It was the stagnancy, the lack of urgent work to do in addition to the lack of people around me to distract me from the lack of work to do. I was like an ant plucked from its well-oiled colony, placed in a virtually utopian habitat. And it completely and utterly stressed me out.

On Oct. 3, as part of Brain Health Awareness Week on campus, a new initiative was launched at the University of Ottawa to help students familiarize themselves with the relationship between mental health and mindfulness—the state of consciousness or awareness.

The moment you realize this you have briefly awakened from the incessant brain chatter. Even if only for a second, it is a welcome relief and an interesting realization of how caught up in your own thoughts you were. And if you can extend that moment a tiny bit longer, by taking a deep conscious breath, or looking around at your surroundings and taking in all the sights and sounds just for a moment longer, you feel recharged.