For any health and wellness changes you want to make, the Health and Wellness Office at the University of Manitoba would like to support you in your journey. This page contains resources for self-directed improvement. If you are looking for more personalized health information please contact Britt Harvey, Health and Wellness Educator.

Britt Harvey
Health and Wellness Educator
Email britt.harvey@umanitoba.ca or phone 204-295-9032

Social and cultural wellness

Having healthy relationships with others, means you will have people to help you when life gets difficult, as well as people with whom you can share your happiness. These relationships are often referred to as a support system.

While you may feel like you are okay on your own, lacking a support system can have long-term effects on your mental health. Loneliness has been known to lead to anxiety and depression.

Hearing from people with different values and practices can give you new perspectives and add dimension to your life. Understanding and appreciating cultural diversity will help you connect with a wider variety of students during your university experience.

Take action

  • Be willing to meet new people and make new friends. Sign up for courses and activities that genuinely interest you, and consider joining a student group.
  • Consider volunteering on or off campus.
  • Attend some free groups and workshops to help with relationship and communication. These are available through the Student Counselling Centre, as well as relationship counselling.
  • Challenge your discomfort about other ethnicities, cultures, sexualities, genders, religions, etc. You may be pleasantly surprised at how many nice people there are in the world.
  • Be aware of your own culture, and how that may affect your interactions with others. Connect with other cultural or social groups which can help you become more culturally aware.

Physical health

Regular exercise can improve your memory, leading to better grades. It can also boost your energy when you're tired of staring at your textbook.

Physical activity increases energy and self-esteem as well as provides relief from stress, anxiety, and depression. It also improves quality of sleep.

Eating a variety of foods that give you energy and make you feel satisfied will help contribute to your overall health.

Take action

  • Take a study break and get moving. If you are a part- or full-time student, you have already paid gym membership fees in your tuition.
  • Start small and build up. Even using the stairs or taking a 5-minute walk outside can have stress-reducing effects.
  • Pack your lunch the night before, and try to limit processed foods.
  • Attend a body image workshop through the Student Counselling Centre.

Spiritual health

Between ages 18 - 25, your life-guiding principles, aspirations, and sense of self are solidifying. During this time, the need for finding purpose and building community becomes much stronger.

This time of transition and exploration may bring anxiety and insecurity. The Spiritual Care office is able to provide support if this is your experience.

While spirituality may include traditional forms of faith, it is not limited to this. Spirituality can be incorporated by anyone into all aspects of daily life.

Take action

  • Consider the following questions:
    • What gives you hope and strength?
    • What helps you cope during difficult times?
    • What sustains you?
  • Try journaling, reading, or listening to music.
  • Get in touch with nature or other forms of beauty.
  • Express your creativity though things like music, art, dance, cooking, or gardening.
  • Volunteer or perform simple acts of kindness.
  • Work at forgiving yourself and others.
  • Take time to be silent through meditation, prayer, or contemplation.
  • Take part in meaningful rituals – religious or otherwise.
  • Join a support group.

Sleep

The average young adult needs approximately 8 hours of sleep each night. Getting less sleep than this, lowers brain function and can negatively affect your learning. Students who consistently get more than 6 hours of sleep per night have higher G.P.A.s than those who don’t.

Your body does not adapt to less sleep. Instead, you become chronically sleep deprived.

Regular exercise improves sleep, as long as it is completed more than 3 hours before bedtime.

Take action

  • Turn off your phone. One of the most important things an individual can do is limit the amount of time spent on electronic devices before bed. These devices emit a blue light that triggers your body to wake up.
  • Set a regular sleep schedule for yourself: try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Avoid caffeine after lunch.
  • Taking a hot bath or shower before bed changes your core temperature and signals for sleep.
  • Make sure you get sunlight during the day, as this helps maintain your sleep-wake cycle.
  • If you need to take a nap during the day, keep it to 20 minutes to avoid disrupting your nighttime sleep.

Learn more about building healthy habits for: