Skip to main content
Friday, May 27, 2022
Home Blog

Stretch and strengthen those cycling muscles with this workout

Asian woman indoor cycling | workout for cyclists

Most of us sit for eight or more hours a day with our heads bent forward looking at a screen, which isn’t ideal for our bodies. That’s why stretching is beneficial for everyone, since it helps us counteract all that sitting.

Cyclists can especially benefit from stretching since the body positions they hold while cycling are similar to those used when sitting at a desk: leaning or hunching forward. As with office work or schoolwork, this position can lead to back pain. But cycling also adds additional stress to your body, specifically your hips. The biking motion prevents your legs from fully extending or flexing, which can make your hips tighten up over time. That’s why it’s important to follow a routine that stretches those key muscles used, and stressed, when you’re on a bike.

These stretches and exercises will improve posture and strengthen your cycling muscles. Repeat the entire workout two to three times, once or twice a week, and you’ll likely notice an improvement in your cycling speed, as well as in how your body feels afterward. Even if you’re not a cycler, this workout is great for increasing strength and flexibility, opening the hips, and lengthening the spine.

Stretches

Releases tension in the low back and lengthens hamstrings.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Reach for your left foot and hold for 10–15 seconds.
  • Reach for your right foot for 10–15 seconds. 
  • Reach for the centre for 10–15 seconds. 

Lengthens the front of the legs. 

  • Lie on your stomach. 
  • Bring the right heel to the right glute muscle. 
  • Using your right hand, tug slightly on your right foot to bring your heel closer to the glute. 
  • Hold for 10–15 seconds. 
  • Repeat on the other side. 

Opens the hips, lengthens the hamstrings, and elongates the spine.

  • Start in a high push-up position, hands placed underneath shoulders. 
  • Using your shoulder muscles, push your bottom back and up toward the ceiling. 
  • Hold for 10–15 seconds. 

Workout

Strengthens the lower back. 

  • Lie on your stomach, place your hand behind your head, and lift your chest off the ground as high as you can. 
  • Lower your chest back to the ground.  
  • Complete 10–12 repetitions. 

Prevents knee pain by strengthening the muscles that lift your leg to the side. 

  • Stand with your feet close together, placing most of the weight in your left leg. 
  • Raise your right leg up and to the side, about 45° off the floor, then bring it back down to starting position. Complete 10–12 repetitions. 
  • Repeat on the opposite side. 

Strengthens calves to improve power transferred to the pedal. 

  • Stand with your feet together. 
  • Lift your heels off the floor, hold for just a moment, then return heels to the ground. 
  • Complete 10–12 repetitions.

Strengthens glutes and hamstrings.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Step forward with your right leg, bend the front knee to a 90° angle, and lower left knee toward the ground. 
  • Extend the legs and return to starting position. 
  • Repeat on the opposite side. That is one repetition. 
  • Complete 10–12 repetitions.

Strengthens the core, which helps reduce lower back pain.

  • Lie on your side, bend knees at a 90° angle behind you, and place your elbow under your shoulder with your forearm facing forward. 
  • Using your forearm, core, and side to press your hips off the floor and hold for 15–30 seconds. 
  • Repeat on the other side. 
  • To add challenge, extend your legs straight instead of bending them.

Assists with contracting quadriceps muscle during cycling.

  • Lie on your back. 
  • Flex your right heel, lift your right leg up to a 45° angle, and hold for 15–30 seconds. 
  • Bring the leg back to the floor. 
  • Repeat on the other side. 


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Individuals under the age of 13 may not enter or submit information to this giveaway.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy. TERMS & CONDITIONS

9 ways to deal with an emotionally draining friendship

phone with missed call notifications | unhealthy friendship

There’s a reason we love our friends so much. Friendships aren’t just about having a fun crew to hang out with on the weekends; they’re a hugely important part of our health and well-being.

“Healthy friendships are important at every age,” says Dr. Marjorie Hogan, Pediatrician, specializing in adolescent medicine. Why? Your mental, emotional, and physical health are all related, she explains. “Strong friendships lead to positive mental and emotional health, providing acceptance, mutual affection, trust, respect, and fun.”

But as powerful as a healthy friendship can be, the flip side is also true: Certain friendships can be mentally and emotionally draining if they become too much. For example, the friend who gets weirdly jealous or possessive when you spend time with another friend, or the roommate who constantly wants to confide in you but never listens when you need to vent about something. These overbearing friendships can take a toll on your happiness and emotional health.

We all need people

There’s no question that investing time and energy into friendships is a good thing. “Friendships are there to enhance your life to help you feel a sense of connectedness,” says Dr. Ellen Jacobs, Psychologist, who works with young adults.

Making friends with people in groups you identify with—your women in STEM club, residence neighbours, or sustainable campus student group, for example—can help you deepen those experiences and get that sense of belonging that makes you feel comfortable and confident. “Making friends who have other interests is also important—it can broaden your world views, open new doors, and increase [appreciation and respect for others],” says Dr. Hogan.

There’s scientific research to back up the health benefits of having close personal relationships. A large systematic review on the importance of social friendships found that people with friendships that are low in quality or quantity are more likely to die early or develop serious health issues such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and even cancer. On the other hand, healthy social ties appear to boost the immune system, improve mental health, and lower stress. Consider this as one of your motivations for scheduling regular friend dates.

Good friendships gone bad

Clearly, relationships are important, but what can we do when they go awry? Nearly 75 percent of students who responded to a recent CampusWell survey said they’ve experienced an overbearing or unhealthy friendship.

Students in our survey shared stories about what made their friendships turn sour, for example, “friends” who:

  • Made the relationship all about themselves
  • Acted jealous of other friendships the person had
  • Were too nosy about things the person didn’t want to share (i.e., didn’t respect their boundaries)
  • Refused to take responsibility for wrongdoings
  • Drained their emotional energy or acted controlling

If you’re wondering whether you might be dealing with an overbearing or unhealthy friendship, “the first thing you should ask is how do you feel when you’re with this friend?” says Dr. Jacobs. If the answer is anything negative—stressed, annoyed, guilty, exhausted, not good enough, stupid, ugly, ashamed—that’s a red flag. And if the friendship is making you feel unsafe, it’s important to reach out to a school counsellor or healthcare professional to share your concerns.

Here are some specific questions to help you assess whether or not your friendship is healthy:

  1. Does my friend get angry if I don’t call/text back right away?
  2. Does my friend make me feel guilty if I don’t include them in every activity?
  3. Does my friend make negative comments about my busy schedule?
  4. Does my friend make their schedule around when I’m free?
  5. Do I worry about this friend to the point of distraction?
  6. Do I find myself developing excuses to avoid my friend?
  7. Do I lie to my friend about what I’m doing?
  8. Is my friend jealous of other people/things in my life?
  9. Do I get annoyed whenever this person contacts me?
  10. Do I dread running into this person?
  11. Am I overwhelmed as soon as I see this person?
  12. Does this friendship leave me feeling exhausted or drained?
  13. Does it feel like a one-way relationship where I’m giving all the support or putting in all the effort?
  14. Does it feel like my friend is always in control?

If you answered yes to some of these questions, it doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship is doomed. Below are some recommendations for dealing with a friendship that’s become dysfunctional.

Talk it out

The first step is to have a conversation—that’s what 59 percent of students did when dealing with an overbearing friend, according to the CampusWell survey. “When you don’t tell people how upset you are with their behaviour, you can internalize it—you end up taking all these feelings out on yourself,” says Dr. Jacobs. Talking it out can be easier said than done, but if you care about saving the friendship, it’s worth it, she says. When you don’t talk about what’s bothering you, “it ends up damaging the relationship more and can really erode the friendship.”

“Sometimes your friend may not even realize that their actions are toxic,” says Isra A., a fourth-year student at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.

If you’re struggling to understand one another, get a mutual friend to act as a mediator—someone who knows both of you well and can bring some clarity to the situation.

Build a sandwich

Sandwich icon | unhealthy friendshipOnce you’ve decided to bring up the issue, how you present it to your friend matters. The experts recommend “building a sandwich”—sliding an issue such as needing more space between two positive comments. This can help reduce the chance of your friend getting defensive or feeling hurt.

Here’s an example: “I love how much fun we have together—you’re my favourite person to hang out with on the weekends. This semester is so crazy for me though, and I don’t really have time to hang out on weeknights too. Let’s book Saturday nights for each other in our calendars, OK?”

Be honest and respectful

If the issue is deeper—for example, addressing a friend who has been putting you down or being manipulative—it’s best to be direct but respectful, says Dr. Jacobs. “Say, ‘I feel this way when you do X,’ rather than say, ‘You are X.’” People are more likely to be receptive when you talk about how an action is making you feel vs. getting defensive if they feel accused of something.

Listen up

Ear icon | unhealthy friendshipCourse correcting a friendship involves sharing your perspective and listening to theirs. “Put your phone on silent and go for a walk [or] grab lunch [with them],” says Dr. Ian Connole, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Peak Performance at Dartmouth College. “Listen twice as much as you talk—really give your friend the gift of your time and full attention.” You might get some insight into why your friend has become so overbearing or passive-aggressive lately—and be able to empathize with it.

Expand your social circle

You can distance yourself amicably without totally cutting ties, says Dr. Jacobs. “Get busy and start getting involved with other people,” she says. In doing this, you don’t necessarily have to tell your friend why you’re spending more time on other things if you feel it would be unhelpful or hurtful to do so, she adds.

Instead, encourage your friend to get more involved in other activities too. You can even introduce them to some new people—with more options, your friend won’t be as dependent on the time spent solely with you.

6. If the person is your roommate, schedule a check-in

When the person you live with fails to respect your boundaries, handling the situation can be extra tricky. Be clear and let your roommate know you need a bit of breathing room or that your apartment/dorm is becoming a high-stress zone for you. Draw up a list of roommate rules that leave you both feeling respected in your space. If you live in on-campus housing, you can also reach out to your resident advisor for help to mediate the conversation.

In the worst-case scenario, take yourself out of the stress zone and seek solace in an open lounge, the library, or a favourite café or coffee shop when you need a little peace.

Get an outside ear

Sometimes it can be helpful to talk things over with someone outside the situation, such as a parent or mentor. If you live on campus, your resident advisor can help, and the campus counselling centre can also offer an unbiased ear. You’d be surprised how many students meet with someone professional to talk about friendship and roommate stress—nearly a third of our survey respondents say they dealt with their overbearing friend this way. By assessing the things that are challenging and communicating sensitively, you can move forward with more energy to devote to all of your other pursuits.

Take a look in the mirror

Mirror icon | unhealthy friendship“Friends are really good opportunities to learn about yourself,” says Dr. Jacobs. “Whenever you’re having difficulty with a friend, it’s always good to take a look at what you’re bringing to the equation.” If the dynamic in your friendship has changed for the worse, ask yourself if there’s anything you may have contributed to that. For example, have you started hanging out with someone new who isn’t very inclusive of your older friends and might be sparking some jealousy? “It’s important to also take responsibility for your role in the dynamic, if possible,” Dr. Jacobs says.

Walk away if you need to

Some friendships shouldn’t be saved. Ask yourself if your healthy dynamic has turned sour or if you’ve maybe just realized that there are certain personality traits in this person you don’t like or that don’t bring out the best in you. In either case, consider distancing yourself in favour of healthier relationships that align with your values.

“Don’t ever feel guilty or bad about doing this. There’s no shame in taking care of yourself and walking away from a bad friendship. You owe it to yourself and to the important people in your life to be in a better place,” says Tiffany K., a fifth-year student at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

GET HELP OR FIND OUT MORE

What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Individuals under the age of 13 may not enter or submit information to this giveaway.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy. TERMS & CONDITIONS


Article sources

Ian Connole, PhD, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Peak Performance at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.

Marjorie Hogan, MD, Pediatrician, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Ellen Jacobs, PhD, Adolescent and Adult Psychologist, New York, New York.

Kent de Grey, R. G., & Uchino, B. N. (2020). The health correlates and consequences of friendship. In L.M. Cohen (ed.), The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology (pp. 239-245). John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 

Hefner, J., & Eisenberg, D. (2009). Social support and mental health among college students. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 79(4), 491–499. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0016918

Umberson, D., & Karas Montez, J. (2010). Social relationships and health: A flashpoint for health policy. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51, S54–S66. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022146510383501

Therapy is not one-size-fits-all—here’s how to find the right fit

Indian man speaking to therapist | how to find the right therapist for you

Key points

  • There are many different kinds of therapy; understanding these differences can help narrow your list of possible therapists.
  • For help finding a therapist, make use of resources such as campus services, insurance providers, online search tools, friends, and family.
  • Get to know a new therapist by asking thoughtful questions about who they are and their perspective on the practise.

I’ve been participating in therapy for years, and I recommend it to everyone: Having an objective, professional perspective to help me sort through my anxiety and depression is (in my opinion) invaluable. But almost every time I encourage a friend to consider therapy, they ask the same question: How do I even find a therapist?

It’s a great question. Read on to find everything you need to know—not just to find a therapist, but to find the right therapist for you.

Finding a therapist is like finding a good pair of jeans

In other words, there’s no one-size-fits-all. “Finding the right therapist may take a few tries, which is typical and normal,” says Dr. Shelly Collins, Staff Psychologist and Counselling Faculty at California State University in Long Beach. One way to begin the search process and make it a little less overwhelming is to learn about the different forms of therapy and think about which one sounds like a good fit for you.

Knowing what sorts of therapies a provider is experienced in and thinking about which types resonate with you can help you narrow your list of potential therapists. Here’s a sampling of psychotherapies (an umbrella term for therapy, which may also be called counselling) that might be available to you:

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

A collaborative form of therapy where the provider and client identify unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviours and work toward better coping skills. CBT is often practised through talk therapy.

Psychodynamic therapy

This is an in-depth form of talk therapy which focuses on self-reflection, such as identifying patterns in one’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, as well as examining problematic interpersonal relationships. 

Art therapy

Art therapy combines creating art with talk therapy. It focuses on using the creative process as an avenue to explore relationships, cultivate emotional experience, and examine and change cognitive patterns.

Somatic therapy

Somatic therapy focuses on the mind-body connection and the body’s response to stressors. It uses physical techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, to release tension.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

This therapy primarily focuses on processing traumatic events using bi-lateral (alternating left-right) stimulation, along with navigating negative thoughts and feelings associated with the event(s).

Animal-assisted therapy

A therapy that uses animals such as dogs and horses to help people cope with mental health issues or other health problems. 

How to find a therapist who suits your needs

First, reach out to your school’s counselling centre and see what (if any) mental health resources are available. This is an excellent first step because these therapists regularly work with other students, and many campuses offer a certain number of free or low-cost sessions. However, keep in mind that school-based counselling centres may have long wait lists, so here are some other ways to find therapy if campus counselling services are not available when you need them:

  • Ask your school counselling centre if they have a list of recommended off-campus therapists.
  • Find out if your insurance company has a list of therapists or an online search tool.
  • Use your Provincial or Territorial Psychological Association’s online search tool
  • Use identity-specific search engines for therapists, such as Therapy for Black Girls, Therapy for Black Men, Therapy for Queer People of Colour, or Inclusive Therapists.
  • If you feel comfortable doing so, you can ask friends or family for recommendations.

“Finding the right therapist may take a few tries, which is typical and normal,” says Dr. Shelly Collins, a Staff Psychologist and Counselling Faculty at California State University in Long Beach.

Many concerns around therapy are financial, which is fair considering that some therapy appointments can cost upward of $200. But there are ways to find more affordable options.

If you’re contacting private practices (which usually have the highest price tag), ask if any of the providers offer a sliding scale. This is a system that provides services at lower rates for people with lower incomes. Even if a practice doesn’t have a sliding scale, they may be able to connect you with another that does.

You can also check out community-funded resources. Cities often have organizations that provide free or low-cost sessions, specifically to make therapy more accessible. Search online for “low-cost therapy in my city” and see if any organizations come up (they may be funded by the provincial or local governments, or local nonprofit organizations). Reach out to a few different organizations—they might have long waitlists.

Wellness Together Canada is another useful resource. You can access resources, get peer support, or talk with a counsellor via phone or text.

One of the best ways to get in contact with potential therapists is to simply call and leave voicemails. This can be a frustrating process—I once called four different therapists only to find out a week later that none of them were accepting new clients. A good tip is to call at least three to five from a list of potential therapists, and if those aren’t available, call another batch until you find someone who is.

Leaving voicemails can make anyone nervous; when I have to leave one, I often write out a brief script to help me remember what to say. Here’s a short outline of information that’s helpful to include in a voicemail for a therapist:

Your name

Be sure they know who they’re calling back. I also use this as a chance to share my pronouns.

Your location

Let them know if you’re local or if you’re seeking virtual services from out of town.

Your student status

Some providers specialize in certain populations, so this lets them know a bit more about your background.

Why you’re seeking therapy

You don’t have to go into your entire life story here, but let them know the kind of support you’re looking for. You can share a specific mental illness, or tell them a bit about your situation. When I was looking for a therapist, I kept it short: “I’m looking for some help with my depression and anxiety.”

Is a free consultation available?

This initial meeting is a great time to see if a therapist is a good fit without having to make a financial obligation.

If you were referred by someone

If you mention someone the therapist knows (maybe a doctor or another therapist), it can help bump you off the waitlist so you can get in quicker.

Put together, it might sound something like this: “My name is Mia, and my pronouns are they/them/theirs. I’m a college student in Austin, Texas, and I’m looking for a therapist to help me manage my mental health and stress related to my academics. Is there a way to schedule a free consultation with you?”

If you’re calling a practice with multiple therapists and there’s one person you’re interested in working with, be sure to include their name in the voicemail. This will save some of the back-and-forth of figuring out which practitioner you want to connect with.

If you prefer to communicate by email, some (but certainly not all) therapists have an online presence, so you can also start there. “Check their websites to see if their views align with yours,” says Andy K.*, a senior at Metropolitan State University of Denver in Colorado. “See what they treat, and see if there are photos of the space that you would feel comfortable in. Read reviews!”

Once you get in contact with someone, hash out the logistics: Find out if there’s a free consultation available, confirm whether your insurance is accepted, ask how much each session will cost, and find out whether you’ll be meeting them in person or virtually.

Asian woman speaking to therapist | how to find the right therapist for you

Once you’ve scheduled that first session, prepare a list of questions to ask the therapist to help ensure they’re the right fit for you. The initial session is often a “getting to know you” sort of meeting, where both the therapist and the client can decide if they want to move forward with therapy. Obviously you won’t know everything about your therapist after that first session, but here are a few questions that may be helpful to ask.

How long have you been practicing therapy? Where did you get your certifications?

Knowing your therapist’s professional background can help you understand what they’re bringing to the conversations. Do they have decades of experience in the field? Or are they newer to the practice and bringing a fresh perspective?

What experience do you have with ______?

Not all therapists work with all issues, so it’s helpful to look for someone who works with the challenges you’re facing. For example, if you’re a college or university student looking for help with anxiety and depression, you’ll want to find a therapist who has some experience or expertise in those issues among your age group.

Whether you are looking for support with a diagnosis, experienced a traumatic event you want to work through, or need help with day-to-day life, make sure your therapist is familiar with those topics.

Why did you become a therapist?

These may seem a bit personal, but understanding your therapist’s background helps when deciding if you want to continue seeing them. When I asked my therapist why they joined the field, they said it was because they wanted to help people. Cliché? Maybe, but it helps me feel like my therapist understands exactly what I mean when I tell them I’m struggling to set boundaries because I want to help everyone.

What populations do you work with most often?

“When looking for a therapist, it’s all right to want to find someone who holds similar identities to you,” says Dr. Collins. This can be related to race, age, gender, religion, or any other aspect of your identity. Working with a therapist familiar with your identity means they’re more likely to understand the nuances of that identity; you want a therapist who views you as a whole person, not just as the challenges you’re addressing.

What will we do if issues come up in our relationship or I’m feeling that you aren’t the right fit?

Working with a therapist creates a relationship, and like any relationship, there will be ups and downs. You might not agree with your therapist’s perspective, or perhaps you feel like they’re not understanding you. “If you are not connecting with your therapist, let them know and see if the potential problem can be resolved,” says Dr. Collins. “However, you are not obligated to stay with someone you aren’t feeling aligned with.”

Do you see this as a short- or long-term process?

Some people only want to attend therapy for a short amount of time to tackle a specific problem. Others view therapy as a lifelong process and are looking for long-term support. Make sure you and your therapist are on the same page about how long treatment is going to take.

What should I do if I can’t find a therapist?

First, don’t get discouraged. “If the first therapist you try isn’t a good fit, keep trying,” says Hannah P.*, a second-year student at NorQuest College in Edmonton, Alberta. “The right therapist for you is out there.”

This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when more people than usual are looking for therapeutic support. (And don’t forget that therapists are people, too—they have to set boundaries with their workload to take care of themselves.)

Ask about joining a therapist’s waitlist (if it’s an option), or ask if they’ll contact you if their calendar opens up. You can also check back in with campus services to see if there’s someone you can talk to while you try to find a more permanent situation. 

“I felt relaxed about working with my therapist because they helped me realize that what I was feeling was normal.” —Khadija Z.*, second-year undergraduate student, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta

Reaching out and never hearing back can be an emotionally draining process, so see if your insurance can do the work for you: Ask if they can reach out to local providers who accept your insurance and find out who’s accepting clients, and then get back to you with a list. This can help a lot with the emotional stress of finding a therapist.

“Many mental health resources are available, especially since 2020,” says Dr. Collins. “If/when waiting for an appointment, think about utilizing an app.”

“I felt relaxed about [working with my therapist] because they helped me realize that what I was feeling was normal.”
—Khadija Z.*, second-year undergraduate student, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta

*Names changed.

GET HELP OR FIND OUT MORE

What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Individuals under the age of 13 may not enter or submit information to this giveaway.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy. TERMS & CONDITIONS


Article sources

Shelly Collins, PhD, Staff Psychologist and Counsellor Faculty, California State University, Long Beach.

American Art Therapy Association. (2017). About art therapy. https://arttherapy.org/about-art-therapy/ 

American Psychiatric Association. (2019, January). What is psychotherapy? https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/psychotherapy

American Psychological Association. (2017, July). How do I find a good therapist? https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/finding-good-therapist

American Psychological Association. (2017, July). What is cognitive behavioral therapy? https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/cognitive-behavioral

Becker-Phelps, L. (2020, February 26). Why it’s so important to have the right therapist. WebMD. https://blogs.webmd.com/relationships/20200226/why-its-so-important-to-have-the-right-therapist

Cook, S. C., Schwartz, A. C., & Kaslow, N. J. (2017). Evidence-based psychotherapy: Advantages and challenges. Neurotherapeutics, 14(3), 537–545. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-017-0549-4 

Cowles, C. (2020, February 14). How to find a therapist for the first time. The Cut. https://www.thecut.com/article/how-to-find-a-therapist.html 

David, D., Cristea, I., & Hofmann, S. G. (2018). Why cognitive behavioral therapy is the current gold standard of psychotherapy. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00004

Goldstein, M. (2021, October 16). It’s becoming impossible to find a therapist. Boston Globe. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/16/lifestyle/its-becoming-impossible-find-therapist/

International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association. (n.d.). Homepage. https://ismeta.org/

Psychology Today. (n.d.). Animal-assisted therapy. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/animal-assisted-therapy 

Psychology Today. (n.d.). Psychodynamic therapy. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/psychodynamic-therapy

Psychology Today. (n.d.). Somatic therapy. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/somatic-therapy

Dinner for two: Sweet onion & mustard chicken with hasselback potatoes and roasted veggies

Homemade meal on green plate | chicken thigh and roasted vegetables recipes

It’s date night tonight, but your bank account is running low and there’s no room in the budget for dinner at a fancy restaurant. Is it possible to wow your sweetie with a budget-friendly, home-cooked meal? It sure is! Whether your date night is for you and your boo or just a fun way to treat yourself to some fine dining, you’re going to enjoy this roasted chicken, veggie, and potato dinner—all for about $10 per serving. 

Sweet onion & mustard chicken with hasselback potatoes and roasted veggies

Makes four servings.
Nutritional information per serving:
404 Calories | 15g Protein | 19.2g Fat | 45g Carbohydrates | 5.7g Fibre

Note: Prices may vary depending on your supermarket, geographic location, and your overall pantry supply.

Hasselback potatoes

  • 2 medium russet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) melted butter
  • 4 teaspoons (20 mL) parmesan cheese 
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons (20 mL) Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 4 chopsticks (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). 
  2. Rinse the potatoes well and pat dry. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the following ingredients for the garlic potato sauce: olive oil, melted butter, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and minced garlic.
  4. Set potatoes lengthwise on a cutting board. Place two chopsticks along the length of each potato. With a knife, carefully create ¼ inch (0.6 cm) slits down each potato. Do NOT slice all the way down; try to leave about ¼ inch (0.6 cm) of the base of each potato; the chopsticks should prevent you from slicing all the way down.
  5. Carefully rub the garlic sauce along the outer skin and into the slits of each potato. 
  6. Place the potatoes in a lightly greased pan and bake in the oven for approximately one hour, until tender. While the potatoes are baking, prepare your chicken.

Roasted sweet onion & mustard chicken thighs

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs (boneless will work, too)
  • Marinade
    • 1 medium tomato
    • 1 medium onion
    • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) yellow mustard
    • ½ teaspoon (2 mL) black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) minced garlic
    • Cooking oil spray
  1. Dice the tomatoes and onions into ¼ inch (0.6 cm) cubes. Place the onion and tomato cubes in a medium-sized bowl. Gently stir in the mustard, black pepper, garlic, and four sprays of cooking oil in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. (Optional) Puncture chicken thighs with a knife to absorb the marinade flavouring. 
  3. Massage the sweet onion-mustard marinade both in and outside of the chicken skin until each thigh is well-coated. 
  4. Place thighs in a greased pan and bake at 450°F (230°C) for about 40 minutes for bone-in thighs, or for 18–20 minutes for boneless. Either way, the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken should reach 165°F (74°C). While the chicken is baking, prepare your veggies.

Roasted seasonal veggies

  • 1 10-ounce bag (or 1 ½ cups; 375 mL) fresh green beans
  • 1 medium summer squash
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2 mL) pepper

Note: You can use whatever veggies are in season in your area at the time of cooking.

  1. Gently rinse the green beans and squash, and pat them dry. 
  2. Cut the stems off the ends of the green beans and slice the summer squash into ¼ inch (0.6 cm) slices. 
  3. Lightly coat the veggies with cooking spray, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Place the cut-up veggies onto a greased baking sheet and roast them at 450°F (230°C) for about 10-12 minutes, or until they begin to lightly caramelize (turn brown). 

Allow all the dishes to cool down for at least five minutes. Plate and serve. Bon appétit!



What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Individuals under the age of 13 may not enter or submit information to this giveaway.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy. TERMS & CONDITIONS

How students can save for their retirement

close up of hand over calculator | prepare for retirement in your 20s

When you finally finish college or university, retirement is likely the last thing on your mind. Your whole career is ahead of you, and retirement may not be for another 30–50 years. But before you totally bump the thought of saving for retirement out of your head, consider some small things you can do now that can potentially have a big impact later on.

Focus on student loan debt now

When you go from putting your limited savings and income toward tuition to then having a full-time job and salary, it can be tempting to go buy that new car or start spending more now that you have the resources. But wait—first do an evaluation of your debts, especially if you have student loan debt (because many post-secondary graduates do). 

A university student loan debt, on average, is $28,000-$33,000

According to Statistics Canada, the average student loan debt for college graduates is $15,300. When it comes to university degrees, the average debt is $28,000 for bachelor’s and master’s programs, and $33,000 for doctoral programs. A Canada Student Loan is typically paid off over 9.5 years, and there are different terms for provincial and territorial student loans. Upon graduation, look at what student loans you have and come up with a plan to pay them off sooner rather than later. For example, if you have a Canada Student Loan with a 3 percent interest rate and a provincial loan with an interest rate of 4 percent, consider putting more than the minimum payment toward the loan with the higher interest rate to knock that out earlier. Ultimately, this means paying less money toward that loan in the long run and saving on unnecessary interest charges. 

Maximize employer benefits

Many employers offer matching retirement contributions, meaning that if you commit a certain percentage of your salary to go toward your retirement, so will they. Whether it’s only 1 percent or up to 10 percent, that’s extra compensation your employer is willing to give you in the form of retirement savings, and if you don’t commit your match, you’re leaving free money on the table. This adds up—if your employer offers a 5 percent retirement match and your annual salary is $50,000, that’s an extra $2,500 in benefits you could be putting toward retirement!

Additional ways to save

So you’re taking full advantage of your employer retirement plan—can you do more? Absolutely! One popular retirement account that can be beneficial to begin when you’re in your 20s is an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan). The biggest benefit to an RRSP is that the amount you contribute each year is tax-free—you only pay tax on the amounts you withdraw when you withdraw them. So the money you put into an RRSP is not taxed, instead you defer paying tax on your contributions and any growth of those contributions until you retire (or otherwise want to withdraw the money). There’s more to know about RRSPs, including the Home Buyers’ Plan for first-time home buyers, but if you’re interested, this could be something you want to research more or speak with your financial institution about.

The biggest benefit to an RRSP is that the amount you contribute each year is tax-free—you only pay tax on the amounts you withdraw when you withdraw them.

Be intentional

Don’t be afraid to consult with financial advisors, your employer’s benefits office, or even your financial aid office if you’re still in school. You don’t need to be obsessed with retirement planning in your 20s, but some small but intentional decisions early on can ease the process for years to come and possibly save you thousands, or more, in the long run. 

*Name changed


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Individuals under the age of 13 may not enter or submit information to this giveaway.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy. TERMS & CONDITIONS


Article sources

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. (2021, June 17). Paying back student debt. https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/pay-down-student-debt.html

Kerr, E., & Wood, S. (2021, September 14). See 10 years of average total student loan debt. U.S. News & World Report. ​​https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/see-how-student-loan-borrowing-has-risen-in-10-years

National Student Loans Centre. (2022, January 17). Frequently asked questions. https://www.csnpe-nslsc.canada.ca/en/frequently-asked-questions

Statistics Canada. (2019, November 5). Student debt from all sources, by province of study and level of study. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=3710003601

Learn to ride the waves of stress with this nurturing meditation

White woman taking a study break to meditate | loving kindness meditation

Springtime brings the warmth of the sun and the soothing sounds of nature—but for many students, spring can also bring on stress. With final exams looming, even sunny days have their dark moments. 

wave icon | loving kindness meditationFortunately, it’s possible to train ourselves to notice when we’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed and gently guide ourselves toward a mental U-turn. As the world-renowned mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat Zinn once wrote: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” 

While we can’t avoid life’s stressors, deliberately and repeatedly turning toward sources of safety during stressful moments can help us learn how to ride these waves of stress as they happen. 

The guided meditation below invites you to call upon an inner well of support and safety by imagining a loved one. The loved one can be someone you engage with now or someone you know from your past—e.g., a teacher, a spiritual figure, or even a pet. By bringing them to mind and turning toward their comforting, kind presence, you will strengthen your sense of feeling safe and nurtured.  

After trying this guided meditation in a quiet, uninterrupted space, feel free to return to it in future moments when the waves of stress start to feel overwhelming. Setting aside just a few minutes for this self-guided practise can be the perfect study break. 

GET HELP OR FIND OUT MORE

What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Individuals under the age of 13 may not enter or submit information to this giveaway.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy. TERMS & CONDITIONS

Thinking of pulling an all-nighter? Why you should sleep instead

clock with sleep Z's against blue background | eight hour sleep challenge

Key points

  • One-quarter of Canadian adults aged 18-34 are not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
  • Deep sleep is crucial for the cognitive function we need to retain information.
  • Research shows that getting enough sleep is tied to better academic performance.  

Do you regularly pull all-nighters to finish assignments or study for exams? It’s a common student habit, but it comes with a major downside: Short, irregular sleep patterns mean you’re likely to lack deep sleep, a critical component for learning. In other words, skipping sleep can actually counteract all your time spent studying, turning test prep into an uphill battle. If you’re struggling to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night, you’re not alone—in a recent CampusWell survey, nearly half of student respondents said they get less than seven hours of sleep per night. In the same survey, 42 percent of respondents said they get less than six hours of nightly sleep during finals.

For your best shot at academic success, challenge yourself to sleep for eight hours every night. Before you roll your (weary) eyes, read on to find out how it works and why research shows it’s worth a shot.

What is deep sleep, and why is it important?

“Deep sleep is also known as ‘slow-wave sleep’: It’s the time during sleep when it’s the most difficult to wake a person,” says Dr. Charlene Gamaldo, Professor of Neurology and Sleep Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. “During deep sleep, your brain removes ‘waste’ to function more efficiently.” 

In other words, this stage of sleep helps the brain clear out some clutter to make space for new information—sort of like deleting files to free up space on your computer’s hard drive. This intake of new information is also known as memory consolidation, which is when your brain converts short-term memories into long-term memories (a.k.a. helping you remember that complex math equation or scientific term when it comes up on an exam).

Think of deep sleep as a smartphone update for your brain. If you skip a few nights, your apps can get glitchy. The deep stage is critical for optimal brain functioning, including memory and creativity, but it’s also important for keeping your basic bodily functions running well. 

Here are a few ways that lack of sleep can affect us:

Mood and mental health

You’re more likely to experience feelings of irritability, stress, worry, or sadness. 

Physical health

You’re more prone to getting sick, both in the short term (like catching a virus) and long term (chronic illness, such as heart disease).

When does deep sleep happen?

There are four stages of sleep, according to the U.S. National Sleep Foundation. As you can see on this chart, deep sleep occurs in stage N3. It takes time for your body to settle into deep sleep, so you may not get enough if you delay bedtime until the wee hours of the morning (or if you’re experiencing insomnia).

Sleep stages infographic | eight hour sleep challenge

Sleep stages

N1: Your brain is “dozing off,” and your body is starting to relax.

Duration: 1-5 minutes 

N2: Your temperature drops and muscles relax. Both your breathing and brain activity slow down. 

Duration: 10-60 minutes

N3: Deep sleep, also called slow-wave sleep. Your body relaxes even more in this phase, and your brain produces what’s called delta waves, letting go of toxins.

Duration: 20-40 minutes

N4: REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when your eyes dart back and forth behind your lids and you’re most likely to have vivid dreams. This type of sleep is also crucial for cognitive functions.

Duration: 10-60 minutes

The eight-hour sleep challenge

Your logic might tell you that cramming for an upcoming exam is necessary, but burning the midnight oil could actually hinder your academic performance. One study of 25 undergraduates at a small liberal arts college in the U.S. found that students who slept for eight or more hours during the week of final exams scored significantly higher on their finals than their classmates who did not get at least eight hours of sleep in previous nights.

To boost your chances of better grades, take the eight-hour sleep challenge: Commit to eight hours of sleep during finals week or whenever you have an important exam or other project coming up. 

In bed but not falling asleep

Of course, getting eight hours of sleep isn’t always as easy as it sounds. If you’ve spent the past few days or weeks struggling to fall (or stay) asleep most nights, you may be experiencing insomnia. This isn’t uncommon—we all have trouble with sleep from time to time—but if it’s interfering with your life, consider getting help from a professional. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) has been shown to improve sleep for those suffering from insomnia. CBT-I generally includes helping you reframe any false or fear-based feelings you might have about sleep, as well as education on better sleep habits.

CBT-I is generally combined with practical relaxation techniques. If you’re suffering from insomnia, here are a few to try:

Practise breathing exercises

There are many types of breathing techniques that promote relaxation crucial for sleep, such as our 9 magic breaths meditation or 4-7-8 breathing exercise

Meditate

Meditation icon | eight hour sleep challenge

There’s an endless list of guided meditations on YouTube or on mobile apps (try Calm or Headspace). Also be sure to check out our selection of meditation exercises, including this bedtime full-body scan.

Try hypnotherapy

Hypnosis doesn’t work on everyone, but there’s evidence to suggest that it’s a useful tool for improving sleep quality. One small study of women found that the hypnotic suggestion to sleep deeper actually led to increased deep sleep in participants. If you’re going to try hypnotherapy, make sure you seek out a trained professional.

Write out your worries

Writing icon | eight hour sleep challengeIf you close your eyes and your thoughts begin racing, it might keep you awake for longer than you’d like.The act of writing out whatever is on your mind offloads those thoughts onto paper so that your brain stops ruminating about them as much,” says Dr. Michael K. Scullin, Sleep Researcher and Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. “I keep a pad of paper and a pen by my nightstand and use this strategy when I’m going through a season where there’s a lot on my mind.”

Keep a consistent sleep/wake schedule

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating: Sticking to a similar bedtime and wake time most days can really benefit your brain. Life happens and schedules get thrown off, but irregular sleep patterns are associated with poorer academic performance, so it’s a good idea to try to go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day. 

Get enough sunlight and exercise during the day

Sun icon | eight hour sleep challenge

Getting sunlight during the day can help your body fall asleep at night. In the winter, when sun exposure is limited, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D (take a supplement if needed and OK’d by your health care provider). Regular exercise has also been shown to improve sleep quality—another reason to try to fit in a daily outdoor activity.

Create an ideal sleep environment

Keep your bedroom at around 18°C (65°F) to avoid overheating at night, and (if possible) invest in a quality mattress or bed linens if yours aren’t cutting it in terms of comfort. You could also consider blackout curtains to minimize light.

Manage your time

Better to go to sleep earlier and wake up early to study than the other way around,” says Annabell B., a third-year undergraduate student at St. Mary’s University in Calgary, Alberta. You cannot get back time to sleep, but you can always fit in studying somewhere else.

Minimize distractions

Check your smartphone’s screen time usage and you might be shocked at how much time you spend passively consuming mobile content (no shame, but some of those precious hours could be spent sleeping!). When you’re doing schoolwork with your phone off or in the other room, schedule an alarm so you can reward yourself with a phone break to check in with friends or social media.

“Minimize distractions and shut off your phone or the TV while studying,” says Jamie F.*, a second-year graduate student at University of Wyoming in Laramie. “Allow time for fun, too, so you don’t feel off-balance between work and life.” 

Try the Pomodoro method

“I use a Pomodoro timer method to study in 30-minute increments,” says Whitney A., a second-year graduate student at Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. “This helps me to be productive and get a lot done during the day.” This technique involves chunking work into 25- to 30-minute sessions, with a break in between. See the “Find out more” section for a free online Pomodoro timer. 

*Name changed

GET HELP OR FIND OUT MORE

What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Individuals under the age of 13 may not enter or submit information to this giveaway.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy. TERMS & CONDITIONS


Article sources

Charlene Gamaldo, MD, Professor of Neurology and Sleep Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Michael Scullin, PhD, Sleep Researcher and Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

CampusWell survey, January 2022.

Choi, J. H., Lee, B., Lee, J. Y., Kim, C.-H., Park, B., Kim, D. Y., Kim, H. J., & Park, D.-Y. (2020). Relationship between sleep duration, sun exposure, and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: A cross-sectional study. Scientific Reports, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-61061-8

Cordi, M. J., Pysch, D., Schlarb, A. A., & Rasch, B. (2014). Deepening sleep by hypnotic suggestion. Sleep, 37(6), 1143–1152. https://doi.org/10.5665/sleep.3778

Friedrich, A., & Schlarb, A. A. (2017). Let’s talk about sleep: A systematic review of psychological interventions to improve sleep in college students. Journal of Sleep Research, 27(1), 4–22. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12568

Kline, C. E. (2014). The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: Implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 8(6), 375–379. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827614544437

Liu, Y., Wheaton, A. G., Chapman, D. P., Cunningham, T. J., Lu, H., & Croft, J. B. (2016). Prevalence of healthy sleep duration among adults—United States, 2014. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 65(6), 137–141. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6506a1

National Institutes of Health. (2019, August 13). Brain basics: Understanding sleep. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Retrieved January 21, 2022, from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/patient-caregiver-education/understanding-sleep#4 

Newsom, R. (2020, October 22). Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/treatment/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-insomnia

Newsom, R. (2021, June 24). How blue light affects sleep. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/blue-light

Newsom, R. (2021, September 20). Sleep debt: Can you catch up on sleep? Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/sleep-debt-and-catch-up-sleep

Okano, K., Kaczmarzyk, J. R., Dave, N., Gabrieli, J. D., & Grossman, J. C. (2019). Sleep quality, duration, and consistency are associated with better academic performance in college students. Npj Science of Learning, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41539-019-0055-z

Phillips, A. J., Clerx, W. M., O’Brien, C. S., Sano, A., Barger, L. K., Picard, R. W., Lockley, S. W., Klerman, E. B., & Czeisler, C. A. (2017). Irregular sleep/wake patterns are associated with poorer academic performance and delayed circadian and sleep/wake timing. Scientific Reports, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-03171-4

Public Health Agency of Canada, (2019, September 6). Are Canadian adults getting enough sleep? https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/canadian-adults-getting-enough-sleep-infographic.html

Scullin, M. K. (2018). The eight hour sleep challenge during final exams week. Teaching of Psychology, 46(1), 55–63. https://doi.org/10.1177/0098628318816142

Scullin, M. K., Krueger, M. L., Ballard, H. K., Pruett, N., & Bliwise, D. L. (2018). The effects of bedtime writing on difficulty falling asleep: A polysomnographic study comparing to-do lists and completed activity lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(1), 139–146. https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000374

Suni, E. (2021, December 20). Stages of sleep. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/stages-of-sleep

5 ways to ace your next job interview

professional woman handing job interviewer hr resume | ace your job interview

Scoring a job interview is both exciting and stress-inducing. You’ve made it this far, and now you just need to cross that finish line. It’s easy to get into your own head at this point, but there are a few straightforward ways you can prepare yourself to help relieve some of those pre-interview jitters. Whether you’re just starting out or have several years’ experience under your belt, these five tips will help you show potential employers all you have to offer. 

Before the interview

Rigorously review your online footprint

Icon of phone in hand | ace your job interview

Assume the interviewer will look at everything. Those less-than-professional photos of you and your friends? Expletive-laden or discriminatory posts? Get rid of them. You can also set your accounts to private, which allows you to choose what’s public and what’s not, so you can put your best foot forward online. 

Do your homework

Icon of computer | ace your job interviewStudy up on the company and the role so you’ll be ready to answer any and all questions thrown your way. Recruiters look kindly upon potential candidates who have done their homework. “Read absolutely everything you can about the company and company-specific interview practises,” says Annabell B., a third-year undergraduate at St. Mary’s University in Calgary, Alberta. By preparing for common interview questions, you can interview with confidence.

During the interview

Dress for success

icon of professionally dressed person | ace your job interviewYou can never be too overdressed (unless you’re wearing a tuxedo—that’s a little much). Even if the company you’re interviewing at looks like a relaxed, youthful startup, you can’t go wrong showing up in professional attire (e.g., dress pants and a button-up top, or a knee-length dress with a blazer). Make sure the outfit is clean (no stains) and crisp (not pulled out of a pile on the floor).

Avoid bad-mouthing an old boss

thumbs down icon | ace your job interviewSaying something negative about a previous employer can make you look like you lack respect or that you might be difficult to work with. “It’s important for students to realize what it means to be a professional,” says Jason Henry, Coordinator of Career and Transfer Services at Arkansas State University-Beebe. “Professional employees go out of their way to leave an employment experience on good terms with their employer and supervisor.”

Why? Former bosses can still influence your future job prospects. So keep it polite. When explaining why you left a role, try something like this: “I was there for a year, and I was excited about the publication. I was hired in a production role, and over time I realized what I was really interested in was developing content. That’s why I’m looking to move on, but it’s a great company.”

After the interview

Send a follow-up note

note with pencil icon | ace your job interviewShow your prospective employer that you follow through on your work with a thank-you email expressing your gratitude for the chance to learn more about the role. “Include a sentence or two about something you’re excited about that you learned in the interview, such as a project you would be working on,” says Michelle Cook, Career and Education Counsellor at Calgary Career Counselling in Alberta. “Finish with a sentence letting them know you would be happy to answer any other questions they may have and that you look forward to hearing from them soon.” 

“Sending a thank-you email after an interview is what landed me my first office job after university. My employer told me that it showed I cared and was actually interested in the position.” - Ava C.*, Concordia University graduate, Montréal, Québec

Send the note within 24 hours of the interview. Worst case, you don’t get the job, but chances are you’ve still built your connections. Plus, if they were impressed with your interview, there’s always the possibility of them reaching out to you if any other positions open up.

*Name changed

GET HELP OR FIND OUT MORE

What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Individuals under the age of 13 may not enter or submit information to this giveaway.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy. TERMS & CONDITIONS


Article sources

Michelle Cook, Career and Education Counsellor, Calgary Career Counselling, Alberta, Canada.

Jason Henry, Coordinator of Career and Transfer Services, Arkansas State University-Beebe.

Quiz: What type of exercise should you do?

Young Arab man tying shoelace | what exercise should i do quiz

You’re feeling the urge to get moving, but figuring out which type of exercise to do can be tough—especially when there are so many options available. Should you focus on increasing strength or flexibility? Exercise indoors or outdoors? Knock it out with some fast-paced cardio, or go with the flow with some gentle yoga? The possibilities are endless.

Most research breaks exercise into four basic categories: endurance (sometimes referred to as “cardio” or “aerobics”), strength, flexibility, and balance. According to the U.S. National Institute on Aging, engaging in a mix of all four is ideal for physical health in the long term. 

Use this flowchart to help you identify what type of exercise might be best suited to your current activity level and workout goals. 

Let’s get moving!

exercise quiz flowchart | what exercise should i do quiz

What type of exercise should you do?

1. Do you like exercising?

  • Hate it. (Proceed to question 2.)
  • Love it. (Proceed to question 3.)

2. Can you sacrifice 30 minutes?

  • Yes. (Proceed to question 3.)
  • No.  (Try yoga.)

3. What would you like to improve?

  • Cardio. (Proceed to question 4.)
  • Strength. (Proceed to question 4.)
  • Flexibility. (Try yoga.)

4. Do you like to workout outdoors?

  • Yes. (Go for a hike.)
  • No (Proceed to question 5.)

5. How much do you want to sweat?

  • Just a bit. (Try lifting weights.)
  • Lots. (Try a HIIT workout.)

Now that you have an idea of where to focus your energy today, check out these workout videos for some inspiration:

GET HELP OR FIND OUT MORE

What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Individuals under the age of 13 may not enter or submit information to this giveaway.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy. TERMS & CONDITIONS


Article sources

National Institute on Aging. (2021, January 29). Four types of exercise can improve your health and physical ability. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/four-types-exercise-can-improve-your-health-and-physical-ability

Ask the counsellor: “If I have short periods of depression, should I talk to a professional?”

sad person on couch | short term depression

“If I have short periods of depression, such as during finals or for two to four days at a time, should I talk to a professional?”
—Sabrina S., first-year graduate student, Utah State University

This is a good question because it’s often unclear whether certain symptoms are reasonable responses to a specific context or event or whether they’re signs of more urgent mental health issues.

To give you a technical answer, a diagnosis of depression (also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression) usually requires at least five or more symptoms that are present every day (or almost every day) for at least two weeks. That does not mean we should not pay attention to shorter bouts of sadness, but we can at least acknowledge that you are probably not experiencing a major depressive disorder. 

Does the mood impact your normal daily functioning?Based on what you shared, a depressed mood during exams and up until a few days afterward could be an understandable response to stress and worry. My suggestion would be to note what triggers your low moods and how long you notice them lasting. Does the mood impact your normal daily functioning? If you notice that it only happens in higher-stress situations, then it’s more likely a normal response to that particularly stressful situation and you can explore coping strategies to help manage it. 

To be a bit more thorough, it would be a good idea to clarify what you mean by short periods of depression. An assessment with a counsellor on your campus can help with this. For instance, are you experiencing a low or depressed mood only, or do you have other symptoms? Feeling sad—or having any emotion, really—is our body’s way of communicating something to us. When this happens, we want to investigate what our emotions are trying to tell us, as well as remember that we do not (and will not!) always feel like this.



What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


What was the most interesting thing you read in this article?

Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
If you could change one thing about , what would it be?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Have you seen at least one thing on that you will apply to everyday life?
Have you seen at least one thing on that caused you to get involved, ask for help, utilize campus resources, or help a friend?
Are there any other topics or angles you would like to see in , that we haven't covered?
First name: ?

Last name:

E-mail:

I do not reside in Nevada Or Hawaii:

Want to increase your chances to win?

Refer up to 3 of your friends and when each visits , you will receive an additional entry into the weekly drawing.

Please note: Unless your friend chooses to opt-in, they will never receive another email from after the initial referral email.

Email 1:

Email 2:

Email 3:


Individuals under the age of 13 may not enter or submit information to this giveaway.
Your data will never be shared or sold to outside parties. View our Privacy Policy. TERMS & CONDITIONS