Skip to main content
Headshot of Author

Christabel Leung

SFU Student Undergraduate
Health Sciences
Peer Education › Health Peers

A picture of the sky during sunset.
Courtesy of Christabel.
Let's be proud of ourselves.

As someone who struggles with my mental health, I understand how difficult it is when you feel trapped in this state of low energy and interest, and all you want to do is lay in bed. I am aware that there are certain actions that I can take to help myself feel better, but at times the thought of “I would rather stay in this moment than do anything to get out of it” conquers all thoughts. However, by starting to take certain actions that may be beneficial for my mental health little by little, I was able to feel better mentally.

Be Present in the Moment

Whether we are washing dishes or completing an examination, we can try the five senses approach to help us stay present in the moment. Being present means giving our focus and attention to the activity that we are currently engaging in and trying our best to not get easily distracted. When we are washing dishes, we can notice how lemony or floral the dish soap smells, how the bubbles feel as it brushes against our fingers, and/or the sound of water dripping onto the plates. This practice allows us to be more aware of our surroundings, feelings, and thoughts in the moment and enables us to enjoy life presently, without revisiting the past or worrying about the future.

Do Small Daily Practices That Are Therapeutic

Everyday we can take on small practices such as making our bed in the morning to mark the start of a new day, regardless if yesterday was a stormy, cloudy, or sunny day. It can be taking a few minutes out of our day to stretch,  unplug from the digital world to move your body, or enjoy a nice chat with a loved one over a cup of tea. At night, as we wash our face and brush our teeth, it signals us that no matter how difficult the day was, we made it through the day. Let's be proud of ourselves.

Nothing is Ever Perfect, so Why Do We Try to Be?

As someone who suffers from perfectionism and self-criticism, activities that were once enjoyable or therapeutic no longer felt that way. For me, that activity was drawing. Somehow over time drawing went from being a hobby to a task that I needed to excel at, in terms of the shading and proportion of each object. Being a student in a society where we are taught to constantly work hard and achieve as many accomplishments as we can makes it difficult for us to not be fixed on the quality of our work and aim for perfection in everything that we do. But, when we step back and observe the world, we realize that nothing is ever perfect, so why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to be? We are all perfectly imperfect and that is what makes us humans.


In times of struggles and poor mental health, I tell myself these events and emotions that I am currently feeling happen for a reason, which is to teach me a valuable lesson. At the end of the day, let yourself know that you deserve to feel loved, cared for, and that happiness is always waiting for you. 


Headshot of Author

Christabel Leung

SFU Student Undergraduate
Health Sciences
Peer Education › Health Peers
visibility  245
Mar 1, 2022

You Might Like These... Volunteering, Community Engagement, Professional Development, Personal Development, Life Balance

STC West Coast
Alumnus Profile: How Crystal Kwon Advanced Her Career Through Volunteerism

Students often overlook one important benefit of volunteerism. While students realize that scholarships and bursaries usually require community engagement, they often forget that volunteerism can also give you the edge you need after you finish your degree.

Kyle and volunteers
Kyle Jung: Expand Your Horizons through Volunteering

Did you know that you can make a difference through volunteering, as well as discovering your passions and career goals? These are just some of the benefits of volunteering, according to Kyle Jung, a 5th-year SIAT student who is also the Vice President of Operations, Interactive Arts & Technology Student Union (IATSU) and the SFSS Forum Representative.

Jordan Robinson: Volunteer, Learn & Have Fun!

Do you want to improve your writing and communications skills? Do you want to meet other SFU students? If you answered “yes” to any of the two questions, becoming a peer educator may just be right for you! Let Jordan Robinson, a 4th-year Sociology student, tell you what valuable skills and experiences.

You Might Like These... Personal Development

A photo of boots standing on wet leaves
Finding Positivity in Your Everyday Life: How to Deal with the Changing Seasons

Spring forward, fall back – daylight savings time has taken effect again, and we're in for a long, cold winter. Read our tips on how to see the bright side of things during such a dark time.

Portarit of Bruce Dumont
Indigenous Stories: Bruce R. Dumont, Metis National Council Minister Responsible for Health

"My father was Cree and French and my mother Cree and Scot with both parents fluent in the Cree language. I come from a family of ten. We lived in poverty as Road Allowance Metis around Sundre, Alberta, after my parents left the Metis Settlement of Kikino, Alberta in 1943 with 4 children in tow. 


Picture of calculator beside a graph
Getting Ready for Math-Related Classes in the New Semester

Many university classes require a lot of math and problem-solving. Eric Cai, an SFU alumni currently working in statistics, shares his top tips on how to excel in these challenging courses.