Self-Care Strategies

The following self-care strategies were developed by recent LFS grad, Aki Ediriweera and Dean Rickey Yada! Thank you both for your care for the LFS community!


  • Spend a minute to focus on your breathing. Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose and feel your chest rise. Release your breath slowly through your mouth and feel the tension release away through the exhaled warm air. Repeat 12 times, add more breaths as needed
  • Try the following breathing exercise to help calm down: double inhale using your nose and then exhale slowly for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times, add more breaths as needed
  • Take a breath, close your eyes and imagine your happy place, envision the colours, sounds, smells and feelings. Repeat 10 times, add more breaths as needed


Enjoy some green space, whether it be a backyard garden or a few plants in your home.

  • Take the time to connect with nature and feel the power of connection by spending at least 30 minutes outside
  • Participate in daily physical activity, such as walking or running, outdoors in green space. Aim to get in at least 30 minutes.
  • Try gardening and planting what you would like inside or outside. This can include flowers, roses, vegetables, fruits and herbs.
  • Create meals with ingredients from your garden and savour every bite.
  • Find a sunny or shady spot, whichever you prefer, and work outside, this helps change up your work environment
  • Take a moment and enjoy your favourite book outside.



  • Take time to start a journal and share any thoughts you have, this allows you to reflect on your thoughts
  • Try to sketch something that you want to share with yourself, this can be a calming experience
  • Practice positive self-imagery by imagining yourself in a positive manner. For example, this could look like envisioning a goal you would like to achieve
  • Give colouring books a try, this activity can help you focus and allows your creativity to shine. Use different colours that express how you feel and what you want to share.
  • Enjoy your favourite song at a comfortable sound level and reflect on what the song means to you
  • Pick up a new book to read and dedicate time to read it, this helps broaden your views and understanding of the world.
  • Take a five-minute hot shower and reflect on your day.
  • Enjoy a hot bath and practice some deep breathing exercises
  • Create a new SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely) goal for yourself, this can revolve around anything you would like to work towards.



  • Enjoy the opportunity to prepare a meal, it can be a therapeutic exercise
  • If you do not normally cook, try to help someone from within your social bubble cook a meal. This is a social opportunity to connect
  • Plan a time to cook with friends virtually, this can help make cooking a more social experience. You can also learn new recipes from your friends
  • Challenge yourself to prepare and eat plant-based meals, these have numerous benefits for you and the planet
  • Experiment with an ingredient you do not normally use when cooking, this can lead an adventurous culinary experience
  • Enjoy a meal with friends and family in your social bubble, if not, try a meal over Zoom
  • Try to incorporate different colours on your plate, for example some broccoli, carrots, zucchini and onions. This can help ensure you eat enough vegetables every day
  • When it comes to snack time, try to enjoy some vegetables, such as baby carrots, as part of a healthy snack
  • What’s for dessert? Try to add some fruits as part of your dessert, such as oranges or apples
  • Swap a glass of soda for a cup of water



  • Take a moment and send a message to a person that you have not connected to in a while, this can help rekindle a connection.
  • Schedule a part of your day to catch up with friends and family, this will help give you a break from the screen
  • Start a volunteer role, which can be done virtually or in-person, depending on your comfort level, this can facilitate the opportunity for important social connections to be made. Moreover, helping others can be a very satisfying experience. Find an activity or role that you are passionate about and make inquiries to get started.
  • Join your professors for office hours, this can help you expand your academic network and help clarify any course problems that you may have
  • If you need to talk to someone, connect to UBC’s 24/7 Student Assistance Program from anywhere in the world and speak to a registered intake counsellor. There are options for immediate and non-immediate (1-2 business days) support. To reach them, you can call 1 833 590 1328 or visit Aspira and use code UBCV for the username and password.


Physical activity

  • Make an effort to include physical activity as part of your daily routine. Physical activity can take many forms including walking or bicycling. Match the physical activity you engage into your current goals and comfort levels.
  • Invite your family and friends who are part of your social bubble to participate in physical activity with you, they can be a source of motivation and accountability.
  • Try a sport that you have never participated in before! This may include learning about it first online.
  • Try some bodyweight exercises, these do not need any fitness equipment. Some bodyweight exercises include squats, pushups, and situps. Try doing 8-12 repetitions of these exercises
  • Join a free pre-recorded or live online fitness class on YouTube, this can help you stay fit without going into a gym!
  • Physical activity can take place anywhere, that includes even at your desk or work station. Try stretching out your body as part of a study break. Some stretches that you can attempt include trying to touch your toes and stretching your triceps by pulling on your elbow at the back of your head
  • Switch up the way you work! This involves engaging in periods of standing alongside times of sitting to help move your body
  • Try this quick bout of physical activity: skip rope for 2 minutes, 10 squats, 10 lunges, 30 second plank and 10 jumps
  • Here is another quick warm-up you can try: light jogging in your house for 3 minutes, 15 second side plank on each side, 10 arm swings and 25 high knees
  • Walk around your house for five minutes as part of a study break, this helps you engage in physical activity while also giving you some time away from the books!
  • Join one of UBC’s free Live Movement Sessions from the comfort of your device and engage in a variety of physical activities


Quality Rest

  • Try your best to get quality rest every night of at least 7 hours, this helps you feel rejuvenated
  • Plan out a consistent schedule/routine for your week, so that you can divide your workload into manageable quantities and ensure that you get regular periods of rest
  • Try to have a shower before you sleep, this can help you fall asleep
  • Go outside and get natural sunlight to help you get quality rest at night
  • Try your best to avoid LED screens at least 1 hour before your bedtime to avoid disruption to your sleep
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New Courses: January 2020 (2019 Winter, Term 2)

Please be aware that many of these classes will only count as unrestricted electives.  If you have questions or concerns on how these courses may be integrated into your degree, contact LFS Student Services through email ( or visit the office to chat with an advisor. The office is open during these hours:

  • Mon/Tues/Wed/Fri: 9:30am – 4:00pm
  • Thurs: 9:30am – 2:30pm

Take a look at some of the following courses being offered this term:

BIOL 448C – Tropical Ecology & Conservation
3 credit course in Spring 2020
Instructor: Jill Jankowski

What are the factors that make tropical systems both unique and also vulnerable to degradation? Learn about the structure, function and biological history of the tropics, and the myriad challenges these regions face in biodiversity loss and conservation practice.

Level: Designed for 4th year students, open to 3rd year and grad students
Lectures: MW 11 – 11:50; Lab: Th 14:00 – 17:00
For more information contact Jill Jankowski at

2019 Term 2 Student-Directed Seminars:

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Social Integration and Well-being Project | UBC Social Health Lab

The UBC’s Social Health Lab is currently recruiting incoming first-year undergraduate students interested in participating in a study on social integration and well-being!

This study will involve two in-person lab sessions at UBC, one at the beginning of the 2019 autumn term (September 3 – October 1) and one at the end of the term (October 15 – December 1). Participants will be compensated $25 for completing both in-person lab sessions and all study procedures at the end of the second session.

They’re looking for students that are:

  • Incoming first-year UBC undergraduates (LGBTQIA2S+ students welcome!)
  • Enrolled in courses full-time (24+ credits)
  • Fluent English speakers

Interested in participating?

Take this five-minute screening survey to help us determine if you’re eligible to participate, and win cash prizes of $10 and $20.

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Calling for Nominations and Applications: UBC Student Health & Wellbeing Advisory Committee

In 2016, UBC adopted the Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges and made a commitment to embed health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations and academic mandates.

Engaging the voice of students is a key value held by the University as well as a principle for action identified in the Charter.  As such, in 2018-19, a Student Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee was established to contribute to the enhancement of student health, mental health, and wellbeing at the University of British Columbia Vancouver by representing student needs and interests on the Committee, providing feedback on campus supports and services, and bringing forward ideas to enhance student wellbeing on the Vancouver campus.

Interested undergraduate and graduate students can now apply for appointment to this new Committee for the 2019-20 academic year.  Consideration will be given as to the diversity of the Committee to allow for broad representation of students at the University.

Interested students are encouraged to view the Draft Terms of Reference (Student HW Adv TOR 2019-20 – DRAFT July 24) and to submit their application for appointment online by Thursday, August 15, 2019.  Student groups (e.g., AMS Clubs, constituency groups, etc.) may recommend a designated member for the Committee; such recommendations or nominations can be made by email. Nominees will be invited to submit an application.

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Participate in an Undergraduate APBI Study | August 2019

Are you interested in learning about farm animal management? Undergraduate APBI student Lexis Ly is looking for participants to take part in a study regarding farm animal management practices. No prior experience/knowledge is required!

What: Participants will be required to do a 10 minute online survey and a 20 minute in-person interview where they will watch short video clips of farm animals.
Where: MacMillan Room 183 at the UBC Point Grey Campus
When: At a time convenient to you between the hours of 8:00am – 7:00pm (Monday-Friday) throughout the month of August.
Why: We are interested in understanding how public members react to farm animal management procedures. You will receive a $10 gift card for your participation.
How: If you are interested, contact Lexis Ly at

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UBC Work On Campus Fair | August 8, 2019

Searching for a job this September? Look no further! The UBC Work On Campus Fair is taking place on Thursday, August 8 from 11:00am – 2:0opm at the UBC Life Building Concourse. There will be a total of 21 employers looking to fill 350 student jobs. All you need to do is bring your resume and your best self forward!

For more details about the UBC Work On Campus Fair, please check out the UBC Student Services website.

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APRU NY Times Asia Pacific Challenge 2019

The annual Asia-Pacific Case Competition hosted by APRU and The New York Times harnesses the creativity and intellectual tenacity of students from universities to address critical global issues, such as the digital economy, the future of work, environmental changes, and the Pacific Ocean. This year’s theme is global health: Mortality attributed to household and ambient air pollution in the Asia-Pacific is higher than in the rest of the world, at 130 deaths per 100,000 population.

Write an 800-word policy brief to a leader in your economy (government, philanthropy, business, NGO, etc.) discussing the threats to health from air pollution. What are the solutions you promote? What are the resources necessary? What are the ways that this solution will make an impact? The winning entry will be published in The New York Times International, Asia Pacific edition.

Deadline for submissions: Monday, September 23, 2019.

Learn more here

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2019 Winter Session Courses with International Engagement – ASTU 401

ASTU 401G Wicked Problems in Community Development

This course is available for the 2019 Winter Session (January – April 2020)

“WICKED PROBLEMS” is an upper level course led by the Faculty of Arts! This is a specialized interdisciplinary course: students from all faculties are encouraged to register. The rigour of the class lends itself from the diversity of perspectives coming together.

Designed for students who have interest in or experience with international engagement, students will focus on case studies in Karnataka, India and study the societal complexity of international community development.

In partnership with UBC’s Emerging Media Lab, the course will mobilize virtual reality (VR) footage in tandem with ongoing partnership with an NGO in the Bangalore area to approach complex social issues such as:

  • urban homelessness and housing;
  • agricultural (un)sustainability and sovereignty;
  • clean energy solutions for social services;
  • refugee migration; and
  • nomadic communities.

Students will learn to utilize the trans-disciplinary tools of systems theory, forum theatre, critical systems heuristics, strategic design and, of course, current best practices in international community engagement. Assignments will be grounded in solidarity practices with the mission of the organization. Students will gain the tools to untangle the complex systems and structures, drawing on theories such as critical pedagogy, post-development and Indigenous feminisms.

This course can be counted towards the Facilities of Science, Commerce and Engineering’s undergraduate students arts course requirement.

Eligibility Criteria: Open to all UBC students with a minimum 3rd year standing by January 2020.

Additional Details: ASTU 401G is a 3 credit course taught entirely at UBC Vancouver campus. Registration for this course is currently open on the UBC Student Service Centre (SSC). For more information visit ASTU 401G WICKED PROBLEMS.

ASTU 401H+I Community Based Participatory Research Approaches & Applications

This course is available for the 2019 Winter Session (January – April 2020) with option to continue in May – October 2020

Together, ASTU 401H+I provide a theoretically rigorous as well as an immersive and experientially engaging course that centers research as potentiating social change and sustainable development with a global view. Students learn through 12-week placements in NGOs over summer 2020 in a Global South setting.

ASTU 401H is a 3 credit course taught at the UBC Vancouver Campus from January to April, 2020. Registration is open through the SSC. Students who complete ASTU 401H may be eligible to take ASTU 401I.

ASTU 401H provides an overview of research in the social sciences, informed by post-colonial, feminist, and post-development scholarship. Focus will be given to participatory approaches that examine the operation of power through research relationships. In the international context, power operates through North-South relations conditioned by histories of colonialism and imperialism. With these relations in mind, this course will introduce techniques, methods, and tools for collaborative research in cross-cultural contexts. Our goal is to identify research practices that decolonize knowledge seeking in order to promote social justice.

ASTU 401I is 3 credit course taken while as part of an international service learning placement. Select students who complete ASTU 401H are eligible to apply to be placed internationally one of ORICE’s NGO partners in Uganda, Kenya, Mexico, Costa Rica or India, and to enroll in ASTU 401I. This optional continuation through international placement requires registration in ASTU 401I (2020S, May-October).

ASTU 401I will engage students in deep experiential learning in an international setting, and will provide students with the opportunity to relate topics discussed in the pre-placement class sessions to the “real-world.” Students will be placed with a development NGO in a non-Western country. Within this context, students will work collaboratively with members of their host organization, engage in critical self-reflection, develop their understanding of local challenges, enhance their understanding of small-scale research in practice for the organization and participate in collaborative and ethically informed ways. Students will complete in-placement assignments, and contribute to post-session discussions upon return to UBC-Vancouver.

ASTU 401I is part of the ISL (International Service Learning) program and requires full participation in:

  • ASTU 401H seminar (January – March 2020)
  • ORICE pre-departure learning program (March – May 2020)

ASTU 401I classes begin in May 2020 (2 x 4hrs per week) and include 12 weeks of fieldwork in an International Service Learning placement (June – August 2020)
Return seminar and final course-work on campus (September 2020)
Re-entry debrief and public engagement presentation on campus (September – October 2020)

Eligibility Criteria: ASTU 401H+I is open to students in all faculties with 3rd year status and beyond. Students interested in further developing their understanding of participatory research in an applied, international context are encouraged to apply for this course.

Funding: This course is eligible for the Arts Research Abroad & ORICE Regional and International Service Learning Award.

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Seeds of Knowledge at the UBC Farm | July 20, 2019

Come with your family and friends to learn about and celebrate research with the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm! Seeds of Knowledge showcases the innovative research happening at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and our partners, highlighting results and giving the public the chance to meet researchers, explore research tools, and join a tour led by researchers to see what research in action looks like at the UBC Farm.

Event Features:

  • Free UBC Farm tour with guest spots from researchers
  • Scavenger hunt and colouring contest for kids
  • Passport to Knowledge prize draw
  • Live music from Route 9 and The William Chernoff Band
  • Food and coffee trucks
  • More than 30 different local vendors selling produce, fruit, meat, mushrooms, cheese, eggs, baked goods, beverages, sweet treats, alcohol, artisan goods, and more

This event is free to attend.

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UBC Sustainability Initiative Course Finder

The UBC Sustainability Initiative Course Finder tool features over 600 sustainability related courses at the undergraduate and graduate level that address environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability. Make sustainability part of your degree and share with a friend to be an agent of change! Search courses today at!

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