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
This entry was posted in News & Events. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply