Name: Ashna Khanna @resiliencediaries
School: University of Toronto
Year: 2nd Year Master’s
Major: Medical Science
Fav Thing About Your Campus: You can never run out of places to study – there are tons of libraries, coffee shops, and greenspaces to keep things spicy!
Dream Job: Paediatrician
What is your connection to mental illness?
I live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Anorexia Nervosa. I also come from a family with a history of schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, PTSD and ADHD. So, you could say I’m pretty connected. ;)
How do you deal with stress from school?
I do my best to listen to my body, whether that’s being active, socializing, being anti-social, eating, or taking a nap. Sleeping and eating are actually super important for managing my stress – if either one is lacking, there will be tears. I also make sure to keep up with therapy. In the past, I’d be on the phone cancelling my appointment the moment I felt stressed. Since then, I’ve learned that seeing my psychiatrist can actually help with school-related stress because I’m talking out my anxieties instead of bottling them in.
What does your campus do to help with students' mental health?
Tons, because it’s such a large campus but personally, I have found the “mindful moments” (drop-in mindfulness meditation and yoga classes), group fitness classes, and the Health & Wellness Centre most helpful. The Health & Wellness Centre offers everything from individual and group therapy to workshops around breathing, eating and sleeping better!
Do you have any school year self-care tips to share with other students?
Schedule in self-care. I love to schedule and I am really good at putting off self-care so this tip works really well for me. I actually block in an hour of Grey’s Anatomy to remind myself that self-care is just as important as reading papers and writing my thesis.
What are you most looking forward to this semester?
All the Fall festivities! I am very much about the pumpkin-picking, cider-sipping season and this Narcity post is basically goals.
Photos: Saijal Suri