Principal's Perspective | 12-Jan-2017

Sage Advice on Stress

By Rosemary Evans, Principal

The halls of UTS are again reverberating with the sounds of eager students reconnecting and sharing holiday adventures and activities. We hope that the holidays were a time for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. 

During the break I was introduced to the work of Quintilian, a Roman scholar who wrote about education. Commenting on the importance of relaxation for students during the learning process, he says:

All our students will require some relaxation, not merely because there is nothing in this world that can stand continued strain and even unthinking and inanimate objects are unable to maintain their strength, unless given intervals of rest – but because study depends on the goodwill of the student, a quality that cannot be secured by compulsion. Consequently, if they are restored and refreshed by a holiday, they will bring greater energy to their learning and approach their work with greater spirit of a kind that will not submit to be driven. 

As we approach the new semester, it is worth considering the importance of making space for renewal and relaxation, not only at formal holiday time but also embedded into our lives. In addition to time for relaxation, public health expert, Dr. Mike Evans (not related!) from St. Michael’s Hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, recommends that we best manage stress by changing our thinking. He suggests that strategies related to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and mindfulness can be very helpful for everyone in reducing stress by tweaking our thinking. 

See Dr. Mike’s video: “The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress”.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy new year with a reduced sense of stress and an increased sense of well-being!


Photograph from House Island Day.