According to the popular sitcom television show, Parks and Recreation, the term “treat yo’ self,” can include many things such as clothes, fragrances, massages, mimosas and fine leather goods. That sounds nice but not always convenient for a student and their budget.
There are, however, many other affordable and easy ways students can feel the benefits of treating themselves and it’s actually crucial for a student’s overall well-being.
“It’s important to take time for yourself even if it’s just getting some fresh air and going for a walk, taking a five-minute break or doing your homework in increments so you’re not feeling super overwhelmed,” said Bianca Saikaley, a health promotion educator at Algonquin.
Saikaley and co-health promotion educator Amanda Marquis are in charge of their health promotion team that works towards raising awareness around campus by organizing events, hanging up posters and resource boards, and setting up pop-up booths around campus where students can learn where they can get help if they have a certain issue. The health promotion team is trained to make a proper referral for students dealing with a number of issues, some of which students don’t even know are stressing them out.
“It’s stuff that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as 100 per cent related to health, like your finances, but that has a huge impact on the mental well-being of students,” Marquis said.
Their goal is to ensure students know they have resources readily available to them for any need they have. Marquis and Saikaley plan the big events on campus such as the AC Purple Couch, a couch where students can sit down with someone from the health promotion team to talk and be referred to the proper resources on or off campus.
They try to gear their events and activities towards the student’s life cycle, so a lot of the health promotion’s work is around exams, midterms and holidays. They also adapt their work to address the most common problems among students.
If students want a quick and easy fix on something they’re struggling with, they can also use online resources.
“Little things that people can do is go on Youtube and there are guided meditations if someone’s having trouble falling asleep. That’s a great thing for a student to do to help them calm down if they are really stressed out or to centre themselves,” Marquis said.