11 ways to have fun and support your mental wellness

Taking care of your mind and body doesn’t have to be hard work. The following are some suggestions from the experts at the Student Care Network on how to support your health and wellness while also having fun.

Fashion design professor Alex Sargent Capps helps students create masks at the Wond’ry, Vanderbilt’s Innovation Center. (John Russell/Vanderbilt University)

1. Create something

Do something hands-on, like arranging flowers, painting, sewing, building, candle making or gardening. Check out craft and maker events through your residence hall, on Anchor Link and at the Wond’ry, Vanderbilt’s Innovation Center.

2. Visit a museum

Take a virtual tour of one of the many museums and galleries that have shared their collections online. Connect with friends and tour together.

Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit performed a remote concert for Vanderbilt staff, faculty and students in December.

3. Attend a virtual concert

Find a virtual concert or livestream performance of your favorite artist. Check out this active Billboard list of national artists and e-ticket prices. Concerts are updated weekly.

4. Discover a new place to walk

Use the Metro Parks Finder to discover a new place to explore in Nashville, or enjoy the outdoors across the Vanderbilt campus.

5. Make a playlist for how you WANT to feel

Find songs that help you feel positive while doing homework, accomplishing tasks, relaxing-and then use it!

6. Breathe … deeply

Practice deep breathing or a grounding exercise and try to incorporate it throughout your week to improve your ability to feel settled and focused. Or you can join a weekly virtual meditation with others in the Vanderbilt community. Click here for times and Zoom information.

7. Help others

Evidence shows that helping others can have a positive impact on mental health and well-being. You can volunteer, give blood, or donate food and clothing. Remember that it’s important to help others in ways that are comfortable, safe and accessible for you.

8. Take an evening off each week

Select a time to pause homework, chores or cooking and do something for yourself, like eating out (or ordering to-go) or watching a movie.

Faculty head of house Sarah Igo and students play Boggle during a Bronson Break.

9. Play games with your friends

Connect with your friends virtually through platforms like Jackbox. You can use Zoom or Discord to communicate with your friends while you are playing.

10. Shop locally

Explore the places around Vanderbilt and Nashville (while safely wearing a mask and physically distancing) to discover new things in your surroundings.

11. Take time to laugh

Hang out (safely and physically distanced) with a funny friend, watch a comedy or check out cute videos online. Laughter helps reduce anxiety.

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