This Queensland Mental Health Week, JCU Manager of Student Equity and Wellbeing Larissa Siliézar shares her top tactics for self-care. These fit into even the busiest schedule. Make time for your mental health.
Stop and smell the coffee
There’s nothing quite as good as the first coffee of the morning. While it’s tempting to quickly check some emails while you sip your brew in your pyjamas, Larissa likes using this as a chance to sneak in some self-care by “actually just sitting there and enjoying the time”.
Turn it up
It’s no secret that music makes us feel good. Larissa recommends harnessing the power of your favourite tune for a two-minute mental reset. Have an office mate? Slide on your headphones and enjoy your tune in peace. Lucky enough to have a private office? Go all out and get your body moving to the beat.
Breathe it in
Taking a few deep breaths can help you “refocus and can help reduce anxiety and stress,” Larissa says. The best part is that it’s “something you can do at any point”. Next time you’re worried about a looming deadline, or before a big presentation give it a try to quell those nerves.
A chaotic workspace can often lead to a chaotic mind. If you find yourself juggling multiple tasks but can’t seem to find anything you need, then channel your inner Marie Kondo for a quick mental reset. For Larissa, this tactic is about “breaking the routine” for a moment and letting your brain breathe, because “clutter can be can be quite distressing and induce more stress for people.”
Walk it out
Stretch those legs and escape the clutches of your office chair or study desk with a quick walk. A combination of the fresh air, sunshine, and movement can help get your brain back on track. “This something that, living in Cairns and Townsville, we are very luck with,” Larissa says, and “it can be as simple as taking yourself for a walk on campus.”
These tactics are great ways to squeeze self-care into the everyday, but sometimes they aren’t enough.
“My key message for mental health week is always going to be for people to be comfortable in reaching out. If people are doing everything to try to maintain their wellbeing and still aren’t travelling well – reach out to somebody. That could be a trusted academic, a supervisor, a friend and don’t forget that there are services available on campus to support students.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with mental health help is available at Beyond Blue or phone Lifeline on 13 11 14. JCU students seeking help can also book sessions with the free JCU Counselling Service.
If you’re passionate about mental health services, consider JCU Psychology.
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