At Saitsa, your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing is important to us. Take a break from your studies and learn more about wellness every Wednesday.

Check the list below for upcoming topics. Links and details will be posted soon!

Student Development and Counselling  is currently operating virtually!

403.284.7023 or counselling@sait.ca

Build your resilience with headversity. Download headversity today. It’s free! Step 1: Download the app to your phone. Step 2: “Join Now” with invite code: S3A6T9

Guided Meditation Information Form

Meditation Form

 

Winter 2021 Semester

Wednesday, Jan. 27 - Volunteer Week (Testimonials)

Today we’re sharing volunteer testimonials with you, to showcase the ways that volunteering can increase your overall wellness. Check out the video, or read the full testimonials below!

  • Abirami Santhran: “Volunteering big or small can cause a sense of purpose in someone’s life. I believe creating purpose in someone’s life can positively impact their mental wellbeing. I haven’t volunteered much but I have done short volunteering tasks for a day or so for different organizations. Therefore, not only are you helping out the community but also you grow as a person and learn new things along the way!”
  • Arvie Justine Isidro (SAIT volunteer): “Volunteering is not something that I see as an additional edge on my resume, LinkedIn, or cover letter, but rather it is another way for myself to discover who I am. Being a Mentorship Team Lead at the Peer Mentorship Program at SAIT has allowed me to explore a passion that I had ever since I was younger. These volunteering commitments have given me so many opportunities to grow as a person and a future accounting leader. It provides me the chance to enhance my communication skills, social skills, and most importantly, my ability to manage a team. It is always so humbling to see how I can help fellow students who are also struggling in adjusting into the lifestyle of university. When I transitioned into post-secondary, I was clueless. I had no one to ask for guide on how I can navigate throughout my first year. This is probably one of the reasons why I have decided to participate as a Mentorship Team Lead. I want to share my experiences with fellow students because as we are all aware, online school is not the best way to learn complex concepts. However, we are currently living in a situation where public health awareness is our number one priority. I am so satisfied that I can share some of my tips and tricks for studying with my fellow students at the Peer Mentorship Program. Being a volunteer is not just about helping the community to build an inclusive and well-rounded environment for everyone, but rather it helps me grow as a person. Ever since I became a volunteer, I have seen tremendous growth in my social skills, interpersonal skills, and most importantly, my mental health has improved because becoming a volunteer is all about learning about yourself. I have rediscovered my passion for mentoring fellow students. It’s always fulfilling to see how I, as a student volunteer, can make significant impact on others.”
  • Betty Lubega: “Volunteering with Saitsa is one of the best decisions I’ve made as a student! It has given me the opportunity to meet students in person and virtually, and to really connect with students from different programs. Helping other students learn and experience the resources that Saitsa has to offer has really been an opportunity that I’ll never forget. I always feel happier when I’m volunteering because I really get to connect with others.Volunteering improved my communication, organization, and problem-solving skills, and it helped me to learn new skills. I learned more about myself with each opportunity, and I gained more confidence. Some of my best memories as a student have been from volunteering.”
  • Chao-Yi Li: “This year people are facing a difficult time so do I, and lots of people feel depress, stress and helpless. For me, I felt depressed sometimes, especially the lectures are delivering online which was hard to connect and communicate to peers and other social networks. Thus, when I saw there are still having the chance to apply volunteers in Saitsa, I think it is time to make some change and I knew that helping people makes me feel happy and much positive during this time.In the 2012 summer break, I was volunteering in the library, mainly responsible for organizing and finding books in the kid’s area also play with them. Moreover, I was helping other areas when they need help. Via this experience, I do like helping people and it makes me feel a sense of achievement. Therefore, I applied for SAITSA volunteers in different teams such as tax program teams, metal WHAT teams, hoping that I could contribute to the team and helping people during this pandemic. A quote that inspired me a lot is from Zig Ziglar “Making a big life change is pretty scary. But know what is scarier? Regret.”
  • Chris Magnusson: “I am very much an introvert by nature, and volunteering with the various organizations that I did so with helped me open up. I got to meet cool people, many of whom I’ve run into randomly since my time with Saitsa. And if you’re into self-promotion, you can add it to your resume and get hired faster.”
  • Debbie Chadwick: “Simply knowing that you have made a meaningful contribution to someone else’s life or even just made them smile when they were feeling upset or worried is truly a wonderful feeling. Be it passing on your knowledge about a subject, informing people about an important issue or just plain old making sure someone has some fun, it’s invaluable and forges real connections and gives the person volunteering a tremendous sense of satisfaction.”
  • Jennifer Hiu Nam Mok: “To me, volunteering is a way to meet new people and learn new things. Due to COVID-19, I didn’t meet any new friends since the lockdown started. Also, my level of English conversation maybe decreasing because I don’t have enough practice. My life at home is like stagnant water, no special or surprises. Therefore, I am looking forward to the following volunteer activities. At least, I am ready for the CVIPT now.” 
  • Ngan (Kim) Phan: “My name is Kim, and I am from Vietnam. The first time that I have volunteered is for a child home where parentless children live and study in my country. It becomes one of the most meaningful experience I have had until now. I came there with other friends to help their ‘mothers’ – people who take care of them to prepare daily foods, play with these children, and talk with them about schoolwork. Seeing how happy they were at that time was gorgeous for me. Besides, I have experienced another volunteering activities in schools. I see myself growing kindness, love from people that I help, and gaining positive thoughts from other participants about volunteer. I did not have any volunteering last year, mostly because of problems from the pandemic. That is a reason why I want to do it more in this year. I understand that 2020 was the tough year for everyone, and it had a big impact on everything, especially mental health. Few people may feel hopeless and lost; others may need motivation and support in the new year. I hope to have a chance to make a great contribution to SAIT community and meet new people as well.”
  • Stephen Nagy: “Volunteering with Saitsa connected me with students in other programs that I otherwise wouldn’t meet. It’s a great way to make new friends by sharing experiences. Patrolling campus as a member of Safewalk gave me the opportunity to provide a service for the well-being of my fellow students.”

 

Wednesday, Feb. 3 - Clubs Week (Testimonials)

Today we’re sharing clubs testimonials with you, to showcase the ways that joining a club can increase your overall wellness. Check out the video, or read the full testimonials below!

Michaela Tomic: 4thyear BBA, Marketing, President and Director of Marketing and Communications (Marketing at SAIT Club), VP Marketing (SAIT Finance Club)

  • “Being a part of the Saitsa and student club’s community has been such a positive outlet for me through my academic career. Working not only within the executive team of a club but also collaborating across clubs has allowed for some much-needed positivity and social time, especially given the current circumstance. Even getting online and chatting with some of my fellow executives about plans for the future is always such a positive experience that really makes my day. Just like many of my fellow students, I often struggle with the uncertainty of what the future holds for us but having such a strong community to rely on does truly make a difference.  Students within the Saitsa circle are so welcoming and open that it really fosters an environment of comfortability with one another. As much as I do truly miss being on campus for all of our events and activities, it still makes my day to see everyone’s smiling faces.  I would encourage all students to reach out and join a club that they take an interest in, even if it isn’t something you think will propel your career forward or look great on a resume, I think now is the time for us to prioritize our mental wellbeing, focus on all of the good things we can enjoy every day and come together as a community to support each other.”

 

Wednesday, Feb. 10 - Pride Week

Wellness Wednesday Pride Workshop: Reimagining Relationships – Feb. 10 at 10 am

Many people can be influenced by “relationship rules” that they have encountered from family, from cultural traditions, from peers or social media and so forth. Some of these rules may make things easier, and other times, they can make situations worse. Join this workshop to consider how you can choose to take responsibility and ownership for living your own vision of relationships through self-exploration and through how you interact with others. Register here!

 

Reading with Royalty – Feb. 10 at noon

Calgary Public Library and Calgary Pride have teamed up to present Reading with Royalty, where local drag artists will share their love of stories, songs, and sparkles with the Pride at SAIT community. This is a family-friendly online event – dressing up is highly encouraged! Register here!

Wednesday, March 3 - Pet Week

How animals/pets improve wellness:

Owning a pet brings us joy by sharing lives with companion animals. Did you know that human-animal bond offers many physical and mental health benefits besides bringing unconditional love and joy to one’s life?

Caring for an animal can help to:

  • Relieve depression and anxiety
  • Lower stress levels
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Ease loneliness
  • Find meaning and joy in life
  • Encourage exercise and playfulness
  • Provide valuable companionship
  • Help to meet new people
  • Stay connected
  • Add structure and routine to your day
  • Provide sensory stress relief (by petting)

Alternative pets and their benefits (besides dogs and cats):

  • Snakes and lizards
    • Snakes and lizards can grow attached to their owners, recognizing those who care, handle, and fee them.
    • Some even ask to be petted by raising their necks up.
    • Perfect for those who have an allergy to furry pets.
  • Rabbits
    • Rabbits can be an exceptional family pet, as they are with lots of energy and personality, but are not high maintenance.
    • They don’t require a lot of space – a minimum of 4×4 feet of living space with the opportunity to roam wider each day
    • Perfect pet for someone living in an apartment
  • Birds
    • Companion birds have very long lifespans
    • Owning a bird allows you to enjoy the love without having to deal with the grief that comes with losing your pet
    • Birds encourage social interaction, which can be beneficial for people that live alone and/or want to keep mind sharp
    • Talking and teaching tricks to a bird can promote healthy cognitive function
  • Fish
    • Keeping and watching fish have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and calm heart rate
Wednesday, March 10 - Sexual Awareness Week

Let’s Talk About Sex 

Join us today at the Let’s Talk About Sex event, from 4-5pm

Many people can be influenced by norms about sex that they have encountered from family, from cultural traditions, from peers or social media and from their own personal expectations.  Some of these norms may make things easier, and other times, they can make situations worse.  Join this workshop to consider how you can choose to take responsibility for being sex positive by recognizing your hopes and fears about sex and how building consent skills can improve your relationships in-and-out of the bedroom. More info here

Join via Zoom link here

Wednesday, March 17 - 3 Ted Talks
Wednesday, March 24 - Nutrition Week

 Concerned about a friend? Read the Guide for When a Friends Has an Eating DisorderDownload PDF

Fall 2020 Semester

Sept. 16 - Start with Self Care

Check out our Self Care Tips here!

Sept. 23 - Healthy Food (Chicken Souvlaki Wrap Recipe)

Good nutrition, combined with physical activity, will help reduce risk of chronic diseases and promote one’s overall health. Take charge of your life and choose healthy food to boost your mood! For this week’s Wellness Wednesday, watch Gateway’s Head Chef, Justin make this healthy and balanced meal: Chicken Souvlaki Wrap and Crispy Smashed Potatoes.

CHICKEN SOUVLAKI WRAP WITH CRISPY SMASHED POTATOES

For the Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

½ – red onion, cut into 1-inch cubes

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp – dried oregano

1 tsp – smoked paprika

1 tsp – ground cumin

1 tsp – ground coriander

1 tsp – chili flakes

½ – lemon, juice and zest

1 tbsp – olive oil

½ tsp each – salt & pepper

6 wooden skewers

 

PROCEDURE

  1. Place chicken and onions in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Toss to combine, making sure chicken is well-coated with marinade. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. 
  2. Potatoes can be prepared while chicken is marinating. Recipe follows below.
  3. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes. This prevents them from burning in the oven.
  4. When ready, preheat oven to 400F. Meanwhile, thread the chicken onto the skewers, alternating each piece of chicken with a piece of onion. Place chicken skewers on a baking sheet. Reserve marinade.
  5. Place chicken in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Turn skewers and brush with reserved marinade. Return to oven and bake for an additional 8 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to rest while preparing the pita wraps.

For the Potatoes

12 mini yellow potatoes

¼ cup – olive oil

1 tsp each – salt & pepper

2 tbsp – tzatziki

PROCEDURE

  1. Place potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Continue to cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Strain, place potatoes on a baking sheet. Gently smash them into pancakes. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until potatoes are roasted and crispy.
  6. Serve with tzatziki for dipping.

For the Wrap

2 – 6” pita bread

2 tbsp – tzatziki

1 cup – chopped romaine lettuce

2 tbsp – diced cucumber

2 tbsp – diced red onion

2 tbsp – diced tomato

2 tbsp – crumbled feta

PROCEDURE

  1. Open the pita bread and spread on the tzatziki.
  2. Add lettuce, top with cucumber, onion and tomato.
  3. Remove chicken from skewers and add.
  4. Top with crumbled Feta
  5. Serve with crispy smashed potatoes

 

 

Sept. 30 - Importance of Volunteering

How Volunteering Benefits Your Wellbeing

One of the best things about volunteering is there are so many different ways to get involved! You can volunteer with SAIT, Saitsa, in your community or even with Saitsa clubs – yes, clubs involvement counts as volunteering! Today, I encourage you to read about how volunteering benefits your overall well-being and not just your resume.

It can make you happy!

Research has shown that if you measure hormones and brain activity, being helpful to others makes you happy. It’s human nature to want to give back to others, and the more that we volunteer or give to others, the happier we feel. Volunteering your time also keeps you connected with people, where you might develop a support system and a community of people who support you. There’s just a good feeling that you get when you volunteer your time for something that matters.

It can increase self-confidence.

While volunteering, you’re connecting and learning either with other people or from other people. It can provide you with a sense of accomplishment which can make you feel confident in the person you are becoming. Volunteering with something that matters to you, or that you enjoy can give you a sense of pride and identity.

It can reduce stress and anxiety.

The social aspect of working with others can benefit your overall well-being. Connecting with others and knowing that other people are interested in the same things that you are can help relieve anxiety and make you feel apart of something. Oftentimes certain volunteer roles help you gain experience in ways that you might not get as a student. This can be a huge stress reliever, knowing that you might be prepared for your future role after your time at SAIT.

 It can give you a sense of purpose.

For many organizations, SAIT and Saitsa included, volunteers are so crucial to everything that we do. Volunteering can give you a sense of belonging and community where you are so valued and necessary. It can inspire you to look for ways to help others or do things better, all in all, a great way to spend your time.

It can create friendships!

Volunteering is a great way to connect with people who have similar interests as you! Saitsa clubs are great for this because you can meet so many people who are interested in the same things as you! Are you into online gaming? There’s a club for that. Do you enjoy hiking and being outdoors? There’s a club for that as well! There are so many academic and social clubs that cater to whatever you are interested in, and if there aren’t any that you see, you can create your own (check out saitsa.com/clubs for more info). All in all, friendships are a huge aspect of the post-secondary school life, so whether you meet someone through volunteering with SAIT, or in your community, it’s bound to have a positive effect on your overall well-being.

It can help you stay physically active.

Maybe not during COVID times, but volunteering can be a great way to get out from behind a screen. Check out resources such as the Volunteer Connector, to find some volunteer opportunities that might help you reach that daily step count.

All in All.

Volunteering is an incredibly positive experience and it can provide a lot of benefits to your overall well-being, definitely more than just what’s on this page. It can be an excellent way to explore your passions and interests, discover new hobbies, or reach your goals. Check out the below resources for ways that you can volunteer, you won’t regret it.

Volunteering is a sure-fire way to raise one’s spirits, develop a sense of community (even more important now because of COVID 19), and live out your values of service, stewardship, and altruism“. – Melissa Gray, SAIT Student Development and Counselling

Saitsa Volunteering

Saitsa Clubs

SAIT Volunteering

Community Volunteering

Oct. 7 - Live Journaling Session

Join us for a live journaling session from 12 – 1 pm!

Join via Zoom link here: ttps://zoom.us/j/99471849324?pwd=a0hVT1p6dmtCeGIwNHY2Q0JKQVNwdz09

 

Get all your thoughts and feelings out of your head and down on paper! Do you keep a diary/journal? Did you know that journaling can help you create order when your world feels like it’s in chaos? Come join us on Wednesday, October 7th for a virtual journaling session! Did we mention that we have prizes for students who participate? The first 10 students to join the session will win a personalized journal!

 

Benefits of Journaling

  • Keep thoughts organized
  • Improve writing skills
  • Set and achieve goals
  • Note ideas on-the-go
  • Allows you to reflect on yourself
    •  You get to know yourself
  • Enables you to be creative
  • Prioritize tasks
  • Improve memory

 

How to Journal

  • Try to write every day
    • Set aside a few minutes to write every day!
    • Set an alarm as a reminder?
  • Make it easy
    • Keep a pen/paper handy at all times
    • Go digital and journal on Word
  • Write whatever feels right
    • There is no right or wrong way – discuss whatever you want
  • Use journal the way it works for you
    • You can keep a journal completely private or share parts of it with close friends and/or loved ones

 

Types of Journal

  • Motivational journal
    • Inspirational quote
  • Gratitude journal
    • List things you are grateful for
  • Writer’s journal
    • Famous quotes, social issues, or literary themes
  • Thematic/subject journal
    • Record your thoughts and progress on specific problems/interests
  • Success journal
    • Document today’s triumphs to help cheer you when you need a little pick-me-up
  • Free-form journal
    • Write about anything and everything
    • Gives insights into how your thoughts and emotions over time

Oct. 14 - Exercise

Exercise is beneficial, but it can also be very intimidating if you are at the start of your fitness journey. Don’t worry because even just a few minutes of physical activity can make a big difference in how you feel! Start with 5 or 10-minute sessions and slowly increase your time. You can receive all the physical and mental wellness benefits of exercise with 30 minutes of moderate exercise. The key is to find a fitness routine that works for you so that you are encouraged to stick with it! Read below to see how exercise can benefit you. We also have several videos that you can follow along to get started!

 

Fitness Instructor, Alyssa Wilkins, has created 2 videos for you to follow along with!

  • 20 Minute Stretch
  • 10 Minute Abs Workout

 

Benefits of exercise

  • Improves mental wellness
  • Boosts energy level
  • Helps protect against or manage health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Gives a chance to unwind
  • Helps connecting with family or friends
  • Makes you feel happier
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Builds and maintains strong muscles and bones
  • Helps skin health by stimulating blood flow and inducing skin cell adaptations
  • Helps with brain health and memory
  • Reduces chronic pain
Oct. 21 - Eating Well During Exams

What we eat can have a huge impact on us, especially during exam season!

We have 3 new healthy food recipes – Hummus, Healthy Smoothies, and Peanut Butter Energy Bites. View the recipes here!

Oct. 28 - Instagram Takeover

This week, we’ll be featuring a Wellness Wednesday takeover on our Instagram! Follow our Instagram here.

Nov. 4 - Benefits of Doodling and Colouring

Are you looking for ways to relax? Do you need a quick and easy way to unwind with a low-pressure activity that also improves your physical and mental wellness? Restore after a long day of classes and assignments with these coloring sheets!

Participate in the colouring contest to show off your finished work and for a chance to win a prize! We have provided 4 colouring sheets for you! The contest just requires you to colour in at least 2 sheets and post on your Instagram story with a tag of #SaitsaWellnessWednesday. Don’t have an Instagram account? Don’t worry, you can also email us at saitsa.centre@edu.sait.ca with the 2 finished pages to enter! Don’t have pencil crayons? No worries, because you can virtually color the sheets.

Benefits of colouring:

  • Alleviates stress and anxiety
  • Exercises the mind
  • Improves motor skills and vision
  • Improves sleep
  • Promotes creativity and flexible thinking
  • Helps you relax and unwind
  • Improves reasoning abilities
  • Increases the ability to concentrate
  • Improves memory
  • Helps you learn better
  • Calms down the mind

Download the colouring sheets here!

Nov. 18 - Wellness During the Holidays

Check out our tips for wellness during the holidays here!

Nov. 25 - Healthy Eating During the Holidays

We have 9 new healthy holiday recipes for you to try. Check out the recipes here!

Dec. 2 - Mental Wellbeing

For today’s Wellness Wednesday, learn more about mental wellbeing by watching the videos/reading their summaries below!

More resources and articles here

8 Dimensions of Wellness

Better quality of life is about making small improvements to different areas of our lives. It’s an on-going process for change and growth. The below 8 dimensions of wellness are equally important.

  1. Emotional
    1. Understand your feelings
    2. Express your feelings to people you trust
    3. Maintain a positive outlook

Ex) Self-care, relaxation, stress-reduction

  1. Environmental
    1. Create a physical space that encourages good physical and mental health
    2. Find a space that you feel safe
  2. Financial
    1. Understand your finances
    2. Establish good financial habits
  3. Intellectual
    1. Be a life-long learner
    2. Expand skills, insights, and wisdoms
    3. Actively participate in cultural, scholastic and community activities
  4. Occupational
    1. Look for things that you are passionate about
    2. Feel appreciation for the value in your contributions

Ex) volunteering

  1. Physical
    1. Increase activity levels according to your abilities
    2. Reduce risks of many illnesses
    3. Explore outdoors and boost your energy levels
    4. Choose healthy foods
  2. Social
    1. Make at least one social connection daily
    2. Seek advice from peers/social groups
    3. Create healthy friendships
  3. Spiritual
    1. Enhance your connections to self, nature, and others
    2. Disconnect from distractions
    3. Discover values and beliefs that are the most important to you

AHS: Ways to Wellness 

Ways to look after your mental health

  1. Be kind
  2. Get active
  3. Be yourself
  4. Practice gratitude
  5. Get your groove on
  6. Eat healthy foods
  7. Laugh
Dec. 16 - Student Development and Counselling Holiday Resources

Student Development and Counselling will be closed for the holidays.

Your wellbeing over the holidays is very important and Student Development and Counselling have provided resources for students to help over the holidays season: