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NURS 180 Student Projects and Reflections
NURS 180 Introduction to foundational knowledge related to stress, stressors, resilience, social support, and strategies to foster physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Open to all students interested in learning about managing and navigating the stressors of student life. Click below to see the some of the students' work and reflections created in the Winter 2020 Class!
The Joy Booklet
Students in the NURS 180 W19 course submitted the things that bring them joy. Here, they are combined in a class booklet.
Hi everyone! Please read before watching so you have some context:
I have generalized anxiety disorder and chronic insomnia, both of which have impacted my sleep greatly. My video is a symbolic representation of what it feels like inside my mind when I’m trying to fall asleep - it’s a way for viewers to feel what I feel every night. The first half of the video depicts the racing, overlapping and anxiety ridden thoughts that course through my head for hours on end, preventing me from sleeping; this is what happens when I don't use my self-care strategies to modulate sleep. The second half of the video shows that the strategies I’ve implemented help me fall asleep and improve the quality of my sleep by erasing the chaos that’s normally present in my mind. What’s left is a settled and calm mental space that affords me the opportunity to fall asleep. The strategies I’ve been implementing to modify my sleeping patterns are as follows: Using my bed solely for sleeping, only getting into bed when I’m tired, getting out of bed if I cannot fall asleep in 20-minutes, no visible clocks, complete darkness, drinking calming tea, and using a weighted-blanket.
Hi everyone, I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe! Sending lots of virtual hugs and positivity :)
Thank you in advance, for taking the time to read! I have attached screenshots of what I did for my self-care activities.
The first screenshot is simply a cover page which summarizes how I deal with daily life stressors: the nature and my parents. I also chose this design cover because I could somehow sense a hope of radiation through the bubbles during difficult times, my creativity has been acting in my favour these days!
In the second screenshot, you see many pictures from our beautiful campus. Due to severe mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety, I am thankful that as a part of the course, I engaged in a new self-care practise- walking more around campus since I live here because I completely isolated myself last year . The pictures that you see are some snippets from my walks on snowy days, on cloudy and rainy days and also when the sun is out! At times, when I feel stressed I also just look back at these pictures to calm myself down. Breathing in the fresh air and experiencing greenery has been so refreshing and it has helped me feel energized both mentally and physically! I wish to continue with this in the future since it has played a positive impact on my overall well-being.
I am an international student from India, and I am also a first generation immigrant from my family, this means I am the first to ever move abroad to pursue my undergraduate degree and build a career. It has been a very overwhelming journey and over the past three years, I have faced innumerable challenges, but I am also grateful for the lessons I have learnt and the progress I have made. I am also grateful that I have two most important people with me who continue to support and care for me. In the third screenshot, those are pictures of my mom and dad in India, almost two years ago. I have also attached pictures of my mom (she loves taking pictures, my dad hates it) and just looking at them helps me feel peaceful, I miss them a lot. In the pictures, where you see a little baby in both my parents’ arms, that is me right there. Almost two years ago when I went back home, I took those pictures (and I do plan to take more from my ‘baby album’) which I treasure it with me on my phone. My parents are both working and at times calling each other face to face is very hard. So, I save all these pictures including the ones we take back home and when I feel sad and isolated, I look back into these pictures and it always helps me feel a sense of calmness and peace within myself.
Wanna learn how to make great Pizza Margherita from scratch? Then watch this video:
For my creative component, I've chosen to share my hobby of making food. Because nothing gets a comunity better than good food (aside from good social etiquette and social benefits of course...). Not only are cooking and baking amazingly therapeutic, they also help to make great friends when you share!
Let me know if you have any questions about the process!
NOTE: The video gets difficult to watch at certain times because focus goes in and out. Sorry, it's my camera
Matthea De La Cruz
For my creative component of this assignment, I created 15 meditation/reflection/prayer prompts. My new activity I decided to try out was collaborating prayer/meditation and eco-therapy. Majority of my stress stems from anxious thoughts of the future and "being still" allows me to organize my thoughts. After the eco-therapy project presented in class it inspired me to try practicing being still in an outdoors environment and away from an urban setting. Perhaps some of these prompts will conjure some reflection for some of you, especially during this time of social-distancing.
Take care, Matthea
For my self-care assignment, I experimented with using art as a coping strategy. I just used sharpie and watercolours to create the image. I chose the words "patience, consistency, and balance" as these represent my aspirations for the new year and always help to centre my mindset. I really enjoyed creating this drawing/painting and found it to be very relaxing. It allowed me to express my thoughts and creativity without being bound to strict criteria. I definitely plan on incorporating more art into my schedule as self-care but also just as a way to spend time and express myself!
For my creative component I have made a video containing some of my favourite moments spent in nature. I love being outside and have found that hiking, running, and spending time outdoors has improved my mental health greatly. My favourite activity to do when I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed is go for a sail in Vancouver's beautiful harbour. Spending time doing this with my friends will always put a smile on my face and allow me to escape reality for a couple hours. 2 weeks ago I went on a sunset sail with two of my close friends and watched the most beautiful sunset (as shown in the video). I recommend anyone feeling stressed to spend some moments outside and breathe in the fresh air, and never forget there is so much to be thankful for.
Video to come
I decided to compose a Zine for the creative component of this assignment. The Zine is ten pages long with the first page covering the introduction and table of contents. This zine collection is a mixture of my stressors in life both from the past and present, and some of the creative problem-solving techniques that I have exercised in the past to help in adversity. A few pages of the Zine contain UBC resources that are readily available to support me during a physical and emotional challenge and some self-care tips from some influential psychologist in the field. I wrote down each support system and ways in which I can access it including the phone number and location, for instance, you can see from the pictures that I have resources such as Empower Me, SASC and the UBC Centre for accessibility.
My primary stressor is being distant from my family, I am currently in my third year, but I haven't gone home within the years due to immigration concerns. Hence, whenever I feel home-sick I call my family, and this is depicted in the Zine where I have a picture of my family and each of their contact information, I also included the UBC wellness centre as a resource that I can utilize on campus to help me when I am feeling homesick.
In my first attempt to deal with my stressors, I followed the wrong approach. I detached myself from the community, which I realized was doing extra harm to my wellbeing. I had the impression that if I had persevered living in a refugee camp for 16 years, which is shown in the Zine through pictures, then I could endure the stressors that I was encountering in my stay at UBC. However, later on, it occurred to me that in the refugee camp, I had my family and community providing me with social support as I was navigating through daily stressors. Therefore, I started going to the wellness centre for social support, I excised regularly, I started attending social events, and I decided to be open to new experiences. Also, I am currently exercising a new approach for this assignment. It involves connecting with nature through practicing mindful yoga and meditating for twenty minutes early in the morning and over the weekend meditating in nature, for instance, at the park, beach and forest.
My other stressor is PTSD, and I seldom feel like I am reliving a war trauma from my childhood through upsetting thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks, or having powerful mental and physical reactions if something reminds me of the tragedy. In the Zine, I included resources such as "Empower Me" and UBC Health Centre to support me when I feel PTSD-like symptoms.
My story was featured on CBC News last summer.
I have also been featured in student podcasts at UBC, but I currently do not have the links to those. I like sharing my story with people because it helps in highlighting the resilience that exists in refugee camps and allows people to know ways in which they can get engaged to support refugees around the world.
For the new activity in the self-care assignment, I decided to pick up a hobby: making paper airplanes! It's been something that I've been meaning to start for a while now; since I received a 2020 paper airplane calendar for Christmas. However, with the general mess of assignments and due dates, I was never able to dedicate the required 10-15 minutes per day to keep up with the calendar. So, I decided to start by using this project as motivation! Which was pretty convenient, since picking up a hobby is a really good way to spend time during social distancing.
For the creative piece, I created a slideshow presentation of the last 14 days worth of paper airplanes I've made. Included in the presentation are a description of the activity, a reflection, photos of the planes, a few videos of me flying the planes, and instructions to make my two favorite planes. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to show the media directly in the discussion (sorry in advance!). So, I attached the PDF below as well as my videos (which don't work in PDF form). If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
Thank you for reading and stay healthy,
Combined Test Flights
Here is a collection/book of poems I wrote for my stress management technique. This year, I originally used music therapy, but decided to try poetry as a form of emotional expression. With poetry, I am able to transfer stress to paper and turn negative thoughts into positive creations. Instead of keeping them on lined paper, I chose seven poems and created digital prints out of them so that they are legible and a little more creative. So far, I find that poetry therapy has been beneficial for mitigating my stress and I will continue to use poetry as well as other stress management techniques in my future. I hope you enjoy!
For my self-care assignment, I engaged in the regular practice of yoga and undertook daily meditative drawing to mitigate stress and improve my well-being. My art piece is composed of photographs taken of the pieces I created as a byproduct of my daily meditative drawing. For most of my drawings, I used watercolour as a base and took inspiration from mandalas. In addition to their meditative properties, the mandalas in my work intended invoke the spiritual roots of yoga, most notably, the Sanskrit syllable “om” which holds personal significance for me (and I happen to have immortalized as a tattoo).
My previous self care activity was watercolour painting and my new practice is mediation, after it was introduced in class. This is why, for my creative piece I painted with watercolour (and ink) with the word 'mediation' in mind. I tend to have a perfectionistic mindset, but for some reason, when I am painting with watercolour, I allow myself to make mistakes and relax. This form of art therapy designates a time for me to slow down my thoughts and put a picture to the chaos. Before NURS 180, I thought meditation was simply ridding your mind of all thoughts, but after experiencing guided meditation, I understood this was not the case and that I particularly enjoyed it. Meditation has become part of my daily routine and I find that afterwards my mind is clear and I am energized. This is symbolized by the halo of light and bright colours used in the painting. I hope you enjoy! :)