Many students look forward to reading week—going home, seeing family and friends, sleeping in their own bed. But for some students, going back home can be worrisome and stressful—controlling parents, annoying siblings, or even returning to a part-time job. You may have become used to having more independence, and are feeling unsure about how that will fit into your life and relationships back home.
During reading week, it is important to take care of ourselves, in whatever way that looks like to you. Mental health is an important part of our wellbeing, and despite being off campus, there are still helpful resources to support you throughout this time.
Below are 5 ways you can take care of your mental health on reading week!
1. Spend time outside
As the seasons change, it can be comforting to walk around your neighbourhood or city, taking in the nature around you—from the change in air temperature to the colour changing of the leaves, Fall is a time to appreciate the world that surrounds us.
While you're outside, consider taking the time to do the “5 Senses” exercise, which is a mindfulness exercise to ground yourself in the present moment, and to be more aware of your surroundings.
2. Eat Your Favourite Foods
While the Dining Hall and Simcoe Hall Kiosk provide great food options on campus, nothing beats a home cooked meal! Make an effort to partake in your favourite foods while home, or even try out some new cozy Fall recipes.
Check out this article which describes some famous TikTokers who share their recipes on a regular basis!
3. Find a hobby!
Hobbies are activities that are enjoyable, that take our minds off of other priorities such as school and work. These activities can be as active or laid back as you’d like. Below are some personal favourites:
- Diamond Painting
- Diamond painting is a modern version of a craft some of us may have taken part in as kids—mosaics! With this craft, you are placing tiny beads/diamonds onto a sticky canvas using a pen and wax. This craft can be quite affordable, as there are tons of options on Amazon for $10-$20!
- Embroidery Floss Creations
- Remember making friendship bracelets as a kid? Embroidery floss provides creative freedom to make bracelets or cross stitching projects. If you are looking for an in-depth explanation of all of the possibilities that can be made with simple embroidery floss, check out this website!
4. Spend Time With People You Care About
Everyone’s homelife is different. Some people really love spending time with their family, while others could imagine a million other ways to spend their time. Spending time with people who understand who you are, who make you feel safe, is very important.
Whether it’s hanging out with a friend from high school, visiting your grandparents, or even visiting your local coffee shop, surrounding yourself with people can be a good way to break up your day!
5. Taking Time For Yourself
While spending time with other people is important, being able to have time for yourself is equally important, if not more. As you are constantly around people at school, having the time to sit back and relax on your own can be extremely beneficial to your wellbeing.
During reading week, catching up on sleep can be a great way to take time to yourself, to reflect on how far you have come during the semester and to simply breathe.
Lakehead has many resources available to students, even during reading week such as virtual counselling, mental health support through Good2Talk, or even the WellU key.
Enjoy your reading week, in whichever way that looks like to you!
- Makayla Foster, Peer Wellness Educator Lead