let’s face it, we all need our fair share of caffeine to get us through exams. However, coffee can actually increase stress and irritability as well as cause the inevitable ‘coffee crash’ often leaving people very tired and unable to concentrate. Although matcha green tea may contain as much caffeine as coffee, it is an alternative due to its large concentration of L-Theanine which induces an alert yet calm state of mind.

Remember, not everything that works for me will work for you and vice versa. Spend some time exploring stress-relieving strategies now so that you are better equipped to deal with stress when it hits. Happy studying!

Post Written by Molly S.

Website blockers for fast approaching midterm season

As we begin the countdown to midterm season, many students (including me!) may be sharing the sentiment of “so many assignments to do, yet so little time”. Luckily, in today’s technology-minded world, there are many apps to help us be the most productive we’ve ever been! Before we think about how to utilize our phones and computers for productivity, though, it may be a good idea to block off the beast of un-productivity: social media. So, let’s start by talking about website blockers

1. Website blockers (available on various platforms): useful for blocking off social media, online shopping, or any other sites that might be distracting to you:

  • Mac: Cold Turkey, SelfControl
  • Windows: Cold Turkey

These blockers let you block websites of your choice for any amount of time you choose. They’re also very difficult (if not impossible) to circumvent once a block period is begun.

2. Forest (iPhone, Android)

Forest is essentially a timer you can start whenever you need to focus. If the user stays on the Forest app (ie. not use their phone) for the duration of the timer, a virtual “tree” is grown. Using Forest requires a bit more discipline than the website blockers as the user can quit the app at any time, but the virtual tree will die in the process. The neat thing about this app is that virtual “coins” are earned every time a tree is grown, which can then be collected and used in the shop to buy other virtual trees or fund the planting of a real one! You are also able visualize the amount of time spent on Forest.

(Pictured: Forest. Picture Credit: Tools and Toys.)

3. Rescuetime (Mac, Windows, Android, Chrome, Firefox)

Rescuetime tracks all the websites you visit and the amount of time spent on each per day. It automatically classifies these websites as being “very productive”, “productive”, “neutral”, or “not productive”, but this can be changed to your liking. From this, it calculates the total time spent on the computer as well as your “productivity pulse”. You’re also able to view your productivity by the hour, day, week, or month! Viewing this data may help you visualize your energy / productivity cycle throughout the day. Also, you can become more aware of the websites that are most distracting to you and block them using website blockers when you’re ready to work!

(Pictured: Rescuetime dashboard. Picture Credit: PCMag.)

4. Slack (web & all platforms) & Tips to avoid being distracted by Facebook

Are you part of an organization, club, or a team of any kind? If so, Slack may be useful for you! Its clutter-free and distraction-free interface allows effective team communication without the need to use distracting social platforms like Facebook. If your team would still prefer to communicate via Facebook but you find the Newsfeed / etc too distracting (like me!), there is an option to deactivate your Facebook account and use the Facebook chat only through! Alternatively, on browsers such as Chrome, extensions (apps) are available to block the Facebook Newsfeed (eg. News Feed Eradicator for Facebook), and instead replace it with an #inspirational quote.

5. Focuslist (iPhone & Mac)

For the more meticulous, you can plan out your entire day on this app, including the exact hours you will allot to finish each task. You can then start the timer to run through your day, which includes proportional break times to the amount of time you spend on work. The planning required in this app can be very helpful for those who need to visualize their day in order to be productive. Like Rescuetime, you can check your productivity by the month, day, or hour, which may help you better understand your energy cycle!

(Pictured: Focuslist. Picture Credits: Focuslist.)

As much as we’d all love to be productive, though, it’s important to give ourselves a break once in awhile. For that, we have websites like and to help us relax or practice mindfulness.

(Pictured: Picture Credits:

**Please note: This is not a paid advertisement – all opinions are my own!

Post Written by: Jennifer. W.


How to balance work and school while practicing time management

The end of November marks the last stretch until the end of first semester (woohoo! Freedom is near!). The end of exams means the start of Winter break, and it’s hard not to daydream about your trip back home or the weekend in Whistler you planned with your friend, but we all know how intense the last few weeks of class followed by dreaded exams feels. Maybe you’re feeling great about wrapping up your courses and tackling those upcoming exams, maybe you feel you need 30 hour days rather than 24 hour ones (we’ve all been there), or maybe you even want a button to pause time so you can just breathe. Either way balancing work and school is a tough task.

We don’t always consider the various aspects of our wellness when we think of balance. In fact, as students, most of the time we are so focused on one task that we don’t take the time we should to ensure the other parts of our wellness are sufficiently met. So here are some tips as to how you can maintain a healthy balance, whatever that may look like to you.

Set personal deadlines for when you ideally want to have tasks done. Physically writing down your due dates can help you to plan your time better as it gives you a visual for what you need to accomplish within a set time frame. Using a calendar or planner, whether you’re an online kind of folk or enjoy using good ol’ pencil and paper, are super helpful for keeping track of your to-do’s and what you want to get done. Pro tip: Setting deadlines for earlier than the actual due date saves stress in the long-run! It gives you time in case something comes up or if you want to spend more time editing and fine-tuning that assignment.

Put your phone away or at least turn it face-down and use that silent button when you are doing work. If you are like me, phones can be a huge distraction when trying to get a not-so-fun assignment done. Something a lot of students find effective is setting an alarm on your phone for a set amount of dedicated study time. For example, if your focus lasts about 20 minutes, set an alarm for that amount of time and don’t touch your phone until the alarm goes off. Then take a 5-10 minute break and try repeating this 3 times before taking a longer study break.

Get to know your energy cycle to see when you are the most productive during the day. This can give you insight as to what time of day you are the most efficient at completing tasks, so you can focus on those not-so-fun assignments during that time. If you want to know more about your energy cycle come down to the Wellness Centre and grab a worksheet so you can see what it looks like!

Stay tuned for part 2 of this post, study places and tips!

Written by Claudia and Sarah

Best Places to Relax at UBC

Cover photo: Vancouver Public Library (Nitobe Memorial Garden)

Having a break in my class schedule, in between all the lectures and labs, is always something I look forward to throughout the day. I love having some down time to eat my lunch, chat with my friends or just listen to some music. Finding a quiet place to do so can sometimes be a challenge but taking time out of our busy schedule is critical for our wellbeing. It can give us the energy to get us through the rest of our day. Here are some of my favourite relaxing spots on campus that give me the opportunity to re-charge my batteries:

Love being outside? A walk can be a great way to relax and get some exercise in. The Nitobe Memorial Garden and UBC Botanical Gardens are gorgeous to take a stroll in and UBC students get in free! 

If you’re short on time, taking a quick detour to see The Rose Garden always reminds me how lucky I am to attend school on such a beautiful campus.

Looking for peace and quiet? When I need time to myself, I always headto Koerner Library. The 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th floor are all silent study spaces.

You’ll see students getting some serious studying done, watching TV, reading or catching up on some Z’s, all in blissful silence! You can also head to the main floor of the Life Sciences Building which has lots of seating, and natural light to keep your mood up.

Room with a view? The lounging area above the UBC bookstore! There is comfortable seating and the glass walls give you a great view of a central part of campus that is always pulsing with activity. Alternatively, you can also grab a seat in The Forestry Science Center Student lounge. With it’s dark wood columns resembling towering tree trunks and lush greenery, the building is a beautiful example of how the outside can be brought in. Bonus: It’s next to Tim Hortons!

Although UBC campus and one’s school year can get very busy, it’s important to take time out of our days in order to re-energize. Next time you have a break, kick back and enjoy the beauty our campus has to offer.


Post written by Gavin Shinger

De-Stress For Exam Success

Tis’ the season of midterms and assignments. As you buckle in for those late night study sessions and productive work-a-thons, we hope that you are able to take some well-deserved breaks for your body and mind. In need for some inspiration? Check out the video below for some fun ways you can de-stress for exam success:

A Connection Too Often Forgotten

Post written by Bronwyn Graham, Mental Health and Wellbeing Assistant

Starting your first year at university is a big deal. If you’re like me, this is probably the first time you have almost full control over how you spend every hour of every day. For me, first year came with the freedom to order a large pizza at 2 am after a late night out with friends, the freedom to forget about doing laundry until I was down to my very last pair of underwear, and the freedom to spend three hours scrolling through Tumblr without a parent nagging over my shoulder to ‘get back to my studies’.

While this new-found freedom was great for the first few months of my first year, I couldn’t help feel as though I could have been doing something more meaningful with my time. After all, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “with freedom comes responsibility”. It was time I partook in activities that didn’t involve the regret of consuming a large pizza (all to myself) or a hangover in the morning.

So, by my second semester, I had signed up for every club I was even slightly interested in, went to almost every event put on by my residence association, made significant friendships that have lasted to this day, and volunteered for a few key charity fundraisers. While my involvement in all of these activities added meaning to my new freedom, I was also unconsciously wearing myself out. I still didn’t feel comfortable, I was often sick, perpetually tired, and a little disappointed in the work I was producing.

I was so consumed by trying to do it all, making a ton of friends, and feeling more connected to the UBC community that I was ignoring another vital connection – the connection to myself.

University is a time to discover yourself. It’s a rare opportunity to explore what you value most, try new things, have the freedom to make mistakes and grow from them. What I’ve come to learn over the past four years as a UBC student is that in order to effectively contribute to an inclusive, caring, and respectful community, we must first offer ourselves that same respect.

For me, it took widely overstepping my comfort zone by taking on more things than could fit on my plate to realize I wasn’t honouring and respecting my boundaries or values. After becoming more aware of the dwindling pieces of my wellbeing and the consequences that arose from not taking care of myself, I knew a shift needed to occur. Here are some things I’ve learn about the importance of establishing a connection with myself:

  • Communication is crucial. As almost everyone will agree, communication is key to maintaining a healthy relationship. Normally this implies a relationship between two individuals, but who says it cannot apply to the relationship you have with yourself? Having these internal conversations will help put things into perspective, ensuring your actions are deliberate and honour your goals and values.
  • There’s no need to do it all. Taking a step back from activities or clubs, and working through which ones you feel add value to your life will benefit you in the long run. Once I established a personal connection, I was better positioned to realize that not all of the activities I was participating in were meaningful. Now that I’m only involved in a few key clubs and programs, I feel as though my impact on the community is much larger and more significant.
  • When I take care of myself it’s easier to care for others. When I take the time to eat well, move my body, get enough sleep, and care for myself I am better primed not only to succeed academically, but also to fulfill my role of being a respectful and caring member of the UBC community.

While it’s important to take advantage of being in a new environment and own the opportunities that are here for you, it’s also important to find a balance that works for you by checking in with yourself. With respect for yourself and your wellbeing, you’ll find a way to honour your boundaries and establish that connection. It’s okay to slowly dip your feet in, rather than diving head first into the deep end – if that’s what you are more comfortable with. Because in order to fulfill our role of being respectful and caring members of the UBC community, we must first allow ourselves that same respect. When you’re well, you’ll be better able to serve the overall wellbeing of your new community!

Let’s Make the Library Relaxing Again

Photos and Blog Post prepared by Kleo Fang, Wellness Assistant

On April 6, 2016, the Wellness Peers held ‘Lounging at the Library’ for Stress Less for Exam Success.

The Wellness Peers handed out free hot chocolate, tea and engaged in proactive mindfulness activities with students to de-stress before the start of exams.

 Adult coloring pages can be a great way to relax and distress during hectic exam seasons.

Balloons – great for tossing, popping, and all around entertainment.

“What do you do to take care of yourself?”

There are many types of meditation and yoga, including both spiritual and secular. Benefits of meditation and yoga include: increased relaxation, greater control of a busy mind or overwhelming emotions, and a stronger sense of awareness. Yoga is also great for both physical fitness and inner peace.
The Wellness Centre is staffed by trained student volunteers who have a passion for mental and physical health promotion.


Dory: Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do?
Always leave some time for fun!
Don’t forget a little sugar for yourself once in awhile.

Stress Less for Exam Success

Hey everyone! With final assignments and papers due, and with exams just around the corner, it is easy to begin experiencing “stress.” I know I am! Ongoing, chronic stress can lead us to feeling overwhelmed or moody, and it can even affect our physical state.

That being said, stress does not always have to mean a bad thing! Stress is defined as a mental state of “high alert” that is turned on to deal with the pressures of unexpected or high demanding events, such as heavy workloads and pressure from deadlines. Stress reaction is meant to turn on to deal with a stressful event and then turn it off when that stressor ends. The problem is that for a lot of us, we forget to turn our stress off, which results in always operating on “high alert”. When we operate with a consistent and chronic stress response, we can begin to see wear and tear of stress on our bodies, and those negative effects we hear about. Thus, how we perceive and manage our stress plays an important role!

Earlier in the year I wrote a blog entitled “stress as a positive.” Generally, moderate levels of stress facilitate performance, which can be summarized by this graph…


Expanding on that idea, the way we perceive stress can not only change our definition of stress, but can actually have beneficial responses to our well-being. Kelly McGonigan presents a very interesting research in her Ted Talks video entitled “How to make stress your friend” (I won’t go into depth on this video, because you should definitely consider watching it yourself). In short, she describes that stress is only harmful to your health when it is perceived to be so. The way we perceive stress affects our unconscious interpretation of the stressor. For instance, we can perceive stress as telling us: “I’m so stressed right now…I’m gonna fail my exam” or  “this is my body’s responding to this exam,  so I will be sure to do what I can to feel prepared!”

The way we perceive stress is directly related to our self-efficacy, or our belief in our abilities. Improving self-efficacy can be achieved through performance accomplishments, vicarious experiences (observing others), verbal persuasion, and by altering  physiological states such as moods or emotions. Two effective means to boost your confidence include (1) positive self-talk and (2) goal setting. Setting attainable and realistic goals can lead to feeling accomplished when the goal is reached!

If you are having trouble with stress or are worried about final exams, UBC does provide several opportunities for students to manage their stress effectively! On the UBC live well learn well website several events are affiliated with the “Stress Less for Exam Success” campaign running from April 7-10. Activities range from Stress Doctors roaming in IKB, to Free Hugs and High Fives Events. The Live Well Learn Well website also cites several strategies that are helpful in managing stress, which includes taking breaks, talking to others, meditation, and breathing procedures.

photo (1)

Finally drop by the Wellness Centre (IKB room 183) during Stress Less to get a Stress Management Kit full of goodies like tea and post-it notes. Our Wellness Peers can also provide you with helpful stress management strategies. We will also have a Stress Ball Making Station where you can make and personalize your very own stress ball while kneading out some stress in the process!

During this exam season, study hard, take quality breaks and consider how you can use stress to your benefit!

Good luck!


Ways to de-stress this exam season

Despite the glorious sunshine we’ve had in the past two weeks, the typical November showers of Vancouver have once again caught up with us. Arriving along with that is the final week of school of the semester (and the year!) – I know, where did the past three months go?!

It’s the final crunch, and we all can’t wait for it to be over and the break to arrive – as we hurry around from lecture hall to lecture hall, classroom to classroom, finish up those last essays and papers, write our final tests and quizzes – and at the same time, tensions are building and before we know it, stress has once again crept up behind us and refuses to let go.

It’s okay to feel stressed. University was always meant to be challenging. A little stress in our lives can be a healthy push of additional motivation and determination beneficial towards increased productivity and better outcomes. But when there is too much stress, the opposite effect may take hold.

But don’t fret! Here are some simple ways for you to deal with stress and approach your final season with confidence:

  • Eating: We hear this all the time, “I could cook a healthy dinner, or I could just get a [insert fast food of choice] and use that time to study.” Truth is, a balanced diet including full meals and small snacks every few hours actually helps with your metabolism, gives you the nutrients your brain thrives on, and keeps you alert and awake to better absorb knowledge as you study. Foods recommended are those high in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. So next time you plan on spending an entire afternoon in the library, bring a small snack such as a box of fruits and veggies or some popcorn. At the same time, always remember to stay hydrated! Help your body feel good so that you are able to study more effectively.

Come by the Wellness Centre on Thursday November 27th from 9am-12pm for the Breakfast Matters event. There will be free pancakes and you can learn about healthy eating from Wellness Peers.

Flickr via Creative Commons
Flickr via Creative Commons
  • Sleeping: Finishing up final assignments and studying for exams can be crazy, but sleep deprivation may lead to graver consequences. No matter how many things there are on your to-do list, having six-eight hours of good quality sleep is crucial for you to be able to physically handle these demands. A good way to ensure you get your sleep is to plan ahead. If there are X number of things you wish to complete that day, and each item takes Y hours, plan backwards from the time you wish to end the day/go to bed while putting aside time for eating, exercising, and breaks as well. It’s great to be productive, but leaving time for your body to rest and regenerate is just as equally important.
  • Exercising: As someone who has trouble keeping a regular exercising schedule, I have found that finding time to exercise during finals season has done wonders for me. Physical exercise – including a walk around campus, a quick jog, or even just doing some jumping jacks in your room – are all ways to help your body get rid of excess stress. Using these as study breaks also clears your mind for better productivity later.
  • Seeking extra support: Even after having done everything mentioned above (and maybe some other ways you yourself have found effective in dealing with stress), it is always entirely possible that stress continues to have a negative effect in your life. In that case, it is never too late to seek additional support. UBC has an array of programs that work with both peers as well as professionals to best meet your needs as a university student. Seeking this support is not a sign of weakness, but rather a positive, proactive step that leads to future success!

For more tips on how to be successful during finals season, visit UBC’s Stress Less for Exam Success webpage. You can also stop by the Wellness Centre this week to pick-up an exam care package. Best of luck during finals and enjoy your winter breaks!

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Six Simple Solutions

Any distress you may be experiencing may be managed by taking small steps. Try one (or all) of these 6 simple ways to make you feel good!

1) Take a bath

Light some candles and listen to your favorite playlist while you take a bath. If you’re feeling a little adventurous and want to plan ahead for this, visit your local pharmacy and purchase some essential oils (lavender is great for its sleep inducing qualities) and bath salts to further enhance your relaxation. Try to avoid using artificial fragrances and perfume as they may cause irritation. Cut up some cucumber slices, and prepare to feel completely relaxed!

2) Tidy up some space

By this I don’t necessarily mean your entire house or apartment, but instead choose a small area and focus on making it as neat and accessible as possible. This could be a drawer of papers, a jewelry box or even a bookshelf. While doing this you may also come across some items that you don’t need any more, which you could consider donating to charity. Taking a break can re-energize your body and mind for more effective studying!

3) Sort through your emails

Delete emails that you don’t need any more and create folders for those that you intend on keeping. Having all your information made accessible will save you time searching through emails and will also make it easier to spot the important ones.

4) Call someone you care about

This may be a partner or a parent, or even a friend you may have not spoken to in a long time. Hearing the voice of a loved one can instantly bring a smile to your face as well as an provide you with the reassurance that everything is going to be okay.

5) Keep track of the good stuff

At the end of the day, write down three experiences in your day that went well for you no matter how major or minor they were. Looking back at these can be motivational and may promote you to seek out more pleasurable activities and interactions.

6) Tap into your spiritual side

Take a moment to close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Research has shown that meditative practices such as mindfulness exercises can heighten emphatic awareness and overall promotes well-being.

That’s it from me for this week! Have an awesome one.


Stress as a Positive?

My name is Conor and this is my first opportunity to blog to all of you this school year. I can’t believe that it is already October. Hopefully everyone has had some time to adjust to the school year and have had some fun. Particularly those of you in first year, many of who are dealing with living away from home for the first time.

Now…the school year is in full flight, meaning that midterms are upon us!

Many of you will be experiencing stress as you begin to study for your midterms. Stress is determined by the balance between the perceived demands of the environments and an individual’s resources to meet those demands. Stress is a natural feeling during exam time. Common cause of stress (or stressors) during exams include expectations to perform well, and lack of time to study.

Many of us don’t realize that stress is not necessarily a bad thing. There is eustress and distress. Eustress is positive, whereas distress is negative. The relationship between eustress and distress can be seen in the graph below.

From the American Institute of Stress via creativecommons
From the American Institute of Stress via creativecommons

The graph shows that moderate stress leads to an increased level of performance. However, too much stress will lead to a decrease in performance.

Now here are a few ways to manage stress:

Exercise. Even during exams, 20-30 minutes of exercise, whether that is a run or resistance training, is very doable. Exercise helps reduce stress by releasing endorphins and improving sleep. Additionally exercise is proven to improve academic performance by increasing oxygen flow to the brain and by increasing brain neurotransmitters!

Nutrition. Make sure you maintain a balanced diet.

Sleep. Get at least 7-8 hours a night. Not only does sleep reduce stress, it also improves your brain ability to function.

That’s it from me. Good luck with your midterms! Study hard and stay healthy.


Cheap and Easy Hobbies

Last week I found myself sitting on the beach enjoying the sun, the wind, and the waves and I happened to chat with a few very interesting strangers on the sand. Each person I came across on the beach had cool quirks that made me want to be their insta-friend and get to know them a little bit more. I met a snake charmer, a fashion designer, a professional poker player, and even a pilot. Who knows, some of those backstories I was hearing may have been a little bit elaborated, but nonetheless it got me to thinking that maybe I don’t really have any cool or alternative things to share! I do lots of outside school activities like going to the gym, volunteering with peer programs, and tutoring, but nothing with flash and sparkle!

If you feel the same way here are some cheap and easy hobbies that that are easy to start and are really rewarding! Continue reading “Cheap and Easy Hobbies”

Staying Golden


Deep breath, stay golden

At this time of the year one day it feels like summer and the next there is slush falling from the sky. We are overwhelmed with an onslaught of midterms, papers due seemingly every day, and most of us barely have time to think coherent thoughts. Those who are graduating also have to puzzle through disheartening rejection letters from postgraduate institutions and the sad fact that their undergraduate lives are coming to an end. We’ve got the not-so-hopeful med school hopefuls, the maybe-next-time law applicants, and maybe the sorry-try-again dentist wannabes. On top of all the responsibilities we have to school, work, friends, and family, we now have to find out what our ‘plan B’ passions are.

Well, I’m one of those ‘just shy of an interview’ kids and this is how, despite all the rain, tears and exasperation, I’ve managed to “stay golden”.

Continue reading “Staying Golden”

Gratitude: An Ingredient for Happiness?

When things get busy and stressful, it can be hard to see the silver lining and we forget to notice the simple things in life that bring us joy.  However, expressing gratitude may contribute to happiness[1].  Expressing gratitude can take many different forms; simply noticing the little things in life may contribute to your happiness and well-being.

Here is what some Wellness Peer Educator team members wrote when asked what they were grateful for: Continue reading “Gratitude: An Ingredient for Happiness?”

Healthy Elements Wellness Fair

Next Friday, the Wellness CentreSUSUBC SCI Team, and UBC REC are joining together to put on our annual Science wellness event.

This year the theme is Healthy Elements, and we are inviting you to join us in exploring all eight elements of a healthy lifestyle. Each of these elements will be represented by a different campus group with a booth offering resources and information on its importance, as well as advice on how to incorporate it into your busy life. Oh, and did I mention there will be pancakes, parfaits and popcorn?

: Friday, February 7th from 10 am- 12:30 pm
Where: Outside AND inside of Abdul Ladha
Cost: Absolutely FREE
Why: Because what better way to kick-start your weekend than breakfast and a wellness fair?

Stop by for a fresh smoothie courtesy of UBC REC’s bike blender, then head inside for a full breakfast of pancakes and parfaits, as well as an exciting, interactive wellness fair! You can even enter your name in a draw to win cool prizes including free registration for UBC REC events, or a Magic Bullet!

Although the fair is geared towards Science students everyone is invited, so grab a friend and drop by during your break or even between classes.

Arts Wellness Fair

See how living well can help you have an even better university experience.

Drop by for the Wellness Centre’s Caffeine Challenge or UBC Recreation’s Bike Blender to create your own smoothie. Take this opportunity to learn more about a range of wellness concepts and have your questions answered. Free refreshments and raffle gifts await.


Wednesday, January 15, 11am–2pm
Buchanan D, 1866 Main Mall | Room D140 (Meekison Arts Student Space) Continue reading “Arts Wellness Fair”

All-nighters: The Least Unhealthy Way

Get 8 hours of sleep every night. That’s what our mothers and doctors have been telling us since we were young. It’s one of the most important things we can do if we want to ace every course we take. It’s part and parcel of the life of an ideal student. But of course, none of us can be the ideal student 100% of the time, not without sacrificing some other important aspect of our lives. Continue reading “All-nighters: The Least Unhealthy Way”

Innovation in Promoting Student Well-being: Pet Therapy at UBC Okanagan

Standing for “Building Academic Retention Through K9’s”, B.A.R.K. is a dog therapy programme run under the direction of Dr. Ty Binfet at UBC Okanagan. B.A.R.K. brings together UBCO students, therapy dogs and handlers, and faculty in an effort to reduce stress for students, create a comfortable and supportive environment outside of class and/or residence life, and to promote the socio-emotional well-being of students.

Join us on November 12 for a presentation by Dr. Binfet, who will share an overview of the programme, some results from his innovative research, and a demonstration of the techniques used for interacting with and training the therapy dogs. Continue reading “Innovation in Promoting Student Well-being: Pet Therapy at UBC Okanagan”

Groups at Counselling Services: What are they, and why try them?

Post by Shahbano Bhatti, third-year Psychology student and Counselling Services Assistant

I’ve always been curious as to how group counselling works,  so I decided to interview Margaret Drewlo, (M.A., Pre-Doctoral Intern,) at Counselling Services to find out more about these programs.

Me: What group programs does Counselling Services offers?

Margaret: We have three groups running on Wednesday evenings:

Mindfulness Stress Management is a group for students who want to develop skills to cope effectively with negative emotions, tolerate distress and develop healthy relationships.

Anxiety Management is a group for students who experience anxiety symptoms physically or cognitively and want to find a long-term solution to manage these symptoms.

Mood Management is a group for students to reduce and manage symptoms of depression.

Students meet with a counsellor prior to determining which resources will be helpful in addressing their concerns and are then referred appropriately.

Me: What is the benefit of attending a group session? Continue reading “Groups at Counselling Services: What are they, and why try them?”