Spotlight on: Elisa Bolton

Elisa Bolton

Name: Elisa Bolton

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Department: Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS)

Role at UNH: Director of PACS

Year Started at UNH: 2016

What do you do to make a healthy UNH?

I support a healthy UNH in several ways. I provide mental health treatment to graduate and undergraduate students. I provide training and education to faculty, staff, and students that is focused on promoting and supporting emotional well-being. I also encourage and support my colleagues in attending to their own well-being.

Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?

When talking about healthy eating I tend to focus on the basics: three meals a day with small snacks in between that include protein, vegetables, starches, and fruits. When working with students I make it very clear that a focus on nourishing your body is fundamental to supporting mental health and well-being.

Have you made any tangible improvements regarding your movement or physical activity by making positive changes in your life?

I have. Toward the end of this past winter, I began to make an intentional effort to increase my physical activity.

Do you have any positive words of encouragement for members of our audience who are feeling completely drained and burnt out from this pandemic?

I would encourage folks to focus on self-care, including physical exercise, nourishing your body, establishing a regular sleep cycle, limiting use of alcohol, and spending time with friends and loved ones. These activities can be effortful, and they do not change the stress and strain of life, but they do make it much easier to endure the challenges. They also make it easier to enjoy the brighter and lighter moments of life.

What do you do to improve your emotional wellness?

I focus on self-care. I have come to appreciate that while it can be effortful, it can also make a big difference in my emotional wellness.

What does health mean to you?

I believe that health is a dynamic state of mental, physical, and social well-being.

Over the last year, have you felt more comfortable advocating for yourself when receiving healthcare?

I am not sure if I am advocating more or less for myself in terms of healthcare. However, I have made clear and consistent attempts to keep myself, my family, friends, and community safe from COVID by becoming vaccinated and wearing a mask in public and in groups of people.