14 Weeks of Wellness
The semester is going to come with ups and downs, which can make seem like it is hard to keep up with our mental health. But, there are small ways we can care for ourselves that can support us throughout the stress of classes and other life stressors. 14 Weeks of Wellness offers you weekly, brief wellness-related activities to try out during the week that will help support your mental health by adding weekly reminders on Tuesday mornings to your calendar.
Scan the QR code and add the 14 Weeks of Wellness to your calendar
Tue 9/5 - Mindfulness
Breathing exercises have been shown to reduce stress, improve learning, and increases energy, among many others benefits. Take a moment to try this breathing exercise this week.
Imagine an ocean or another body of water. Notice how the waves wash up on shore. Practice breathing in as you imagine the waves up to shore, and breathing out as you imagine the water being pulled back for 1 minute.
Tue 9/12 - Self-Care
Find 3 pictures in your camera roll that make you smile. What do you enjoy about them? What stories are behind the picture? Take some time this week to feel the happiness these pictures bring up for you. Share one of the pictures with a friend or family member and tell them what you enjoy about it.
Tue 9/19 - Social Connection
Reach out to a loved one
Social connection is a natural human drive, and it provides us with numerous benefits when we take the time to connect with others.
This week try to carve out some time to call, Zoom, or chat in-person with someone you care about.
Tue 9/26 - Academic Care
Make Stress Your Friend
Stress is a given while in college; there is no way around it. While it doesn't always feel great, it can be more help to embrace it as a friend, instead of fighting it off as a foe (since it will be there, whether we like it or not). By viewing stress as a way your body is trying to help you, it can take away the harmful impacts of stress.
Watch this 15-minute video on how to make stress your friend and practice shifting how you view stress this week:
Tue 10/3 - Mindfulness
A body scan is a great way to practice mindfulness and to get to know your body better. To practice body scanning, start at your toes and slowly check in with each body part to see what the sensations are. Wonder about what your body sensations are trying to tell you. Your body holds more wisdom that you think!
Take some time this week to engage in a body scan. Body scans can be done more quickly by noticing body groups (like, feet, legs, torso, arms, neck and head), instead of each individual part.
Tue 10/10 - Self-Care
Eating and drinking enough are vital parts to your health and wellness. While there are the obvious physical impacts nourishing your body does for you, it also improves focus and concentration, reduces stress, and boosts mood. Nourishing your body is also a way to care for yourself.
Take some time this week to think about if you are eating enough and when you are hungry, and if you are getting enough water (about 3 Stanleys or water bottles a day). Is there any way you could improve?
Have your favorite meal this week and see how it makes you feel.
Tue 10/17 - Social Connection
Write a letter to someone
Tue 10/24 - Academic Care
Mini test anxiety strategies
It is normal to be nervous for an exam; most of students care about their performance and learning. While it is normal to be stressed for an exam, it can interfere with our performance.
Here are some small ways to manage test anxiety:
- Find your feet: noticing your feet on the ground is a great way to bring yourself back to ground yourself
- Trace a shape: draw a shape on your exam and trace it 4 times
- Breathe: take a few deep breaths throughout the exam
- Take a break: about halfway through an exam is where we tend to get the most questions wrong because we are fatigued. Take a minute to stop on the exam so your mind can work more effectively for the rest of the exam
- Move: engage both sides of your body by tapping your feet or squeezing your fists one at a time. This helps to take the energy away from the stress centers in your brain
- Cool down: have some cold water on hand. Cooling your body down in some way helps to enact your bodies calming system.
Take some time this week to think about what skills would work best for you during an exam and try them out while you are stressed, either on an exam or some other stressor.
Tue 10/31 - Mindfulness
Watch the sunrise or sunset
One of the great things about Cache Valley is that we have beautiful sunrises and sunsets with lots of colors! Take some time this week to watch the sunrise or sunset. Notice all the colors, the shapes of the clouds, the mountains and other scenery. Think about how it feels to really be with nature.
Tue 11/7 - Self-Care
Moving your body is helpful and a way you can show yourself care. Movement doesn't have to be the gym (though, it can); it can be dancing around your living space, playing with your kids/nieces and nephews/siblings, or gardening. Movement is any way that you enjoy moving your body.
What are your favorite ways to move your body? Take time this week to engage in movement that feels good to you!
Tue 11/14 - Academic Care
“A fixed mindset” person thinks that our levels of intelligence, character, and ability are permanent. We are what we are, and extraordinary people were born that way.
But a “growth mindset” person believes that growth is limitless. They challenge themselves daily and use failure as a stepping stone for progress. Having a growth mindset improves self-esteem, builds resilience, and enhances learning.
Take time to reflect on a recent or past mistake or shortcoming. Think about what happened, how can you learn from this mistake/shortcoming, are there any areas to improve on, and how can you use what you know are your strengths to help a situation similar to this one in the future.
Tue 11/21 - Social Connection
Tell someone what you appreciate about them this week. Take time to appreciate yourself for the things you do for yourself and your accomplishments.
Tue 11/28 - Self-Care
Taking time to reflect is an important skill to take away from college. At its heart, self-reflection is setting aside time to think deeply and evaluate your thoughts, attitudes, motivations, and desires. It’s examining your emotions and behaviors and then asking yourself, “Why do I feel and act this way?”
Self-reflection helps re-center ourselves in our lives and think back on what we are doing and why.
The end of the semester is a great time to do that! Take time in these next 2 weeks to think about:
Tue 12/5 - Academic Care
Self-compassion is about expressing kindness and understanding towards ourselves, especially during difficult times. It involves being mindful of what is going on, being kind to yourself about your struggles, and recognizing that a lot of people in the world struggle in a similar way that you are.
Finals can be an especially stressful time. Take some time to be kind to yourself. Think about these questions:
- How would you support a friend who was nervous about the midterm?
- How could you do that for yourself?
- What could you tell yourself about this exam that would support your learning and performance?