Lifestyle

28 days of happiness

Clap along for the Happiness Campaign

The Happiness Campaign is an e-mail initiative that will be sent out to students and staff during the month of February. Courtesy of Student Development and Counselling Services

The Happiness Campaign is an e-mail initiative that will be sent out to students and staff during the month of February.
Courtesy of Student Development and Counselling Services

SAIT’s Student Development and Counselling Services will be launching their annual Happiness Campaign beginning in February and lasting all month long. 

This initiative is an opt-in e-mail campaign that will be sent out to students and staff every day for 28 days, featuring helpful, mood-boosting tips.

The effects of unhappiness are far- reaching, and can often impact personal, professional and academic life.

With this campaign, the Student Development and Counselling Services hope to bring meaningful change to the lives of students and staff on and off campus. 

“We really wanted to take the principles of positive psychology to improve well-being,” said Julie Egers, a registered psychologist with Student Development and Counselling Services. 

“There are proven tools to help improve wellness.

“Rather than waiting for students to come to us, it’s a great way to proactively reach out to students and staff.”

The campaign will be running for its third year and was initiated to help people better understand that “happiness isn’t something people are just born with.”

Daily e-mails will include practical tips to improve moods and neutralize negativity, based on the PERMA model developed by American psychologist Martin Seligman.

PERMA stands for positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishments, which are understood to be the five core elements key to psychological well-being and happiness. 

“Who doesn’t want to learn about things to feel better [and] have closer relationships,” asked Shelann McQuay, who is also a registered psychologist with Student Development and Counselling Services.

“We can all learn strategies and tips.

“Anyone in the SAIT community can benefit from this.”

Research in the realm of psychology has supported the idea that happiness is related to three specific factors.

“50 per cent of happiness is based on genetic traits, 40 per cent is due to intentional activities [and] 10 per cent is life circumstances,” said Egers.

“We’re focused on that 40 per cent.”

This campaign falls during an important time in student’s lives. February is often a high-stress season as students navigate midterms and practicum placements, and is also a period when many face the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

“February is a tough month for a lot of students. The workload is heavy, it’s a cold, dark month [and] people start to look for jobs for the summer,” said Egers. 

“Academically, it’s one of the most stressful months. Second semester, the stakes are a bit higher.

“[In February] there’s still time to take these tools and apply them the rest of the semester.”

E-mails will include active strategies that are known to improve happiness, and which people will be encouraged to integrate into daily life.

Information will also be given about relevant on-campus events during the course of the campaign.

“SAIT has so many great resources for students. We created the campaign to give people a road map,” said Egers. 

“We hope to create an awareness that if [people] do want support, it’s available.”

Happiness, Egers believes, is key to achieving a balanced and fulfilled life.

“We’ve had a lot of students and staff respond positively to the campaign,” said Egers. 

“I think that well-being is a huge part of success. The more energy you have, the more tools you have to be a part of your community.” 

Registration begins on Jan. 16 and runs through Jan. 31. To register, e-mail 28.days.of.happiness@sait.ca.

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