Mandela Art


  • Harshita Gupta


Self-care, Mental Health, Well-being, Self-compassion, Mandela Art


Self-care means taking time out of one's schedule to improve mental and physical health. It can range from engaging in meditation or fun activities (like art, dance, or music) as well as  spending time with friends and family. However, the fast-paced, busy schedule and domination of academic achievements make it difficult. Due to daily stressors and constant pressures, self-care was never my priority. Whenever I engaged in non-academic tasks, I felt guilty for wasting my time and not working hard. The constant burden of doing better and not giving myself enough breaks to destress, led to burnout. The burnout caused excessive exhaustion and made every task strenuous. It led to constant headaches, drop in grades, loss of interest, and feeling useless. After months of therapy, I slowly learned work-life balance. It was not easy spending time in activities that had no direct link to my academics without regret or guilt. Sometimes, I still struggle to put myself and my health before the demands of life. However, with kindness and patience towards myself, I am able to invest in myself. The following art piece is called Mandela, and it is something I made as a part of my self-care journey. Mandala is a common art form in Hinduism and Buddhism. It denotes the everlasting life, unity, wholeness, and transformation. I believe this piece captures the time when I decided to choose myself. 

Author Biography

Harshita Gupta


I am Harshita Gupta, an international student from India studying at UBC.I am in my fourth- year majoring in Psychology with a minor in Mathematics. Currently, my research focuses on understanding the impact of social networks and social support on the mental health of individuals aged 50 and above. My long-term goal is to become a clinical psychologist, dedicated to enhancing mental well-being through research and practice. Outside academics, I have a passion for exploring diverse cuisines, experimenting with new dishes, and discovering unique spices from various regions around the world.