Thrive is an initiative focused on helping students, faculty and staff at Camosun College to explore their path to mental health. All Thrive events will be posted here, so please check back to see what initiatives are happening around campus!
Student Wellness Blog
Welcome to Camosun’s Student Wellness Blog! This blog is hosted by your Student Affairs Department and the content is created for students by students. The purpose for creating this blog is to support your learning and overall wellbeing. Along with promotion of mental health and well-being, this blog was created with the goal to build peer to peer connection and create community among Camosun students. We want your experience at Camosun College to be a happy and productive one!
We recognize that you and your fellow students are the experts on the type of stresses and concerns you are feeling. For that reason, we have fellow Camosun students providing input and writing each blog post.
End of Term Blog Post #3
December 4, 2020
Congratulations students, or as we say in my faith - 'Mazel Tov!' It is the most wonderful time of the year – winter break;a time when we Camosun students can breathe a sigh of relief. First thing is first: give yourselves a round of applause and skip to a jolly tune over a job well done this term!
For today’s blog post, I will be discussing how to nurture your mental health during the holidays. The month of December in Victoria is a wonderful time for countless reasons: the stunning, twinkling Christmas light display at Butchart Gardens; the permanent autumnal breeze and snowless streets; the (socially distant) festive gatherings with friends and family; and above all, the giving. December also includes unique responsibilities and emotions. Often, we instinctually prioritize our loved ones over ourselves during the holiday season as we often become hyper-focused on ensuring their happiness. Locating the perfect unique gifts that signify our appreciation for enriching our lives.
With the many challenges we have faced as a community in 2020, I encourage everyone to also consider your wellbeing this holiday season. Feelings of isolation, stress, and reliving past trauma are common this time of year, which can significantly affect our mental health. I would like to share a few ways to cope with negative emotions over the holidays.
- Maintain Regular Routines: With extra pressures on our time and attention, it can be easy to fall out of the routines that help us manage our health and wellness.. Try to maintain your healthy habits – eat food you enjoy, stay active, get plenty of sleep, and spend time on activities that relax and sustain you.
- Spend Time with People Close to You: Visiting with our loved ones and fostering these personal connections and community is one of the best ways to nurture positive mental health and well-being. This may also mean creating healthy boundaries with people who may bring stress or tension into your holidays – do not be afraid to decline invitations or take some time to yourself if necessary. Let us also remember to follow the latest advice of health professionals regarding when and with whom you should gather with during the pandemic.
- Avoid perfectionism: Many people feel pressured to have the perfect holiday season. This can lead to stress and disappointment if reality does not match the ideal. Enjoy simple, inexpensive traditions and look for meaning and positivity in what the holidays bring to you.
- Acknowledge your feelings: Feelings of loss, grief, or change during the holidays are not uncommon. If you have lost someone close to you, aren’t able to visit loved ones, or are experiencing a difficult life transition, please know that you are not alone, and that your feelings are valid.
- As Always, Ask for Support if You Need it: Below are a few resources available to help if you are experiencing mental health challenges over the holidays.
- Here2Talk. Here2Talk connects students with mental health support when they need it. Through this program, all students currently registered in a B.C. post-secondary institution have access to free, confidential counselling and community referral services, conveniently available 24/7 via app, phone and web. Visit here2talk.ca or call 1-877-857-3397.
- Camosun Counselling Resources. The Counselling department has a number of self-help resources and greater Victoria resources listed on their site.
- HealthLink BC: Provides 24/7, confidential health information and advice. Call 8-1-1 or visit: healthlinkbc.ca.
- Island Health- Mental Health and Substance Use Services: Island Health offers innovative services for treatment and support for those impacted by mental health and substance use issues. If you are experiencing a crisis or an emergency, call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line, available 24/7: 1-888-494-3888.
- MindHealthBC: Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Providence Health Care and community partners have created an online mental health counselling program. If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health or substance use challenges, visit mindhealthbc.ca for information and recommendations for further support.
This holiday season, focus on being the best version of yourself. With all the adversity 2020 has introduced, it has undoubtedly created a united community, filled with strength and resilience. I hope you have you all enjoy a fantastic holiday season, and may you have an incredibly happy new year.
All the best,
Mika – Practicum Student