6 Ways to Destress at U of T

There’s an oft-used phrase that crops up this time of year:

                                                             Via whisper.sh

But there’s one other thing we often tend to let slip and neglect amidst the constant drag of midterms, assignments and Starbucks waiting lines: 

Our mental health. 

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Here are seven things you can try on-campus to help you unwind, take a breather, and straighten out your work-play balance this midterm season:

1. Breathe Easy

Take some time out to reconnect with your core with a drop-in meditation and mindfulness session. They’re offered on Wednesday afternoons at Hart House all year-round - and you don’t even need to sign up! Next time you feel like procrastinating and putting off some work, just drop by one of these sessions. There's no better justification for your laziness than excusing yourself for taking some time off to meditate.

2. Pick a Green Getaway 

                                                                Photo Credit: Amie Lalonde/ Life @ U of T 

Swap the chaos of your study space with the soothing leafy shade of green zones - you’d be surprised at how calm it can make you feel. Take your pick of the indoor bamboo garden at the Donnelly Centre, the winding trails of Philosopher’s Walk (before it gets too cold!) or the meditation room at the Multi-Faith Centre. 

3. Treat Yo’self to a Free Massage

Perks of a T-card. 

Happening this Thursday at the Multi-Faith Center!

4. Throw it Back to Primary School with Some Arts and Crafts

Hart House’s weekly Get Crafty Thursdays offer a chance to unleash your inner Picasso with a new craft project every week. It’s a great way to unwind and occupy yourself with producing something that isn’t an essay, assignment or lab report *shudder*. 

                                                               Via Hart House Get Crafty

Pro tip: they’re making dip-dyed fabric bags this Thursday!

5. Read Something Other Than a Course Textbook

Want to stick with the familiarity of reading? Try switching up your visual material! If you’ve been reading a lot of dreary text, try flicking through a glossy picture book or an exciting novel. U of T’s libraries are chock-full of undiscovered literary treasures.

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6. Try Talking to Somebody 

Sometimes it’s just easier to talk to someone who’s been where you are right now. Whether that’s someone in your friend and family circles or elsewhere- there’s always the option of finding support on-campus. You can go to your college registrar, an international transition adviser if you’re an international student, a wellness counsellor or your very own peers. There will always be somebody on campus to listen to what you have to say.

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Being at a school that’s as big and as competitive as U of T can mean that you sometimes feel like you’re running a never-ending race. But if you take a short, voluntary Time Out every now and then, you’ll find that it really doesn’t have to be that way for you. 

Stay well, U of T! And remember, the struggle is real but we're all in this together.