Mid-semester Mindfulness

Hey Thunderwolves it’s midterm season which we all know is a hectic time. During these times practicing mindfulness can not only help with reducing stress but it can also help with motivation. We’ve collected some helpful tips and resources for you to use this month to help you get into mindfulness.

 

Body scan meditation is a technique used to look inwards and to assess any sensations your body may be feeling. Body scan meditation is used for many things like stress, improving sleep, greater self awareness, and reducing pain and stiffness. Check out this guided body scan meditation as a way to see if it is a good fit for you.

 

 Take some time to do what you enjoy. Is there a food you love? Take some time to enjoy it and ask yourself why you like it so much. Focusing on small details you enjoy can help you reduce feelings of anxiety. Check out this link for some easy comfort foods you can make to help you refuel for your studies.

 

You have supports available to you. As a Lakehead University student you have access to our counseling services offered through Student Health and Wellness. We even offer same day counseling. Wanting to check in with yourself? Use our new Wellukey tool to complete a self assessment and see any online resources available to you.

 

nterested in some mindfulness that gets your heart pumping? Yoga is an excellent way to get your muscles moving while easing your mind and body with a wide range of stretches, poses and breathing techniques. Below are some local yoga studios offering classes right now!

Thunder Bay

Orillia

 

 

Check In with Your Sleep This Reading Week

Hey, it’s Fall Reading Week! What a great time to Check-In with the Lakehead WellU Key!

Are you eating enough leafy greens? Have you been active today? How's your sleep?

Sleep is critical for learning and memory. The process of learning is actively taken up by your brain during sleep, especially during the REM stage. Sleep is essential for long-term memory formation, and it is during sleep that memory consolidation and enhancement occur.

A lack of good quality sleep can make it harder to focus and think clearly and can cause increased fatigue, irritability, and anxiety during the day. All of which can cause your academic performance to suffer. 

It is not only the number of hours of sleep that matters but other factors such as quality of sleep are important. A common belief is that lost sleep from a late night of studying can be recovered by “sleeping in” another day or taking naps. However, both methods disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms and may deprive the body of deeper sleep stages. It is important to respond, whenever possible, to the body’s natural signals of sleepiness.

If you have fallen into a sleep schedule that is not working for you because you are having trouble getting up in the morning or staying up later than you want, there is no time like the present to get into a new sleep routine.

Try some of the following to get into a sleep pattern that works for you:

- Go to bed early enough to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night

- Be consistent with your sleep schedule, even on the weekends.

- If you need to nap, make it brief; keep it under 15 minutes and before 3pm

- Avoid studying, watching tv, or talking on the phone while in bed.

- Stay away from caffeine and other stimulants later in the day.

- Try to be physically active in some way each day.

- Help your body wind down naturally by turning off digital screens and dimming lights before bed.

- Try an app, like BetterSleep, Sleep Cycle, Pzizz, or Sleepiest.

If your sleep schedule is interfering with your academic work, job, and other responsibilities, if the above strategies don’t work, or if you’re struggling with sleep in any way, talk to your doctor or health care practitioner.

For more information and resources related to sleep check out the Sleep Section of our site!

Person sitting crossed legged writing in a journal

Setting Boundaries

Personal boundaries can be murky- they vary from person to person and occasionally from situation to situation. Even though personal boundaries can be challenging to navigate, learning how to set and communicate them allows you to prioritize your health and wellbeing. 

Take time to reflect on what you want and don’t want in different situations (e.g. work, friendships, romantic relationships).  The key to setting boundaries is first figuring out what you want from your various relationships and setting boundaries based on those desires. Once you know your boundaries, it is important to share them with others (remember that no one is a mindreader and might have different boundaries than you). Here are some tips on how to confidently and respectfully communicate your expectations:

  • Be assertive. Be firm and use clear, non-negotiable language. You can use “I statements” to make sure that you letting others know what you need and why instead of focussing on the actions of others (i.e. I feel overwhelmed after school/work and need time to myself before I can socialize vs. You need to give me space when I get home).

  • Use “No” as a complete sentence. You don’t always need to justify your decision. If someone asks you to cover a shift or to take on another project, say no without an excuse or explanation.

  • Protect your time. Remote learning and work have blurred a lot of boundaries, enforce them by designating work/study hours, setting cut-off times for responding to emails/texts or using the do not disturb features on your devices. You can share those times with others to help them be respected (e.g. let your supervisor know when they can expect to receive responses from you or let your roommates know when you are studying so they know not to interrupt).

  • Remember, you are not responsible for the other person’s reaction to the boundary you are setting. You are only responsible for communicating your boundary in a respectful manner. If it upset them, know it is their problem. Plan on it, expect it but remain firm. Remember, your behaviour must match the boundaries you are setting. You cannot successfully establish a clear boundary if you send mixed messages by apologizing. 

  • Get assistance or support. If setting boundaries was easy, we wouldn’t be sharing this article and some situations are more complicated than others. If you’re experiencing challenges with setting or asserting boundaries, or if someone is causing you difficulty by crossing them, never hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional- you can book an appointment with Student Health and Wellness counsellors or connect with 

Male student sitting on couch looking towards a female in the foreground

Stocking Your Pantry

The first grocery shop of the school year is a doozie-  making a plan ahead of time can help you take advantage of deals, ensure you have all the staples and avoid each roommate buying their own 10lb bag of rice. Check out this list below for some pantry essentials.

Grains/Starches
  • Long-grain white rice, one or two other grains (such as quinoa or farro)
  • dry pasta
  • rice/ramen/udon noodles
  • plain bread crumbs/panko
  • bread
  • wraps/pita/naan
  • breakfast cereals, oatmeal
Oils and Vinegars
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • neutral cooking oil (such as canola or grapeseed)
  • whatever vinegar you must often use- rice, balsamic, white, red wine, etc.
Cans and jars
  • Canned tuna
  • Tomatoes in all forms (diced, paste, sauce)
  • Soups and stocks
  • Canned Beans (white beans, black beans and-or chickpeas)
Spices and dried herbs
  • Kosher salt
  • red-pepper flakes
  • ground cayenne
  • curry powder
  • bay leaves
  • black pepper
  • sweet paprika
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground cumin
  • garlic powder
  • granulated garlic
  • dried thyme
  • dried oregano
  • ground coriander

If you are a somewhat experienced cook you'll know what spices you often use but this is a good starting point for beginners. Opting for packages over jars also saves money.

Condiments and sauces
  • Salad dressing
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Hot sauce
  • Salsa
  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
Baking
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Rolled oats
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Brown and white sugar
  • Chocolate: chips, baking, etc.
  • Raisins or another dried fruit
  • Cocoa powder

If you are not a baker you can skip this section but never underestimate the power of stress baking. 

Dairy
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Sour cream

If you follow a lactose-free or adhere to a vegan diet, look for affordable substitutes that contain protein.

Freezer
  • Frozen fruits and veggies
  • Frozen proteins
  • Frozen meals (e.g. lasagna, pizzas, samosas) These are never as good as the real deal but can do in a pinch
  • Ice cream/sorbet/gelato- this is an essential

Opting for frozen instead of fresh is often more affordable and lasts way longer, just be mindful of freezer space, especially if you are sharing with roommates.

The rest
  • Nuts and nut butters: Walnuts, almonds, roasted peanuts, peanut butter (smooth and crunchy). 
  • Sweeteners: Honey, maple syrup, granulated sugar.
  • Preserves and pickles: Fruit jams and preserves, anchovies.

 

 

This list is by no means exhaustive- you know your own likes and dietary restrictions- but it is a good place to start. You'll also need to consider your fresh produce and proteins and snacks. 

If you are new to the city, we have grocery maps!

For more information about eating healthy- visit the Health Eating page of our site!

 
jars of dried cook in a pantry

Signs You Might be Getting Too Much Sun

Three students sitting on a cliffside overlooking the water. 

The summer season is in full swing and with it comes the summer sun. Though the sun is great for giving us vitamin D sometimes too much sun can be harmful to us. Below is a list of common sun and heat related illnesses as well as their signs and symptoms.

Heat Cramps

The first stage of heat illness are heat cramps. These are muscle cramps that are brought on when you’ve spent too much time in heat. Often heat cramps are accompanied by:

heavy sweating

fatigue

thirst

muscle cramps

Heat Exhaustion

The second stage of heat illness is heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion does not require immediate medical attention but should be acted on immediately. Symptoms are the same as heat cramps but now also include:

Headaches

Dizziness and confusion

Pale clammy skin

Fast breathing/pulse

Temperature above 38C

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most dangerous of the heat illnesses. If you suspect someone has heat stroke seek medical attention immediately. The symptoms of heat stroke are the same as the previous stages but now including:

Altered behaviour (confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, etc)

Skin feeling dry with little to no sweat being produced or extreme amounts of sweating

Nausea and vomiting

Flushed skin

chart showing the most common heat illness symptoms

6 Tips and Tricks so You Can Avoid Ticks

Shows a cartoon tick, a bullseye, some tall grass, a pair of socks, a hospital. It reads six tips and tricks so you can avoid ticks

1. Know What Ticks Carry Lyme Disease.

Even though Ontario is native to over 40 species of ticks only 2 carry lyme disease. Blacklegged ticks and Western blacklegged ticks. table outlining the various types and sizes of blacklegged ticks.

2. How to identify blacklegged and western blacklegged ticks.

Blacklegged and Western Blacklegged ticks typically are a dark red/brown colour when not feeding. They change to a light yellow/brown colour while in the middle of feeding. 

3. How to identify tick bites.

If the tick is still burrowed into the skin you will be able to see the bottom of the tick peeking out surrounded in a red area. A tick bite will also often appear in the shape of a bullseye with a small red circle surrounding the bite.

an example of tick bites bulsseye shape.

4. Where ticks are normally found.

Ticks love to reside in tall grass and fields. Always be weary after walking through these environments.

an image of tall grass

5. Where do ticks love to bite.

Ticks tend to bite the warmest areas of the body so when you leave tall grass be sure to check any areas that have frequent skin to skin contact like armpits, behind the knees. They also like to go beneath tight clothes so be sure to check in socks and underwear as well.

6. So you've been bitten by a tick, what next?

Have you been bitten by a tick and it is still burrowed within the skin. You can extract the tick by using fine point tweezers to gently grab the tick by the head. If the head has broken off you may use tweezers to extract the head and then use an alcohol based sanitizer to clean the bite. Once the tick is removed you should put it in a sealed bag and bring it to your local health unit.

8 Healthy Activities You Can Test Out This Summer

Two students wearing backpacks stand on a hill overlooking a lake.

8 Healthy Activities You Can Test Out This Summer.

8. Hiking

Hiking is an excellent form of exercise that is low intensity and great for your cardiovascular system. It can also help you reduce feelings of stress through the release of endorphins. Want to know more about hiking in your area? check out https://www.alltrails.com/ or download their app to see all kinds and difficulties of hiking trails in your area.

7. Canoeing/Kayaking

a group of people canoeing beside a rock face

Did you know that Canada has approximately 20% of the world's surface freshwater? Why not explore some of your local waterways on a sunny day! Canoeing and kayaking are great ways to relax while giving your body a great upper body workout. Curious about renting some equipment and trying it out? Here are some businesses that offer canoe and kayak rentals near Lakehead University.

Orillia:

https://www.abreathoffreshair.ca/

https://swiftoutside.com/georgian-bay/

Thunder Bay:

https://queticooutfitters.com/quetico-canoe-rentals/

https://www.wildernesssupply.ca/rent-canoes-kayaks-sup-s-more-in-winnipeg-thunder-bay

 6. Rock Climbing

An empty rock climbing gym

Just because the sun is now out doesn't meant it's here to stay. Rock climbing is an excellent way to get active in an indoor environment. Rock climbing is also an excellent way to work out everything from your heart to your legs and everything in between. Below are a couple of local rock climbing gyms near Lakehead University.

Orillia:

https://www.orillia.ca/en/living-here/rotary-place.aspx

Thunder Bay:

http://boulderbearclimbing.com/

 5. Softball

a softball sitting on an empty softball pitch

Are you looking to meet some new people? Or are you and some friends looking for a fun activity to do together? Why not join a local softball team? Softball is an excellent way to spend some time outside socializing with peers, making new friends, and stretching your legs. Check out these links for some information about local recreational softball leagues:

Orillia:

http://www.ospl.ca/forms/16696-Free-Agents

 Thunder Bay:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/battingforthecure/

4. Disc Golf

a disc golf post in a field

Looking for a low intensity activity to play by yourself or with friends? Disc golf is a great relaxing activity that can reduce stress while performing low impact exercise! check out some of these local courses in your area:

477 Cuyler St, Thunder Bay, ON P7A 1B5

 A map showing the location of the disc golf course in Thunder Bay

68 Woodside Dr, Orillia, ON L3V 3K9

A map showing the location of the disc golf course in Orillia

3. Bicycling

Lower half of someone biking down a path in a forest.

Bicycling is an excellent hobby for anyone of any age to get into. It also is an activity that can be made easier or more difficult depending on your level of experience and chosen path. Check out the AllTrails app or visit https://www.alltrails.com/ for trails, information, and difficulties.

2. Soccer

Lakehead University students playing soccer in the C.J Sanders Fieldhouse

Wanting to get out and meet some new people? Joining a local soccer league is an excellent way to meet tons of new people while getting some great aerobic exercise. Want to know more? see the links below for more information about soccer leagues in your area.

Orillia:

https://www.orillia.ca/en/living-here/sports-leagues.aspx

Thunder Bay:

https://interlucania.ca/

1. Concerts

A crowd of people sitting in front of the stage at a previous Live on the Waterfront event

Not every healthy activity has to involve physical movement. Many cities offer free public concerts throughout the summer which can help reduce stress and improve your sense of community.

Thunder Bay:

https://www.thunderbay.ca/en/recreation/live-on-the-waterfront.aspx

Orillia:

https://calendar.orillia.ca/Default/Index?__RequestVerificationToken=ieUSQED5h8-VC0EHkE9tW7HacHnkztZonLfd-aB9YmbHVARs6sCMFWPINbS0RtlmVZyOUn_iMDIm0AF7zFgYpQeX2HW4rexGV9mMi983HhY1&PrintView=list&StartDate=05/11/2022&EndDate=08/11/2022&Calendar=Events&Keywords=concert

A man and woman wearing backpacks stand on a hill overlooking a lake

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10th marks World Suicide Prevention Day. Death by suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadians aged 15-24 (Statistics Canada, 2017) and the most recent NCHA survey found that 16% of Canadian post-secondary students had seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months. 

This year, debunking the myths surrounding suicide and bring an increased awareness of signs and symptoms might be more important than ever. The pandemic has caused stress and disruption for everyone and according to a nationwide survey released by the CMHA and UBC, this has caused pronounced mental health concerns- including suicidal thoughts and feelings- especially among: parents, those living with mental illness or mental health issues, Indigenous people, those with a disability or individuals in the LGBTQ+ community. 

It is important to remember that individuals thinking about killing themselves do not want to die, they want to end their suffering. These individuals are feeling helpless and hopeless. It is also important to remember that suicide does not come out of nowhere, warning signs—verbally or behaviorally—precede most suicides. Therefore, it’s important to learn and understand the warnings signs associated with suicide.

The American Association of Suicidology has a mnemonic to remember warning signs frequently experienced or reported within the last few months before a suicide, or suicide attempt: IS PATH WARM? The specific warning signs are: 

I – Ideation. Expressed or communicated suicidal ideation threatening to hurt or kill themself or having thoughts of doing so

S – Substance Abuse. Increased alcohol or drug use

P – Purposelessness. No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life, start giving things away because there’s no purpose in keeping anything, no reason to maintain their hygiene

A – Anxiety. Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time, difficulty concentrating 

T – Trapped. Like there’s no way out and things will never get better

H – Hopelessness. No future orientation 

W – Withdrawal.  Isolating from friends, family and society.

A – Anger. Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge, irritable 

R – Recklessness. Engaging in high-risk activities, seemingly without thinking, impulsive behavior

M – Mood Changes.  Dramatic mood changes, flat affect, depressed mood, acting out of character

Signs that someone is at more immediate risk of suicide might include:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill themselves, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill themself; and/or

  • Looking for ways to kill themself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means; and/or

  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary.

If you think someone is thinking about suicide- ask them. There is a misconception that bringing up suicide can put the idea into someone’s head, but in reality, talking calmly about suicide, without showing fear or making judgments, can bring relief to someone who is feeling isolated. A willingness to listen shows sincere concern; encouraging someone to speak about their suicidal feelings can reduce the risk of an attempt. If you aren’t sure how to start a conversation with someone who appears to be struggling, check out Jack.org’s Be There golden rules. If they are not immediately at risk, you can encourage them to talk to a counsellor or someone they trust and continue to check in on them.

If you or someone else is in crisis you can:

  • Call 9-1-1.
    • For Thunder Bay Campus security, call 807-343-8911.
    • For Orillia Campus Security, call 705-330-4008 ext. 3912 

 

  • Call Crisis Response Services, a 24/7 crisis line staffed by Canadian Mental Health Association
    • Thunder Bay- 807-346-8282
    • Orillia- 705-728-5044

 

  • Not on either campus?
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
    • Suicide Hotlines Across the World 
    • GOOD2TALK post-secondary crisis line- 1-866-925-5454
    • Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone- a free, confidential texting service, available 24/7/365. By texting GOOD2TALKON to 686868, post-secondary students in Ontario can be connected to a trained volunteer Crisis Responder who is there to listen and support students with any issue they’re facing.
    • Crisis Service Canada: www.crisisservicescanada.ca
    • First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
    • Service is available in Cree, Ojibway, Inuktitut, English and French.
    • Trans Lifeline: 1-(877) 330-6366

To learn more about how talking about suicide can make a difference join the Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention webinar, it begins at 7 pm on Sept. 10 and can be found at https://suicideprevention.ca/event-3956222.

If you aren’t confident that you could support someone who is having suicidal thoughts and feelings- there is training available through Livingworks

 

Man comforting man another man with head in hands

CMHA Mental Health Week 2022

When times are tough, we need to be there for each other. We need to practice empathy. #MentalHealthWeek is May 2-8. Learn how you can #GetReal about how to help at  www.mentalhealthweek.ca 

Support your own well-being with the WellU Passport Challenge from Student Health and Wellness and Human Resources. Do the activities solo or get your whole household involved. Check off any activities that you complete during Mental Health Week (May 2nd to 8th) and email the form to activities.shcc@lakeheadu.ca by May 9th to be entered into a draw for a wellness prize basket! Open to students, staff and faculty from both campuses. 

Learn how to support others with LivingWorks START training, available to Lakehead students, staff and faculty. LivingWorks START is a 90-minute e-learning program that teaches learners to recognize when someone is thinking about suicide and steps to connect them to help. You’ll learn a powerful four-step model to keep someone safe from suicide, and you’ll have a chance to practice it with impactful simulations. Safety resources and support are available throughout the program. Sign up here. 

Thunder Bay Campus

Pawsitively Social Puppy Visit

May 3, 2022, 10-11:30 am 

SHW Activity Room

Candlelit Yoga and Meditation

May 3, 2022, 7-8:30 pm

SHW Activity Room

Registration Required

Check out your local CMHA for more events.

Students can learn more about the health and wellness supports available to them by visiting lakeheadu.ca/shw.

To learn more about the mental health and wellness resources available to staff and faculty visit ​​https://www.lakeheadu.ca/faculty-and-staff/departments/services/hr/resources-for-staff/wellness-resources or check out the Wellness Board focussing on Mental health at work in the notice board opposite HR.

 

Students standing on bride overlooking lake tamblyn

Health and Wellness Tips for Student Observing Ramadan

It's important for all students to make efforts to stay well during a busy and possibly stressful end of the semester and exam period, but those who observe Ramadan may need to take some extra time to plan and consider how to support their well-being.

Eating Well During Ramadan

You are what you eat- it is important to consider that how you eat during non-fasting hours can affect your mood, energy, and stress levels the rest of the day.

Iftar 

Breaking the fast. A common recommendation is to eat 5-6 dates soaked in one cup of milk. Dates are a potassium-dense food, which aids in hydration and restores electrolyte balance. Milk is high in calcium, and water, and is balanced in macronutrients. This combination is perfect for restoring energy. 

Slow down & savour. When you break your fast, try to avoid eating as much as you can and as quickly as you can, allow yourself to enjoy the food and for your stomach to absorb it.

Avoid fried foods. Use the oven to bake your food or use an air fryer instead. Both these methods help to decrease the amount of fat and calories that come from frying. If you must fry or are invited to an iftar dinner with lots of fried goodies, try to limit your intake to one item only. This will allow you to enjoy your treat while not overindulging.

Protein, protein, protein. Be sure to include a source of protein at every iftar to provide your body with the required nutrients it needs after a long day of fasting. Protein can be from meat but also consider plant-based proteins such as lentils and beans.

The importance of snacking. It is recommended to eat at least two small snacks between breaking the fast and going to sleep. 

Hydration

Stick with water. For flavour, infuse your water with lemon slices, mint leaves, and fresh fruit.  Levels of hydration will affect how much energy you have and your alertness during the day.

Suhour: Maximizing energy for the day

Hydrate. Drink plenty of fluids and choose fluid-rich foods to make sure you are well hydrated for the day ahead.

Maximize energy. Choose starchy foods for energy, opting for high fibre or wholegrain varieties where possible as these can help keep you feeling fuller and can aid digestion, helping to prevent constipation. 

Prepare this meal (or parts of it) before going to bed. This allows you to sleep as long as possible.

Other suggestions for Suhour:

  • Include fruits and vegetables, especially those with high water content (watermelon, cucumber)

  • Use whole-grain carbohydrates. Whole grains are high in fibre which means the energy will be absorbed slower in the body helping you feel fuller and energized for a longer time. Examples of whole grain carbohydrates are:

    • Whole grain bread, pita, oats, cereal, brown rice, and wild rice. 

    • Quinoa 

    • Barley

  • Fill up on healthy fats. Healthy fats will also help you feel full and satisfied throughout the day and are an important part of a balanced diet. Examples of healthy fats include:

    • Avocados

    • Nut butters

    • Nuts and seeds

    • Ground flaxseed

    • Hemp seeds

  • Make drinking water a priority. In order to avoid dehydration throughout your fasts, it’s important to ensure you’re drinking enough water at suhoor. Aim to have at least 2-3 cups of water while having your suhoor.

Check out the Healthy Muslim for recipe ideas

Physical Activity while Fasting

Regular exercise can help manage stress, increase energy levels and improve focus- so it is important not to dismiss fitness altogether during Ramadan but there are some things to consider. 

Maintain muscle mass. As well as using the body’s stored carbs for energy during fasting, it is likely that your body will also turn to protein stores; this can lead to loss of muscle mass. Resistance training helps to preserve muscle mass, so opt for bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges and push-ups or add in lighter free weights for deadlifts, shoulder press, chest press and rows. 

Limit high-intensity cardio. Keep cardio low intensity during fasting as high intensity will eat up glycogen stores and force the body to use protein for energy. If you want to do some cardio during the day, a walk just before iftar is a good option to safely burn some calories.

Maintenance and recovery. Ramadan is not the time to try to make gains, fasting makes this near on impossible. So focus on maintaining muscle and cardiovascular fitness during this time. 

Timing is everything. Physical activity can further deplete energy stores so you may have to reconsider your nomal fitness routine. Here are some suggestions as to when you get in a workout.

  • After your evening meal. While cardio can be difficult on a full stomach, around one hour after iftar is a good time for weight training. On the days you plan to exercise after your meal, you may want to add in a little extra food to fuel your body and ensure you drink plenty of water to rehydrate.

  • Between 11 pm and 2 am. For night owls, the best time to work out may be between 11 pm and 2 pm, after your food has had a little time to settle and your body has fully rehydrated. If you have managed to get some rest in the afternoon, exercising at this time can be favourable, as it will still leave you with a couple of hours more sleep until you get up to start the day.

  • Between 3 am and 4 am For early risers, the best time to work out may be just before your morning suhoor. This way, you will have energy from the previous night's meal, yet be on an empty stomach. You can hydrate while you exercise and once you are done, eat again to refuel. This method will also get you to get energized for the day ahead.

If your gym is not open 24 hours a day, consider home workouts. If exercising outdoors consider the safety of being out at night- wear reflective clothing, stick to well-lit areas and paths. 

Sleep Schedule

Usually is it recommend that individuals get 7-8 hours of sleep in one block but during Ramadan, this is not possible. Try to get the same amount of sleep over the 24-hour period.

Make a plan before Ramadan which fits in with your schedule and that you can stick to as best as possible. This may involve going to bed earlier than normal. For example, try to go to bed by 11 pm and have four hours’ sleep following iftar, then wake up at 3.30 am ready for suhoor and fajr and return back to sleep at around 5 am for two hours. If you are working reduced hours then this sleep can be a little longer. If not, then a nap after work, but before iftar, can make up for the last one to two hours of lost sleep. Whatever plan you make, try to stick to the same routine daily. 

Power naps. If your energy levels are still low during the day, a power nap can be helpful. Find a quiet place and take a 20-minute nap. Set an alarm to ensure you do not sleep for longer than 20 minutes otherwise your body will go into a deep sleep and you will wake feeling tired and groggy.

Make the environment conducive to sleep, no matter what time of day. Ensure your sleep area is quiet and dark. Earplugs and eye masks work wonders for getting into and staying in a deep sleep. Avoid using electronic devices such as your mobile phone, laptop and TV close to bedtime as studies suggest that the blue light from screens can interfere with quality sleep.

Stress

The end of the semester and exam period is stressful. 

  • Practice self-care. Make time for things you enjoy, stay connected with friends and families,  spend time outdoors, practice meditation.

  • Talk about it. A problem shared is a problem halved, and hearing from someone else can put things in perspective. 

    • SHW counselling- Thunder Bay- call 343-8361 or email health@lakeheadu.ca to book an appointment. Orillia- request an appointment through MySuccess.

    • Connect with other students in the Lakehead Muslim Student Association
    • Talkcampus- 24/7, global, student, peer support app. Download from the app store and log in with your Lakehead email.

    • Naheesa- Mental health hotline for Muslim and non-muslim youth. Call or text 1 (866) 627-3342. Available 7 days a week,m 12 pm-12 am EST. 

    • Good2Talk- 24/7, free confidential support for post-secondary students. Call 1-866-925-5454, text GOOD2TALKON to 686868 or connect via Facebook messenger.

    • The WeConnect Student Assistance Program is available to those who did not opt-out of the LUSU health plan. It provides eligible students and their dependents with short-term therapy, lifestyle counselling, courses, tools, and events to improve mental and physical health.

Muslim man and woman studying

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