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TIPS FOR PARTICIPATING

Would you like to come up with acts within your study community on Students’ Mental Health Day but are lacking ideas? Read about ideas from previous years’ events and acts and join us in coming up with new ideas.

Gather a group to think about what kinds of things and actions support mental wellbeing within the study community. Come up with ways to implement your ideas during Students’ Mental Health Day.

Here are some ideas to help you out

General

  • Different kind of Instagram live broadcasts on community accounts or on private ones
  • Shared breakfast/ lunch/ coffee break/
  • Shared study break
  • Sewing overall badges together
  • Book or movie club
  • Playing videogames together

Individual actions: 

  • Giving compliments 

Notice the good in you and your surroundings and say it aloud – even if you must talk to yourself! During the campaign week, embrace the idea of the daily compliment: At least one compliment for yourself or others every day. Do you want to find new ways to say good things to yourself and others? Or do you want to learn how to do so in the first place? You can use things like the compliment generator of Yeesi ry (available in Finnish).   

  • The “I wish you well” mantra 

When you notice that you feel uncertain or uncomfortable with a fellow student, think: “I wish you well”. Repeat this thought in your mind throughout the interaction or at least for as long as you feel like it. Afterwards, reflect on what kind of thoughts or feelings this evoked in you. Perhaps you can try it in the future, as well? 

  • Lightening the Calendar 

A student’s calendar can easily become filled with all kinds of things. How about setting times in your calendar for your own well-being and recovery? Try this during the campaign week: For a week, set times in your calendar every day for doing pleasant things and things that will help you recover. After a week, reward yourself for either your success or for making a good effort: Give yourself permission to make this a permanent part of your everyday life, or treat yourself with something special that you’ve never found the time or opportunity to do.  

  • Compassionate letter to yourself 

Write a compassionate letter to yourself. Think of all the failures, moments of misery, embarrassing experiences, feelings of inefficiency and inadequacy that keep appearing in your mind.  

Then select one of the following perspectives:

1. The letter will be written to you by a compassion guru that accepts you with all your shortcomings and is full of pure goodwill, acceptance and mercy. What kind of letter would the compassion guru write to you?

2. Write a letter that you would write to a loved one or a good friend if they were feeling this way. What would you like to say to them?

3. You have the ability to see yourself compassionately and acceptably. What would this portion of you like to say to yourself in a letter?  

After writing the letter, put it away for a day or two. Then read the letter. What kind of thoughts and feelings do you have then? (Source of the exercise: Kristin Neff) 

Communal actions:  

  • Communal compliments  

Ask for permission to dedicate one bulletin board, mobile screen or other space in the campus as a wall of compliments for a week. Encourage students and staff to share compliments for themselves or others on the wall of compliments. You can also arrange a group event of compliments at your educational institution; it can be a two-hour stand or workshop that encourages people to see the good things in their everyday life, stop to ponder on them and put them into words.  

Another good way for sharing and receiving compliments is to use a Compliment Bowl: Ask students and staff to put anonymous compliments in the Bowl for a week and then encourage everyone – including yourself – to take a compliment for the day from it.  

  • “I wish you well” workshop 

In the workshop, you can come together and discuss different ways in which people can show compassion to others in their everyday life. In what small ways could you encourage or show acceptance to a fellow student in places like a lecture, a student canteen, a Zoom meeting, campus corridors, a student event or a thesis seminar? Instead of a workshop, this type of action can also be realized on a smaller scale, for example at a display booth.  

  • “Lightening the Calendar” booth or workshop 

Collect ideas together or reflect on how you can use time management to demonstrate compassion and mercy towards yourself. You might come up with all kinds of concrete ways for ensuring time for recovery and coping in addition to fulfilling your obligations. This is a great way for promoting self-compassion in one’s own study life! 

  • Becoming more familiar 

We make up this study community, but who exactly are we? Students’ Mental Health Day is an excellent time to become more familiar with others. Start a course, lecture or lesson with a round of introductions and everyone telling how they’re doing. Arrange an open doors event or invite people for coffee in the office of a student organization, the school administration or the study services and well-being services. 

  • Permission to take it easy 

Sometimes you can just be, without doing anything useful or important. What kind of communal event for taking it easy could be organized at your educational institution? Possibilities include things like open and shared coffee breaks with snacks, play sessions, break exercises, relaxation time, a reading corner for books not related to studies, petting animals together – only your imagination is the limit! 

  • Compassion exercise workshop 

Perhaps you already wrote some compassionate letters to yourself and would now like to encourage others to try it? Or perhaps you have noticed how well breathing exercises, conscious observation based on senses in everyday life or compassion breaks can help? Great – pass the benefits forward by organizing a workshop where others can hear about these great ways of influencing their own and others’ well-being and try them.   

Join us – Mind matters!

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