Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


First Advisor

Michael Roberts

Second Advisor

Kevin Moore

Third Advisor

Beth Benedix


Before we jump in, it is important to make clear to the reader what this thesis will do and what it will not do. First, I will review the empirical evidence behind the main health habits that I decided to start and implement. Then, I will detail how I practiced these habits on myself, how I assessed any change for certain health constructs, and review my experience of this self-study. Most importantly, I will describe why practicing health habits, like meditation, is crucially important in our present moment as a result of the mental health crisis being exacerbated by COVID-19. In doing so, the use of mindfulness through programs and apps in school and work will be discussed then I will provide suggestions to further the practice and instill a mindful culture to effectively address the mental health crisis.

What this thesis will not do is critically assess why there is a mental health crisis. I do, however, recognize its importance in deconstructing why our society is suffering from poor mental health, whether that has to do with our neoliberal-capitalist society that prioritizes profits and consumption over our basic human needs and health or even extreme forms of isolation (not just because of a pandemic, but maybe due to the socialized motive to work tirelessly in order to achieve riches or fame). The critical analysis of the alarming mental health rates being viewed as a symptom of a much larger societal issue would be my natural second-step in wrestling with these ideas. However, to keep my sanity and not bite off more than I can chew for this thesis, I will discuss methods to help oneself in this broken system we live in. How these methods may be a stepping stone to help fix the broken system will be a question I will continue to wrestle with beyond this project.