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Seerit Hara

SFU Staff
Health Sciences
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op
OLC Lead Editor and Project Coordinator

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While it’s tough to be sure how the next year will turn out to be, we can absolutely take the inspirational lessons we’ve learned this year and bring them into 2021.

As we look back over these years, it's clear that our studying and working lives at SFU have transformed beyond all expectations. However, nothing compares to the mind-bending reality that was 2020. This year has been described by some as unprecedented, which accurately sums up the collective anxiety and unrest we’ve experienced this year.

This blog post won’t ruminate much longer on that. While reviewing our previously published posts of 2020, we were pleasantly surprised by how inspiring our contributing authors have been and their generous advice they’ve shared with our community. While many posts touched on the reality of the pandemic, they were written from a place of positivity and resilience. The topics ranged from Mental Health to Remote Working and Work Searching to Professional Development. Our contributing authors ranged from Co-op students to Peer Educators to SFU Health and Counselling.

If you have been following our Twitter account lately (if you haven’t, here’s your chance!) you may have noticed our #12DaysofInspiration tag. We've curated our top 12 inspiring posts of 2020 and have shared one post for each of the last 12 days for you to check out and share. To wrap up 2020 at the SFU OLC, we've summarized below why you should take a look at these phenomenal articles and how they can continue to inspire you in the New Year.

1. Mental Health Wellness Tips for Quarantine 

At the time this post was written by Dr. Feliciano, we were only 10 days into lockdown, with stress and fear at an all-time high. Knowing how to cope well was the biggest concern of Dr. Feliciano’s clients that week, which is why she wrote this article with 25 unique tips and pieces of advice. At the end of 2020, learning to cope with our new reality is still a journey and more than just a destination. Her tips remain evergreen, with the article having been read 121325 times at the time of this article’s publication. Take a look at these tips to see how you can continue taking care of your mental health in 2021. 

2. How to Get Back on Your Feet When You Lose Your Job During A Pandemic?

An unfortunate reality of the pandemic was the unprecedented job losses. It’s rough to lose your job in any circumstance, but the uncertainty of the pandemic made it tougher to weather. Joane shared what that journey was like for her and the full swing of coping she went through to get back on her feet. What you may find incredibly helpful and inspiring are the actionable tips you can take today to start climbing back up the mountain if you have found yourself knocked down.

3. How to Build a Routine: Choose your Strategy and How to Get Started on a Routine: Recipe for Wellness

The shift to working and studying at home was no longer as simple as just staying at home. Our daily routines shifted and making that transition wasn’t necessarily easy. What’s specifically tough is dealing with distractions at home that can pile on procrastinating and avoiding tasks. The Health Peer Educators from SFU Health and Counselling Services did what they do best and provided a two-part series that explains why building a healthy routine is a lot like following a wellness recipe and how to build such a routine that works for you. 

4. My Mindset Graduating in a Pandemic

It’s a strange time to be a student having to study from home. For students who are also close to graduating or have just graduated, it’s an even stranger feeling. How can you balance the usual stresses of job-seeking with the added stress of an uncertain job market? Well, look no further than this article from SFU Health and Counselling. Here, they provide inspiring points about precisely how you can opt for a positive mindset to address negativity biases. 

5. An Insider's Guide to Successful Work Search 

When it comes to the job-search, the saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is incredibly relevant. But being strategic in how you find social support and resources when seeking help is a lot easier said than done. Deanne and Francis completely understand that and have accordingly provided advice on just how you can maximize your efforts while getting the job search results you want. The solution to your job search dilemma is closer than you think! 

6. Leave Work Where It Belongs 

When your work life takes place in the same space as your personal life, it’s tricky keeping a healthy boundary between life and work. But we know that it’s incredibly important to keep up these boundaries; otherwise, you might experience an unstructured mess that affects your mental health. Eleanor knows exactly how hard finding this balance is and wrote an insightful article on just how you can also start to keep your work-life colliding into your personal matters, even if you work from home.

7. 4 Things I Learned Working Remotely During a Pandemic 

It makes sense that we might not want to ruminate too much on what happened back in March of 2020. But sometimes, it’s worth looking back and appreciating how we managed to affirm, learn, unlearn some key lessons in a really tough time. Janani does a fantastic job of explaining what that was like for her in this article while giving some inspiring take-home messages that we should bring with us into the new year.

8. Online Dating and Keeping Safe

You may be familiar with the importance of your physical and mental health, but have you considered your social wellbeing? Your social wellbeing includes keeping yourself safe while dating other people. This winter season means that more people will be turning to online dating, but how do we stay safe while having fun? Well, the Health Peers are back at it again with a great article filled with specific advice on what to look out for and how to set up personal boundaries that will keep you safe. 

9. Your Health Matters In The Workplace 

When was the last time you were told that your mental health mattered… especially in the workplace? We could all use a primer on how important it is to take care of your mental health when trying to be productive in the workplace. 

Here’s a sneak peek:

“I would rarely take breaks while in school, and not until recently, after working with a team of mental health and well-being professionals, have I finally realized how toxic it was for me to feel bad about giving myself time to re-energize and clear my mind.” 

That’s just one of many insights Elvina provides in the article; taking care of your mental health won’t be going out of style anytime soon, so let's read on to learn more.

10. (Baby) Stepping Into the Real World: How to Implement Overused Clichés into Your Plan to Kill it on a Work Term

If you’ve been looking for career advice, you may have come across phrases and advice that go like this, “Actions speak louder than words” or “Be yourself”. 

Pretty cliche, right? Not so fast, argues Emily, the author of this unique article. Come along and learn how these seemingly overused cliches could actually be your next step to elevating your professional experience as you enter your next 9 to 5 job. 

11. Surviving the Shift to Remote Work

Working from home is here to stay and learning to transition to this way of working is more easily said than done. What makes this article stand out is Maria’s incredibly helpful links and tips that have been illustrated with adorable illustrations. You will feel ready to take the next step in setting up your home office after reading this article; we can assure you that! 

12. No More Counting Sheep 

A common issue with balancing work and life is it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. As our lifestyles have changed by working from home, it becomes easier to not stick to a structure. This can affect your sleep quality. Elvina wrote this article filled with 5 really clear and actionable steps you can take into the new year and implement. You’ve possibly already heard that you shouldn’t look at your phone right before bed, but realistically, how do you manage that? You’ll have to read on to learn the answer to that.

We hope these articles inspire you to look at your professional and academic life from a new perspective as we move into 2021. While it’s tough to be sure how the next year will turn out to be, we can absolutely take the inspirational lessons we’ve learned this year and bring them into 2021. What will you bring? Will it be a resolution to take better care of your mental health by setting up healthy boundaries? Maybe it is better ways to set up your home office so you can be more productive? Or perhaps fresh new ways to jumpstart your work search plan into action?

It’s been a rough AND inspiring year. While we can only hope for the best in 2021, our inspirational contributing authors have shown that we are resilient enough to handle any challenge.


Head Shot of Seerit

Seerit Hara

SFU Staff
Health Sciences
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op
OLC Lead Editor and Project Coordinator

Seerit is a SFU Health Sciences graduate with a particular curiosity for geriatric health issues. For the last few years, she's explored diverse healthcare environments that ranged from directly engaging with patients, to designing and managing projects that support their well-being. Connect with her on LinkedIn and check out her personal website here.

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Jan 1, 2021

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