Orientation Week: Putting your health first

Your mindful Monday is hitting you on a Sunday because today is Move in Day at MSVU and the relevance is HIGH.

This week there has been and will be: reunions between friends, tears between family members, excitement and nervousness between your stomachs and hearts, and bright, beautiful places ready to be the homes of your incredible journeys through University.

What we sometimes forget is that this week there has been, and will be, times when we put our (I’m including myself) health at risk. I’m not just talking about physical health, or mental health. This week for new and returning students will be full of stress, anxiety, excitement, heavy lifting, overload of information and importantly a LOT of fun.

This is a lot for our body, brain and heart to process. When you’re enjoying every moment of back to school keep in mind that you need to take care of you first!

Some steps to try and make your first week as healthy and happy as possible:

1. Be careful when moving! Don’t try and lift anything that is too heavy for you. An injury the first day in is not how you would like to start your year. Make some new friends, or ask O-Crew leaders around your campus to help you take your things to your room. Trust me: they’re happy to help.

2. Always be mindful of potential hazards. This sounds pretty boring and honestly kind of lame but it is important. If you’re in a gym, or outside in a field, take a quit scan with your eyes for anything that you could hurt yourself on. It’s good to know what’s around you (especially if you’re a grade A clutz like me).

3. Do what makes YOU comfortable. I’m not trying to give you the age old “peer pressure” talk, but honestly just do what you want to do. No matter what it is, don’t ever feel any pressure to do what other people are doing. You need to put your wants and needs first.

4. Don’t run yourself into the ground. My friends and family tell me this on the daily. Take on what you can handle and don’t feel the need to take on more. Find the things that make you burn with passion and do them. Find the things that make your heart sing and do them. Everything else isn’t worth your precious time (except for class. ALWAYS go to class trust me).

5. Take breaks if you need them. This is so so important. I can’t say this enough; whether it is a five minute breather / bathroom break,  or it’s a two hour nap break, or twenty minutes to call your parents, do it. Take a break, take time to recoup. You can’t force yourself to do everything, be everywhere and meet everyone all at once. You have a whole wonderful year ahead of you! One ten minute break is not going to ruin your whole experience. Listen to your body, and it will let you know when you need a moment.

6. Do as much as you can. Keeping in mind the last point of taking breaks, you still want to do as much as you feel you can. This is a week full of activities, meeting new people, seeing old friends, pre-class excitement. You don’t want to look back and regret missing out. You would be surprised the people you’ll meet, and the fun you’ll have at O-Week activities. This is where you’ll make some lifelong friends, and your first university memories. Start your journey!

7. Know the support you can find on your campus and in your community. This is the final and most important piece of advice I can give you on staying healthy during your O-Week. Know that you can still rely on friends and family when you need them. They’re only a phone call or FaceTime away. You can always take to an Orientation Leader, an RA, a DON, or a council member that is around during O-Week. When you get to your school, make a point of finding the contact information, and location of the counselling services. They often offer free services for students and can be an incredible support system.

At the Mount you will have Peer Supporters, Oscar the Therapy Dog, and incredible professionals who can help you make sure you’re looking out for yourself all week, and all year. Your university offers these resources, so use them! To contact counselling services at MSVU:

Located in EMF 127G, or call 902-457-6567 or email counselling@msvu.ca.

Check out your campus, and your university website to find details on your campus services.

You can also always look for resources in your community. For students in Halifax, there is a chapter of Mental Health NS that offers resources to community members. They also have The Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team who provide intervention and short-term crisis management for children, youth and adults experiencing a mental health crisis.

You can contact them at

902.429.8167 or 1.800.429.8167

I am excited for all of you to experience O-Week (even if it’s just through my snapchat: add casseydeveau if you want to get SPAMMED with all the fun), and can’t wait to share this all with you. Be safe, have fun and YOU DO YOU BOO.

Be Mindful,

xo

CL

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