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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.52 - Self-care in higher education: Finding balance and promoting mental well-being

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Students in higher education experience unique stressors, including the rigours of academic life (assignment deadlines, tests, conducting research), financial pressures (educational costs as well as a variety of life expenses), navigating new social situations and relationships, and learning to live independently. High levels of stress are known to adversely effect academic performance as well as personal well-being. Myers, Sweeney, Popick, Wesley, Bordfeld and Fingerhut (2012) found a positive relationship between educating graduate psychology students about self-care practices and competency in managing stress levels. Napoli and Bonifas (2011) discussed strategies for creating an atmosphere of mindfulness in the classroom for social work students through participation in a mindfulness training program. After a comprehensive review of 136 graduate psychology programs, Bamonti, Keelan, Larson, Mentrikoski, Randall, Sly, Travers and McNeil (2014) urged programs to consider implementing a proactive and healthful focus, encouraging wellness. How can we as graduate students develop within ourselves and support one another in methods of self-care, and how can we support undergraduate students we work with as TAs in finding balance through self-care? As citizens of higher education communities, how do we foster an increase in the inherent value conferred upon self-care and mental well-being? In this 20 minute engaging, round-table discussion, participants will discover the benefits of self-care, explore what self-care might look like in their own life, and investigate the ways in which they can support undergraduate students in taking greater self-care.

Bamonti, P. M., Keelan, C. M., Larson, N., Mentrikoski, J. M, Randall, C. L., Sly, S. K., and McNeil, D. W. (2014). Promoting ethical behavior by cultivating a culture of self-care during graduate training: A call to action. Training And Education In Professional Psychology, 8(4), 253-260.

Myers, S. B., Sweeney, A. C., Popick, V., Wesley, K., Bordfeld, A., and Fingerhut, R. (2012). Self-care practices and perceived stress levels among psychology graduate students. Training And Education In Professional Psychology, 6(1), 55-66.

Napoli, M., and Bonifas, R. (2011). From Theory Toward Empathic Self-Care: Creating a Mindful Classroom for Social Work Students. Social Work Education: The International Journal, 30(6), 635-649.

avatar for Nicole Gardner

Nicole Gardner

Nicole Gardner
I am a graduate certificate student at UVic in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LATHE) and a PhD student in Sustainable Education through Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario. I have a Master's in Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies from UVic in Measurement... Read More →

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Seymour Room

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