November 19, 2018

BY TAYLOR SCHWEITZER

TS_MentalHealth

Deep breath in, deep breath out. On your mark, get set, go!

When it comes to mental health, finding ways to eliminate stress and anxiety can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.

Counselling Services at Conestoga College wants to make the word, “stress,” disappear from all aspects of your life. The Just Breathe, Just Run group helps with that by offering tips and ways that can be fun and beneficial for an after school extracurricular activity.

Erin Kravetsky, a counsellor at Conestoga College and the facilitator of Just Breathe, Just Run, said running is the best way to calm the mind, regardless of the situation you are in.

“A big thing with running that we try to show in this group is the tip of staying present. I think that helps to calm the mind,” Kravetsky said. “We’re always worrying about everything. I think one way running can calm us down is because you’re in the present, you’re grounded with your surroundings, you’re focused on what is going on right now and that’s important.”

Everyone is encouraged to join the running group, regardless whether you are a great runner or not.

“It’s been a really positive experience joining this group,” said Emma Schmidt, a student in Conestoga’s bachelor of public relations program. “I love showing up every week and doing something active with a group of people. It’s been really nice where you can hold each other accountable and encourage each other. So, you’re helping yourself and others. I think that helps people and that’s why people should join.”

Rebecca Rees, a student in the general arts and science program, said, “The group has made me more aware of mental health because we always talk about it. Every day at the end of our run, we do stretches and talk about lessons on mental health, as well as working on exercises that can help us out on our own time as a stress reliever.”

The running component of the Just Breathe, Just Run group is eight weeks long, the same time frame as mental health awareness that happens every fall. However, Kravetsky said the group will continue to meet.

“I picked eight weeks for how long I wanted the event to run because most running events are eight weeks long,” Kravetsky said. “Eight weeks is a good period of time where you can see a difference if you never ran before, but eight weeks also gets us to November and a perfect time where it’s not snowing yet.”

At some point in life, we all can experience different mental health issues. Sometimes we can deal with it on our own and sometimes we need help to get through it. At Conestoga College, students and faculty are there to help whoever is in need by joining groups or talking one-on-one with someone. For more information, call 519-748-5220, ext. 2324 or email Erin Kravetsky at ekravetsky@conestogac.on.ca.

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