Incorporating self-care can significantly improve our daily well-being and establish greater resiliency in our lives. Photo credit: Tanner Reil

Investing in self-care and determining priorities is a crucial part of one’s lifestyle to develop. During Mental Health Awareness Week, participants were introduced to the death bed test. This test involved imagining we are upon our deathbed and determining what was a good use of our life and what wasn’t.

On Thursday, Jan. 28, as a part of Bell Let’s Talk Day at Algonquin College, the AC Hub hosted an online event titled, Building Resilience Through Self-Care.

The event welcomed any Algonquin College students, staff and alumni who struggle with low moods, anxiety, low self-esteem or those who wanted to learn how to incorporate self-care strategies into their everyday life.

The event was co-hosted by Dr. Jennifer Thake, a registered psychotherapist and co-founder of Juniper Counselling Centre in Kanata, who also brought focus to challenges such as putting yourself last, setting high expectations for yourself, misconceptions about happiness and critical self-talk.

Thake aims to help move clients from a place of hurt, stress and suffering to a place of increased self-awareness, self-compassion and strength. She strongly believes each client has the answers for a healthier, happier and full life within themselves.

“Self-care refers to the ability to function effectively in a world while still meeting multiple challenges of daily life and maintaining, for the most part, a sense of energy to face these things,” said Thake.

Thake was joined by co-host and grad student Sasha Gunpat, who is currently completing an MA in health psychology at Carleton University.

Gunpat’s area of expertise includes psychological well-being and health behaviours in people with diabetes. Gunpat enjoys sharing research because it allows her to engage in conversations encouraging positive states of well-being and reduced stigma against mental health.

“The way that we wanted to approach this talk today was to do our best not to provide a quick and dirty list of things you can buy or things you can do, but instead provide an opportunity for us to really consider what we need in our lives so that self-care, or filling up our buckets, or loving ourselves are more fully integrated into our day-to-day lives,” said Gunpat.

Thake and Gunpat’s presentation aimed to help with common anti-self care themes in our lives as well as learning the solutions in order to increase our well-being and resiliency. The main overlying problems and solutions that were explored, included: confusion about priorities, the belief that happiness is around the corner, automatic negative thoughts and turning to quick fixes.

The key message was to address self-care as an active involvement in our thoughts and behaviours.

Incorporating self-care can improve our daily well-being and establish greater resiliency in our lives, granting us the psychological capacity to adapt to stressful circumstances and the ability to bounce back from adverse events.

A recording of Thursday’s Building Resiliency Through Self-Care event is available to watch for the next month on AC Hub.