Making a Self-Care Plan

Reading week is a great opportunity to reflect on how the semester is going and right the ship if needed. Take time to think about how you are doing, not just academically but with respect to all aspects of wellness (emotional, physical, social, etc.) and think about what can be improved upon for the rest of the semester. A self-care plan can help manage your stress and make yourself a priority. Learning to identify activities and practices that support your wellbeing can help you to sustain positive self-care in the long term.

For each category below, write at least one strategy or activity that you can undertake. You might notice areas of overlap between these categories. It is important to develop a self-care plan that is holistic and individual to you.

Physical self-care

Things that you can do that help you to stay fit and healthy, and with enough energy to get through your work and personal commitments. (i.e. regularly scheduling exercise, walking outside, setting a sleep schedule, meal planning).

Academic self-care

Activities that help you to work consistently at the level you expect of yourself (i.e. keeping up with readings, working with a study group, setting time boundaries).

Emotional self-care

Activities that allow you to safely experience your full range of emotions (i.e. accessing personal support systems, keep a journal, make time for things you enjoy, accessing counselling as needed).

Social self-care

This is about maintaining healthy, supportive relationships, and ensuring you have diversity in your relationships (i.e. spending time with friends and family, joining groups/communities of people with similar interests).

Cognitive self-care

The things you do to take care of and challenge your mind (i.e. reading for pleasure, writing, trying to learn a new skill or practicing one that is unrelated to school or work).

Once you have finished, keep your self-care plan somewhere you can see it every day. Keeping it visible will help you to think about and commit to the strategies in your plan. You can also share it with friends, roommates and family so they can support you in your actions.

Just like an athlete who trains for a competitive event, self-care plans require that you practice the activities regularly. Be realistic with yourself by remembering that it takes time for a new practice to become a routine. There will be moments when you falter and that’s okay. We’re all human.

Student looking at phone while adjusting headphones

Orillia Campus Fitness Guide 2021

Your campus fitness guide

Whether you’re looking to be active, meet new people or explore new hobbies, Lakehead has plenty of options. Here are some ways to get involved if you want to get moving this year.

On-Campus Options

Fitness Room

All current Lakehead Orillia students can access the fitness room, regardless of whether they are learning on or off-campus. Only those who have signed and submitted the risk and liability waiver will have physical access to the room.

Turf Field

This year, Lakehead Orillia students have access to the turf fields at the West Orillia Sports Complex for open field use. WOSC offers a full-sized, lit artificial turf field. Perfect for all kinds of outdoor sports and activities, students are encouraged to get active and make use of this space this fall! The WOSC (at Rotary Place) is located at 100 University Avenue, right next door to our campus.

Starting September 23rd, until November 4th, 2021, the fields will be booked for Lakehead students every Thursday evening from 5:00 pm-7:00 pm.

Virtual Offerings

If you’re looking for a fun way to connect with fellow Thunderwolves check out our virtual fitness programming:

It's Your Move 5x5 Challenge

  • If getting back into school mode has messed up your fitness routine- or it was never much of a routine to begin with- get moving with the 5x5 challenge. Challenge yourself to log 5 days of activity (of at least 30 minutes) for 5 weeks starting on September 27.

  • This program is open to current students, staff, faculty, and alumni from either Campus. Students who complete the challenge will get a sticker recognizing their success and all participants who log activity during the challenge will be entered into a prize draw with the winner announced in November.

  • For more information on the 5x5 Challenge, visit the Student Health & Wellness Events page.

Teachers on the Move

  • Teachers on the Move is a Professional Year BEd student-specific program. Download the Strava app and complete monthly individual and cohort challenges for a chance to get active in creative ways, gain valuable skills and resources...and of course, there are prizes available too! 

  • Teachers on the Move has connections to the Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum and will help to foster a sense of community among the Lakehead BEd students virtually, as you all continue to study online this year. This Strava club was made so that you can encourage one another and hold one another accountable while studying at home, so comment, give kudos and upload your activities!

  • To sign up, fill out the Teachers on the Move Registration Form.

 Get outside

Living in Orillia means you have access to some of the most scenic natural areas in Ontario, right in your own backyard! If you’re interested in getting outside this semester, check out some of the resources below:

  • Campus Trails: You don’t even need to leave campus to enjoy the beautiful scenery- check out our campus trail map.

  • Hiking in the area: There is no shortage of parks, conservation areas and trails in the area, with some only a bus ride away, use the alltrails app to plan your route in advance.

  • Equipment Borrowing: All Lakehead Orillia Students are entitled to borrow equipment for use on campus or at assigned facilities. In order to borrow equipment, please bring your student ID card to Student Central and ask Security. 

  • Outdoor Courts and Fields: Want to throw together a scrimmage with friends? Make use of one of our many on-campus fields or head over to the Turf field at Rotary Place on Thursdays from 5-7 pm. On-campus lined field coming soon!

Play sports

Sports can be a fun way to stay active and meet new friends. Here are a couple of ways you can get involved in sports at Lakehead:

  • Intramural Sport leagues: Campus Rec offers multiple sessions of Intramural Sports leagues throughout the year. You can sign up as a team or join a team as a free agent to play a variety of sports. No experience is required to play, and all ability levels are welcome. Not sure you can commit- watch out for mini-leagues being offered. 

  • Orillia Community Sports Clubs: To learn more about the Community Sports Clubs in the Orillia area visit the Community Recreation page. 

Follow us on social

Learn more about upcoming opportunities and events through Athletics and Wellness by following us on social (@thunderwolvesOR)!


treadmills and ellipitcal in a fitness room

Dealing with Conflict

Disagreements happen -between partners, roommates, labmates, teammates- and they can easily be blown out of proportion. In Megan Phelps-Roper’s TED Talk, she urges all of us to talk and to listen to the people we disagree with. Here are her tips for how to have effective conversations:

1. Don’t assume bad intent.

Assuming ill motives almost instantly eliminated the possibility of understanding why someone does and believes as they do. We forget they are human-being with a lifetime of experience that shaped their mind, we get stuck on that first wave of anger, and the conversation has a very hard time ever moving beyond it. But when you assume good or neutral intent, you open yourself up to having an open, non-judgmental dialogue. 

2. Ask questions.

Asking questions helps figure out the disconnect between differing points of view. That’s important because we can’t present effective arguments if we don’t understand where the other side is actually coming from and it gives them an opportunity to point out flaws in our positions.

But asking questions serves another purpose; it signals to someone they’re being heard. Questions give the other person room to speak, but they also give others permission to ask you questions and truly hear your responses. It can change the dynamic of a conversation.

3. Stay calm.

This is way easier said than done! It does take practice and patience, but it’s powerful. If you are finding a conversation becoming heated, resist the urge to lash out and find a way to press pause. The disagreement isn't over but by giving everyone time to breathe or walk away, you have the opportunity to come back to it when everyone is ready and less frustrated. 

4. Make the argument.

One side effect of having strong beliefs is we can assume that the value of our position is, obvious and self-evident; that we shouldn’t have to defend our positions because they’re so clearly right; that if someone doesn’t get it, it’s their problem — that it’s not your job to educate them. But if it were that simple, we would all see things the same way, so make your case.

Two women sitting and looking at a cellphone together

Thunder Bay Campus Fitness Guide 2021

Your campus fitness guide

Whether you’re looking to be active, meet new people or explore new hobbies, Lakehead has plenty of options. Here are some ways to get involved if you want to get moving this year.

Visit the Lakehead Athletics Centre

Membership to the Athletics Centre is included in your student fees and you have access to all the facilities- pool, courts, multiple training areas, indoor turf and track in the Hangar.  Gym sessions must be booked online prior to visiting the facilities.  This can be done through the online portal at or through the Lakehead Move app.  Visit their website for more information on COVID-19 policies. 

*Wolfie Pro tip: Be sure to download the LakeheadMOVE app to sign up for classes or programs, book sessions, get facility access and get updates on Varsity teams.

 Download: Apple App Store      Download: Google Play Store

Move with the pack

If you’re looking for a fun way to work out with others, check out these options:

  • Group fitness classes: Campus Rec offers a variety of classes that are led by a qualified instructor. Classes range from cardio, strength, dance-oriented, yoga, and water-based classes. Stay tuned for the class schedule in October on their group fitness page.

  • Challenge yourself: Student Health and Wellness and Campus Rec have partnered up to offer a physical activity challenges throughout the year. Check out the It’s Your Move 5x5 to get started.

  • Go with the Flow: The Athletics Centre is home to Modo Yoga, classes aren’t included in your facility membership but they do offer a student rate, karma classes and an energy exchange program. Student Health and Wellness also offers free yoga classes during the academic year- check out the events calendar to find out when and to register.

Get outside

Living in Thunder Bay means you have access to some of the most scenic natural areas in Ontario, right in your own backyard! If you’re interested in getting outside this semester, check out some of the resources below

  • Campus Trails: You don’t even need to leave campus to enjoy the beautiful scenery- check out our campus trail map.

  • Hiking in the area: There is no shortage of parks, conservation areas and trails in the area, with some only a bus ride away, use the wayfinder app to plan your route in advance. 

  • Equipment checkout: Residence has a variety of sports equipment available to res students, stop by Bartley Front to see what is available!  Res students can also book the outdoor tennis courts and residence rink. 

  • Outdoor Courts and Fields: Want to throw together a scrimmage with friends? Check out the outdoor sand volleyball courts by the Fieldhouse or one of the soccer fields on campus (by the Fieldhouse, behind the Avila or behind the Bora Laskin Education building) 

  • Lake Tamblyn: Skating on our campus lake is a time-honoured tradition, watch for an announcement from Security for when the ice is safe. 

Play sports

Sports can be a fun way to stay active and meet new friends. Here are a couple of ways you can get involved in sports at Lakehead:

  • Intramural Sport leagues: Campus Rec offers multiple sessions of Intramural Sports leagues throughout the year. You can sign up as a team or join a team as a free agent to play a variety of sports. No experience is required to play, and all ability levels are welcome. Not sure you can commit- watch out for mini-leagues being offered.

  • Sport Clubs: Participate in competitive sports and compete against teams outside the university. Some teams may also require tryouts. Learn more about Sport Clubs

Follow us on social

Learn more about upcoming opportunities and events through Campus and Student Health and Wellness by following us on social (@Lakeheadcampusrec and @lakeheadlife)!

Gym floor with thunderwolves logo

Getting to Know Lakehead

One School, Two Cities

Places to study off-campus

If you want to escape the distractions of friends or the pressure of being on campus, there are many places to study off-campus in Thunder Bay. If you like to study at coffee shops, you have many options to explore along Algoma Street and in downtown Port Arthur. Some of the most popular places to go are The Habit, Calico, and Bean Fiend. If you want to take advantage of the warmer weather in September, you can study at one of the many picnic tables throughout the city. You can find some by the Marina, Boulevard Lake, and the Law School. If you like a quieter place to study, there are several public libraries in Thunder Bay that you can also utilize. 

The Orillia campus is located in cottage country and this makes for a long list of comfortable and relaxing places to study off-campus. Just take a short trip to downtown Orillia and you’ll find Mariposa Market, Apple Annie’s Cafe, Eclectic Cafe, Verona Coffee, and Bakes By the Lake all on the main street - Mississauga Street East. The Orillia Public Library is also located downtown and offers a vast space for students to study, friendly staff to help out, and a large catalogue of resources. Another coffee shop that is a student study spot favourite is Mark IV Brothers -- located just east of downtown, Mark IV Brothers is a quiet and cozy coffee shop that is perfect for studying. Looking for a place to study by the water? The Couchiching Beach pavilion looks over Lake Couchiching and offers a beautiful study view. If you’re looking for a place closer to campus, don’t fret, we have a Starbucks just a 5-10 minute walk from campus that makes for the perfect spot. 

The Sights

Bordered by the Boreal Forest and Lake Superior, there are tons of picturesque places to explore in Thunder Bay. If you want to catch a stunning view of the Sleeping Giant, check out Hillcrest Park, the Bluffs, or the Marina. For a walk through a forested area, check out Centennial Park, George Burke Park, and the river trails on Campus. Besides being a nice place to walk, Boulevard Lake also provides a beach, mini putt, and frisbee golf. For those without a car, Hillcrest, the Marina, and George Burke park are not too far. You can easily access these sites by biking or taking the bus from campus. Hillcrest is also a short walk away from those living around the student neighbourhood of High Street South.

Orillia is surrounded by Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching, located along the historic 386-kilometre Trent-Severn Waterway which provides a scenic view throughout downtown. The waterfronts in Orillia offer a number of trails, sandy beaches and picnic areas. Visit Couchiching Beach Park to look out from the docks over Lake Couchiching and keep an eye out for a variety of fun events hosted here throughout the year. Head over to J.B. Tudhope Park, also located along Lake Couchiching, which is an active park with baseball diamonds, beach volleyball courts and home to Moose Beach. Tudhope Park is also famously home to Mariposa Folk Festival every year! Closer to Lakehead’s Orillia campus (just a short walk down the road!) is Scout Valley. There are three loop trails at Scout Valley, which is dominated by mature deciduous forest. At the top of the hill is a lookout with views across Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching.

Local Dining

Whether you are tired of food from the Res Cafe or need a break from cooking, Thunder Bay has many local restaurants to check out. Located by Algoma Street and Bay Street, Rebel Salad, Growing Season, and the Nook offer great food. Both Rebel Salad and the Growing Season offer healthy but delicious salads with options to create your own salad. If you prefer Italian food, the Nook offers great meals. More restaurants can also be found in downtown Port Arthur. For Thai food lovers, Thai Kitchen offers delicious Thai food. In Common and Apple Chipotle’s are good restaurants in the area. If you are too busy to get out of the house, no worries! Several places within Thunder Bay will deliver the food right to you. Through Skip the Dishes you can order from Eat Local Pizza, Sushi Station, Daytona’s and much more.

Orillia has a wide range of restaurants you can visit to satiate your cravings! Take a break from the cafeteria and treat yourself by going out for a bite to eat at any of the fabulous restaurants in the city or order in and enjoy the delicious food in residence or at home. Downtown is home to some local favourites: Brewery Bay’s slogan is Good Grub, Great Pub: a statement that is 100% true. Kenzington Burger Bar has the best burgers in town - whether you enjoy a classic cheeseburger or want something more extravagant, Kenzington is the place to go. Rustica offers delicious wood-fired pizzas and other delicious Italian dishes. Studabakers Beachside is a student favourite due to its sun-soaked patio and great pub food. Also located downtown, Shine is an awesome juice bar and cafe. Its menu is completely plant-based and gluten-free, and 90% of the menu items are locally sourced and organic! Closer to campus you’ll find places like Thai Plate, Tops In Pizza, St Louis Bar and Grill, Osmow’s, and Wimpy’s Diner! 

Other Places to Visit

While in Thunder Bay, you might as well take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the local talent and community. The Thunder Bay Country Market is the perfect place to visit on a Saturday morning or a late Wednesday afternoon. It has vendors that sell anything from locally grown veggies to handmade pottery. While you treat yourself to some good food, you can gain the satisfaction of supporting the local community. Right in the heart of where many students call home (On Beverly and Winnipeg), there is the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. Throughout the year, there are many performances that you can watch. Since Covid-19 caused many restrictions to be put into place, the number of tickets and performances may be limited. If you are interested in the history of the Great Lakes, you can visit the Alexander Henry, which was a ship that served on the Great Lakes from 1959-1984. 

Orillia has many places you can visit and explore to learn about the city’s history and take advantage of the cultural offerings Orillia has up for grabs. The Orillia Opera House, located on Mississauga Street E and West Street in the downtown area, produces professional theatre during the summer and presents concerts and educational programming throughout the year. The Orillia Farmers' Market is one of the longest-running farmers' markets in the province, with its roots going back to 1842 when it first operated at the waterfront. Our growers look forward to Saturdays on the Market, where they offer fresh-picked produce in season, naturally raised meats, handmade crafts from around the county, as well as a variety of yummy baked goods and ready-to-eat treats. The Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) acts as a hub of culture and heritage in the heart of Orillia’s Peter Street Arts District. OMAH offers exciting and innovative exhibits, events, programming and activities that reach out and engage everyone. 

Check out the WelLU maps provided on the Student Health and Wellness Website to find many more places to explore - in both Thunder Bay and Orillia!


-Sarah Simpson, Orillia Work-Study Student and Rebekkah Pyle, Thunder Bay Work-Study Student


Image of a student sitting on steps reading a map with text that says getting to know your new city

New long acting birth control available at LU Student Health and Wellness

Nexplanon is now available through the Thunder Bay Student Health and Wellness clinic.
Nexplanon is a long-acting, reversible form of birth control that gives protection from pregnancy for 3 years.  It releases progesterone (a hormone) from a small plastic rod that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm.  After three years (or sooner if desired) the rod is removed from under the skin. It is very effective and easily reversible and is an alternative to an IUD for women interested in long-acting contraception.
If you are interested in this (or any other birth control) or just want to have a discussion about your options please make an appointment with one of our physicians. Call 807-343-8361 or email to book.
More information on Nexplanon can be found at
Text: New long acting birth control available at Student Health and Wellness Image: Hand holding birth control implant in figures

Student Health and Wellness Launches COVID Vaccine Information Resource

While everyone is anxious to see the end of this pandemic, it’s normal to have questions and concerns about any vaccine. The best way to make an informed decision is by ensuring you have the facts you need to know if the vaccine is the best option for your health. Student Health and Wellness has launched a COVID-19 vaccine information page, you can get answers to your questions about the vaccines available in Ontario, and have the option to select links to the most reliable and current resources of information.


Image of wolfie receiving a COVID-19 Vaccine

Student Health and Wellness Recognizes Pride Month

Students who are part of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community have enough on their plates navigating the usual pressures of post-secondary life without having to worry about feeling safe or discriminated against. Student Health and Wellness strives to provide a safe space for all Thunderwolves to get support, resources, information and care. Student Health and Wellness also knows that while members of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ are as diverse as the general Canadian population in their experiences of mental health and well-being, they face higher risks for some mental and physical health concerns due to the effects of discrimination and the social determinants of health. We are excited to launch our new Pride section on the SHW website, dedicated to help 2SLGBTQQIA+ students find supports, services and information. Visit to learn more.

image of laptop screen with Pride in rainbow lettering and white lotus, Lakehead on top of rainbow backrgound above

Every Child Matters- Supports and Resources are Available

The discovery of a mass grave of 215 Indigenous children found on the site of a former Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia. Our thoughts are with the TK'emlups Te Secwepemc First Nation, as well as with all Indigenous communities across Canada.

With the legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada a part of everyday lived experience for First Nations people, this horrific discovery means individuals across Canada will be reliving grief and pain. Taking care of mental health and coping is essential and supports are available. 

  • Support through the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation- Residential School Crisis Line. To Access emotional and Crisis referral services, call the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419
  • Reconciliation Canada is hosting a gathering on Zoom today and tomorrow at 12pm-1:30pm EST
  • Please check out the Reconciliation Canada site to honour the 215 children who died at the Kamloops (Tk’emlups) Residential School. All are welcome. Reconciliation Canada will have ongoing Zoom events and live Facebook events.
  • Should anyone need support dealing with this devastating news, please contact the Indian Residential School Survivors Society at 1-800-721-0066 or NAN HOPE at 1-844-626-4673.
  • Hope for Wellness- offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit to chat with a counsellor. 

Students in Ontario can also get support from Good2talk at anytime by calling 1-866-925-5454 or texting GOOD2TALKON to 686868 or get peer support no matter where they are studying from by downloading the TalkCampus app. 

Every Child Matters with feather on orange background

Starting Your Own Garden

Gardening can be an affordable way to access fresh and nutritious food throughout the warmer months, and you don't need to have a huge amount of space to get started. 

I don't have a green thumb so you definitely don't want any gardening advice from me but below are some articles from much more reliable sources:

Did you know that both campuses have community gardens with plots available for students, staff and faculty?


-Lindsey Wachter, R.Kin

Health and Wellness Promoter 

Title: Starting a vegetable garden image: tomato plants