Tanya Spencer. Supplied Photo

Hello! My name is Tanya and I started in mental health as a crisis line volunteer for the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton in 1992 (holy cow, has it been that long?). I grew up on a farm so I like bees (and talking about cows) and I love knitting and needlework.

I love working with my colleagues to offer counselling and chaplaincy supports.  I’m so honoured to speak with many of you in person. When you feel vulnerable and hurt, we see your strength and dedication to bettering your education and overall situation. Sometimes much of what we do is give you permission to look after yourself.

If I could talk to every NAIT student, I would say two things:

  • Your experience is real and valid – no matter what anyone else thinks
  • You don’t have to be ‘sick’ or at your wit’s end to come & see us. We do wellness!

Mindfulness: 4 ways to try it

Catch yourself using the word ‘stress’ and replace it with any other phrase. Try:
‘that was disappointing’
‘I wasn’t expecting that’
‘wow, I learned more from that than I thought’
‘that wasn’t as bad as I worried it would be’
‘that is not my strong suit’
‘I am better at this than I was last year.’

When you are tempted to think “my whole experience is awful,” remind yourself that every day is just one day.
I stole that from Jeff Lynne. I also like “sometimes ya gotta be strong.”

Get a hobby you can hold in your hands.
So much of what we do is online or has no visible product. I knit and make things so that I can see the fruits of my labour. See if you can lose yourself for even 15 minutes in something that yields a ‘thing.’

Act as if you are the only person you have to impress.
True success is doing your best & feeling proud of your effort. Forget about whether this moment is worth posting or will prove to your parents that you’re fine. Aren’t you worth impressing as much as they are?

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