Taking a walk can help students manage stress. Photo credit: Sam Mcgowan

Sasha Gunpat, a graduate student who studied health psychology at Carleton University, often feels like she doesn’t have time to do things that she enjoys such as going for a walk or riding her bike or reading a book. However, Gunpat always makes sure she does it anyway.

“Sometimes spending time with friends or reading a book for fun can really do the trick for me just enough to keep one foot in front of the other when I’m feeling a bit burnt out,” she said.

Gunpat was one of the hosts at a virtual AC Hub event on Oct. 7 held in support of Mental Illness Awareness Week. She was joined by Dr. Jennifer Thake, a registered psychotherapist to discuss self-care: what it is and how important it is for people to engage in it.

Over 160 Algonquin College Students and employees attended the event.

Both hosts didn’t want to provide a list of things that people can do or buy to make them feel better but instead they wanted to give the opportunity for everyone to consider what they need in their lives.

Dr. Thake talked about her experience with therapy at the beginning of the event. Her therapist would say, “fill up your own bucket,” which was a great metaphor she explained. But she was frustrated with the fact that she didn’t know how “to fill up her own bucket.”

Dr. Thake also explained that she eventually learned to do this by looking at a photo essay journal, doing some exercises or by taking a nap whenever she is feeling stressed. All of these things can help relax your body.

The hosts also offered an antidote or a “vaccine” to help alleviate some of the things that rob people of time, such as confusion about priorities or negative automatic thoughts.

“We can find out a lot about ourselves and what feels good by asking ourselves ‘Does this feel good to me?'” explained Thake. “If so, g