“When we take care of the relationship we have with ourselves mentally and physically,
the rest automatically falls into place like in a game of Tetris.”
The topic of mental health and the importance of self-care seem to have become ubiquitous lately, especially as we are starting to process the impacts of recent events on our psychological wellbeing. This fall, the Career Centre Team at the Telfer School of Management is proud to tackle the topic of self-care from the perspective of Asma Nsiri, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and Mental Health and Wellness Counsellor at uOttawa’s Student Health and Wellness Centre.
In addition to an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Cognitive Science and a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from the University of Toronto, Asma brings a rich background in mental health support. Her services are primarily dedicated to Telfer BCom and MBA candidates. Is it with great generosity and openness that she has accepted to share her informed insights on the topic of self-care in the context of career development.
Q: What would be your advice to Telfer students who are to embark – or continue – on their career journey this fall?
A: “When we’re in school, we tend to focus on many separate things at once: our academic success, our professional achievements, our social status, etc. Yet we also tend to neglect the very component at the heart of all this: the self. We forget that it is the self who does all this work. That is why I invite Telfer students to focus internally. When we take care of the relationship we have with ourselves mentally and physically, the rest automatically falls into place like in a game of Tetris.”
Q: And how do we do that? What does self-care mean in concrete terms?
A: “Excellent question. Self-care as become a buzz word of some sort, and no, it does not mean taking a bubble bath and going for a walk. Everyone is different, of course, but at the core, self-care means practicing kindness and being compassionate with ourselves (literally, with our self). A good way to achieve this is by adjusting the way we speak to ourselves, by showing our self the same kindness, understanding and support we show our loved ones.”
Q: Is celebrating our “little victories” a good strategy, instead of beating ourselves up every time something does not work out (like not getting that coveted CO-OP placement or job interview?
A: “Indeed, it is an excellent way to be kind to ourselves, but we also need to untangle our self-image, or the way we perceive ourselves, from our accomplishments. At the baseline, we are all inherently worthy of love and respect. Unfortunately, in many professional fields, it is easy to fall into the hustle culture, where to be busy is to be worthy. This harmful narrative is pervasive in the business world. In order to change that narrative, we need to actively take care of ourselves and each other.”
Q: So, is self-care is more than an individual pursuit?
A: “Absolutely. At the end of the day, as a business school, we form a community. It is by supporting and elevating each other and by looking after one another that we will overcome that toxic competitiveness and scarcity mentality that sometime permeate certain fields of study.”
Q: Who has access to your counselling services and how?
A: “My services are available to all undergraduate and graduate Telfer students. Students can book an intake appointment with any of the counsellors at the Student Health and Wellness Centre and, if they are a good fit for our services, they will be referred to me eventually!”
- In person: 801 King Edward Avenue, room N203 (2nd floor)
- By phone: 613-562-5498
- Online: through our web portal
- On the app: Download the UpPatient app from Google Play or the Apple App Store. When you launch it, search for “uOttawa | Centre de santé et mieux-être étudiant / Student Health and Wellness Centre,” select it and create your account.
The booking information is also available here: www2.uottawa.ca/campus-life/health-wellness/student-health-wellness-centre