Wellness Challenge

stylized banner for the wellness challenge with the gradconnect logo

Your Mental Health and Well-Being Matters!

Graduate school is a time of excitement, personal growth, and challenge. Graduate studies can also be arduous and create new stress or pressure in your life. Finding balance between your personal and academic life can help you maintain your wellness throughout your studies and recognizing the things that help you to feel well is also important. Wellness Challenge participants were entered into a draw for a $25 YU Card credit or a Wellness Prize Package. The purpose of this challenge is to get explicit and specific about what supports your wellness in the hopes it will remind you to do more of what is working and to seek new strategies and supports whenever you need.

The Fall 2018 Wellness Challenge is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated! We encourage you to continually consider and attend to your personal well-being and reach out if you are feeling overwhelmed. For personalized wellness support, consider accessing the Wellness Consultation Service.

See what York grad students shared for the Fall 2017 Wellness Challenge

  • “Practicing yoga helps me to stay mindful and concentrated.”
  • “I make sure I have at least some time during the day to be spend in solitude. I take this time to reflect upon where I am in life and what that means to me.”
  • “To develop self-awareness and for my general health and well-being, I have a self-care day planned in my schedule once a week. I get together with friends, cultivate my spiritual health, do gardening, read books, take a walk, or have a coffee on the patio. I try to switch it up each week and do things I enjoy.”
  • “Turn off my phone.”
  • “Pick up a pencil and draw something totally random, make it into something funny, and then laugh at it.”
  • “Work with a therapist to talk about problems.”
  • “Yin and Restorative yoga.”
  • “I dedicate time to painting, as it is my passion and helps me express myself.”
  • “Sounds easier than it actually is, but you have to be able to separate work from play, and make sure you take downtime to remind yourself of why you work so hard in the first place!”
  • “Reduce social media time.”
  • “Clean the space that I am working in. Having a clean space allows me to think more clearly."
  • “I take my medications every day and pet as many dogs as possible.”
  • “Heading to the beach for a swim.”
  • “Walking my dog in nature and green space.”
  • “I try to have designated times where I don't think about school, in order to do this I make sure I keep busy with family or friends.”
  • “Being compassionate anywhere possible”
  • “The simple method which I use for my wellness is to smile continuously for some time without looking for any specific reason. I just recall my good times of my life and start smiling or laughing. It brings positive vibes to my mind and body. “
  • “Positive self-talk.”
  • “Aromatherapy”
  • "I use an app called Headspace to meditate for a few minutes each day.”
  • “Sleep 9 hours overnight!”
  • “I give myself 20 minutes every morning to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. During that time I am not allowed to check my phone or computer. It sets a calm, relaxed tone for the day.”
  • “Reading non-research related materials before bed (e.g. fiction).”
  • “I use an essential oil diffuser while I read and before I go to bed. Lavender and Eucalyptus are great for de-stressing.”
  • “I spend time with my kids.”
  • “Whenever I'm stressed, I listen to relaxing music such as piano or violin. Also soundtracks of musical movies and songs that I associate good memories with.”
  • “I journal and write regularly to vent my feelings. I like to bring up mental wellness and health in the workplace and in class, as I think it's a taboo subject that needs to be addressed and normalized.”
  • “I do comedy. Stand-up, Improv, Sketch. I perform at least once a week and write as a break from my academic writing. It not only makes me incredibly happy but it helps me be a better teacher .”
  • “Access outpatient services at CAMH.”
  • “Before sleep, I write about how my day went and what I could have done differently. When I wake up, I write about what can make this new day great.”
  • “Solving chess and math puzzles.”
  • “Take study breaks to drink water, stretch, and snack.”
  • “I attend CrossFit classes to stay healthy in my body and my mind. The CrossFit community allows me to channel my stress in a healthy way.”
  • “I like to get outside and take a walk, preferably somewhere with trees or a beautiful landscape. Being surrounded by nature helps me get out of my own head and connects me to something bigger than myself.”
  • “I play soccer. This helps to take away my mind from everything else and just enjoy the sport I love to play.”
  • “Cooking to de-stress. It is a good way to ease my mind while concentrating on preparing myself a good meal.”
  • “If I keep my weekly schedule tight and rigorous, then it allows me to leave my weekends completely open for seeing friends, family and loved ones, which in turn helps relieve stress even more.”
  • “Once a week I take a ride on a bus just to see where its route ends and return home on the same bus. While on the bus I am able to take in scenery and sometimes talk with fellow riders.”
  • “Peer support, reaching out for support and asking for help.”
  • “Simple accomplishments and small acts of service go a long way towards improving my mental health and well-being.”
  • “When things get too tough, I remind myself to take some deep breaths. When I breathe I remember that I am only human and that everything is going to be okay.”
  • “I make sure to honour the land and water that continue to support my life.”
  • “I work out at the campus recreation centre.”
  • “This school year, I'm making sure to prioritize my physical health.”
  • “I run daily to clear my head, think and problem solve, see the city and the country and get away from it all. Running is my yoga!”
  • “I walk every morning for 30 min before breakfast.”
  • “I make sure to spend time outdoors every day, as fresh air is rejuvenating.”
  • “As a graduate student, since I don't have time to have my own pet, I go over to my friend’s house to hang out with her and her dog. I know the health benefits of being around pets!”
  • “Fresh air, whole foods, feeling the ground underneath myself, rest and laughing.”