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Maintaining Mental Wellness

With all the hustle and bustle that accompanies modern life, it can be difficult to make personal wellness a priority.  Here are some suggestions from around the College of Social Work to help you incorporate wellness in your own life. 

  1. Make yourself a priority

“Life is so busy.  Sometime during your week, schedule time that focuses on you—on your mental wellness and rejuvenation.” – Tiffany Baffour, Associate Professor & Director of the MSW Program

  1. Cultivate life balancewoman sitting on the grass by a lake

“I put in as much effort as I can when I’m at work.  And then when I’m not here, I try to focus on activities I enjoy outside of work.  It’s a way for me to maintain a healthy work-life balance.” – Derek Mueller, Senior Research Analyst

  1. Move it

“No matter how upset I am, being with my horse can distract me from it.  I think part of it is connecting with another creature, but part of it also is how physically demanding it is.  I become so focused on the activity and the relationship, it’s consuming.” – Christian Sarver, Associate Director of the Utah Criminal Justice Center

  1. Spend time with furry friends

“If you weren’t given a therapist and a dog when you were born (and they can inhabit the same body), you should get one.  There’s lots of research that shows that interacting with pets—dogs and cats—can lower blood pressure and de-stress.” – Charlie Hoy-Ellis, Assistant Professor

  1. Take a break

“I engage in activities that I enjoy that aren’t related to any of the other roles in my life—not as a social worker, a husband, a father—something that's just me.” – Chad McDonald, Research Assistant Professor

  1. Breathe easy

“Take a deep breath.  Take a few and connect with your source—whatever that is for you.  It could be your family, God, nature.  Whatever it is for you, visualize that as you take deep breaths.  I do this every hour to re-center, connect with what matters to me, and work on any negativity that comes up.  Depression, anxiety, and fear exist in the primitive brain.  You can’t think your way out of negative thoughts, but you can breathe your way out of them.” – Rich Landward, Assistant Professor/Lecturer

  1. Try to find humor in things

“Find the thing that’s causing you stress, write it down, and then switch the narrative so you can find the humor in it.  This method has helped me through some of the toughest situations in my life.” – Erin Worwood, Associate Director of Administration

  1. Engage with othersa group of people sitting together laughing and talking

“Activity with others is priceless.  The best thing you can do for your mental health is create magical memories.” – Rich Landward, Assistant Professor/Lecturer

  1. Check in with a professional

“Talking to a professional can be part of your regular self-care plan, and can be employed with whatever frequency you need.  We have a lot of great, professionally-staffed options on campus, including the University Counseling Center and the Mindfulness Center, the Women’s Resource Center, and the University Neuropsychiatric Institute.”  – Elizabeth Perez, Director of Academic Advising

Happy Mental Wellness month!

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Last Updated: 1/28/20