OMSA Wellness Retreat 2018: Wellness of Mind, Body, Spirit, Emotion








Click on the follow link to view the Retreat Brochure:

Wellness Retreat Brochure

There is an exciting lineup of speakers and workshops at this year’s retreat.  See the attached brochure for details, where you’ll find options on everything from Yoga and Urban Poll Walking to Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and Self-Care.  This retreat is open to medical students across Ontario! Mark the registration date on your calendar (March 5 at 5 pm) – it’s first come first serve with limited spots for each Ontario medical school.

Event Date:                  March 23-25, 2018

Cost:                              $90 per student for the entire weekend (incl. hotel & meals)

For more info and to register, check out the OMSA Wellness Retreat page:



Movement as Medicine

I recently heard that some animals have this ability to physically shake off stress when they go through a fearful situation. It reminded me firstly of course of the Taylor Swift song “Shake it Off” and then also got me thinking about the role that exercise can play in physically shaking off stress. I think one of the challenges of medical school is that there can be a consistent layer of stress throughout, even when I may not feel particularly stressed I may see physiological manifestations of stress such as a new pimple. To help me with this, I have found that movement is key to target stress. Here are some ways I’ve been able to get active that I hope are helpful for you too!

  • Hiking

I find that most cities will surprise you when you go looking for trails; there are so many beautiful trails in Hamilton which I did not expect at all when I first moved here. I have found that going with groups and going at different times of day are great ways to make the same trail feel like a new experience each time. Breaking out the camera is also a great way to capture memories and be observant of animals and plants that you may not have stopped to admire otherwise.

  • Skating

I can barely skate but I love going to Pier 8 Skating Rink! I think the biggest reason is the company of friends, the great music and the view. It’s one of the sneaky ways I get a lot of cardio exercise in without feeling like I’m putting in a lot of effort.

  • Swimming

This is another exercise that is really fun for me, and again something that I do because I love it not because I’m a particularly talented swimmer. One of the wonderful things I discovered is that with my student card I had access to the pool at our school and they have fun nights and lane swim in both the shallow and deep end for swimmers of all levels.

  • Going to the Gym

This is an expected example but one that is surprising for me because I used to never make time to go to the gym. I found that once I got started doing my own thing in the gym even if it was a simple routine of treadmill and sit-ups I could feel the benefits in my body and concentration. Even though making time can be difficult even if I miss a workout or several I always find myself back in the gym as soon as I can.

  • Dance

Dance for me is something I got involved in in university and was a great social and as well as physical fitness outlet. One of the best things about dance as well is the show we put on at the end of learning the routines, having the opportunity to perform is it’s own kind of excitement and confidence booster! Even if you’re like me and don’t have any experience there are groups on campus that I found that take on beginners.

Exercise as wellness

I recently learnt that some animals have an innate ability to literally shake off stress when they go through a frightening/stressful experience. This of course reminded me of the Taylor Swift song “Shake it Off” and also got me thinking about how movement and particularly exercise can be used to shake off stress and promote wellness. Here are some great ways I discovered to get moving:

1. Hiking: I’ve always been pleasantly surprised by how many beautiful trails and parks there are in big cities where you may not expect them; in Hamilton for example we have the Cootes Paradise Trail and the Bayfront Trail, as well as waterfall hikes. Going to a waterfall in the winter can also be a beautiful experience to see the layer of frost covering everything! You can also check to see if your school has an outdoor club that organizes hikes.

2. Gym: When I first started going to the gym I found the classes really helpful to get started on a fitness routine, and overtime learnt to use the machines and plan my own workout. I found the staff and even the other people at the gym really helpful for any questions I had. One of the great things about my gym, is that I can freeze my membership if I’m going to be out of town on an elective until I get back. This really helps me get the most out of my membership and could be worth asking about at your local gym!

3. Skating: This semester our tutorial group went skating at an outdoor skating rink. It was a great bonding activity and a great workout; especially if some group members haven’t gone skating before, it can be a great way to try a new activity and explore the city.