Category Archives: Health and Wellbeing

Powerful Self-Care to heal your trauma

Healing after trauma has no set schedule, we will all move through the process at our own pace, in our own way. Accepting that you are a unique and beautiful individual, and it’s okay to feel differently to others, is a huge step in your healing plan. In addition to your self-care basics of sleep, exercise and nourishment, here are four more powerful self-care practices that might help you through.

  1. Cry, talk and grieve
    Let out your feelings with a trusted friend, family member or if you need, a counsellor. Talk about your feelings, rather than focussing on details of events. There is a fine line between being informed to help make sense of an event, and reliving it through repeated exposure. 
  2. Spiritual Connection
    Spirituality is different to everyone, but it does mean a connection to something greater. This might be through nature, family, mindfulness, meditation or prayer. Try and tap into your connection. You can explore meditation with the UC Meditation Club, find a religious group on campus or chat with the UC Chaplain, or simply make a promise to pick up the phone and call your family more often.
  3. Rest, relax and breathe
    Take time out to do things you love – what makes you happy? It could be treating yourself to a movie, taking a yoga class, reading a good book, writing or journaling, taking a trip to the beach or hills, or playing games on your cell phone. Set aside some time just for you, and enjoy the space in the moment.
  4. Practice mindfulness
    Be in the present. Notice the things around you, the colours, the smells, the feels, the tastes. Savour every second, and think about all of the good around you. Perhaps even take up the #100daysofhappy challenge, using your phone to capture a single image of one thing every day that makes you smile.

To recap, you don’t have to undertake all of these practices, but we would recommend starting with creating a better sleep routine, fitting in some exercise and good nutrition. Then, consider adding in even just one additional strategy from 4-7 above, and see the benefits of good self-care help you start to heal.

Remember, there is plenty of support for you on campus. 
If you need to talk to a trained counsellor, free call or text 1737 from your mobile phone.

There are a number of services on campus you can contact for help at UC:

  • Student Care – Student Care can provide you a place to talk to someone if you do not know what to do, and also have a team of dedicated Student Advisors for both domestic and international students.
  • UC Health Centre – you can make an appointment to talk to a health professional including nurses, doctors and counsellors to help you get through this difficult time. If you need to be seen straight away, please tell the Health Centre reception staff that your situation is urgent; they will then find a health professional you can talk to.
  • UCSA Advocacy and Welfare can help you if you are experiencing financial difficulties at this time, including support with food, and can help you communicate with your teaching staff and apply for extensions and Special Consideration if you are finding your study is being affected; and
  • UC Chaplains, who are available if you need someone to talk to.

There are also additional resources and support services in the community that you can access from home, and can assist non-students who you know have been affected are:

  • Lifeline: 0800 543 354
  • Need To Talk: 1737 (free text or phone)
  • Victim Support: 0800 842 846
  • Ministry of Health: The Ministry of Health has developed two resources with 1737 to assist those in mental distress as a result of the traumatic event in Christchurch. View the resources

Rec & Sport team

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines available at UC Health Centre

The UC Health Centre | Whare Hauora o UC is now offering Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccinations to all UC students and staff who have: 

  • never been vaccinated 
  • only had one MMR vaccination.  

Note – international students will be charged $25 per MMR vaccine. 

If you’re not sure if you’ve been immunised for measles contact the UC Health Centre if you are enrolled there, or your General Practitioner (GP) – they can check your vaccination history. 

People born before 1969 are considered to be low risk and do not require vaccination. Many of this group will have had measles.

The number of confirmed measles cases in Canterbury is now at 37, with a further nine cases being investigated.

Measles is a serious and highly infectious illness that spreads easily from person to person through the air, and can be caught simply by being in the same room as someone with measles. Read more about immunisation and symptoms here

 

COPING AFTER A TRAUMATIC EVENT – START WITH SELF-CARE BASICS

We have all been impacted by the events of 15 March. It is normal to feel distressed, anxious and maybe even angry for quite some time after the event. So what are some of the ways you can cope?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for healing from trauma, here’s some self-care basics to start with.

1. Sleep
Sleep as much as you need, and you may need more than usual in this time of healing. Your body repairs and renews itself during sleep, get a good sleep routine, minimise caffeine (or avoid it if possible), turn off electronics at least an hour before bed, and take naps.

2. Exercise
Exercise is like medicine in the treatment of a huge range of medical conditions, including depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other trauma-related issues. It elicits hormone responses that will make you feel better, increase energy and improve your sleep. The social nature of physical activity can make you feel connected – take a gentle stroll through nature to boost your mood. Even a 10 minute walking break will do wonders for your soul. If you have more time, then perhaps a group adventure to New Brighton or Sumner beach, to reap the benefits of Vitamin Sea? If you don’t have access to a bike or car, then you can plan your trip using the Metroinfo.

3. Nourishment and Nutrition
Speaking of vitamins and minerals, the simplest (and most cost effective) way to get your essential nutrients is to ensure you eat different types and colours of food. Have a look at your plate…what’s the predominant colour? Sadly, those delicious comfort foods like donuts, chips and bread tend to be yellow and brown, meaning a lot of refined sugar and fat, providing very little nutrition. Eat your greens, reds, purples and oranges first, then if you’re still craving that donut, you’ll be good to go.

By taking care of your physical body, you’ll be in a far better place to take care of your mental and spiritual wellbeing.

Remember, there is plenty of support for you on campus:

For more see www.canterbury.ac.nz/support.

If you need to talk to a trained counsellor, free call or text 1737 from your mobile phone any time.

There are also additional resources and support services in the community that you can access from home: 

  • Lifeline: 0800 543 354
  • Need To Talk: 1737 (free text or phone)
  • Victim Support: 0800 842 846
  • Ministry of Health: The Ministry of Health has developed two resources with 1737 to assist those in mental distress as a result of the traumatic event in Christchurch. View the resources.    

Rec & Sport Team