Compendium | Undergraduate Student Optimistic After Adopting “Hygiene de Vie” Approach to Mitigating Stress

Montreal Johnny Vyanse, a U3 History and Linguistics student, is excited to begin his new Hygiene de Vie action plan after reading a recent interview with Deputy Provost Student Life and Learning Ollivier Dyens.

Johnny, who has spent the last several hours chanting “HYGIENE DE VIE, IS WORKING FOR ME!” at visibly uncomfortable tour groups in the McLennan lobby, is adamant that the plan is the balm to all of his problems. “It’s something I was hesitant to try at first,” he told the Daily, “but I finally made the leap. I mean, I would have never known that caffeine is a study drug!”

Johnny’s busy schedule led him to dramatically change his habits. As the president of a departmental association and a research assistant, he struggles to handle the stressors of student life, which is exacerbated by his fairly severe anxiety. The start of the fall semester threw a wrench in his mental health, as he was suddenly faced with writing an honours thesis and applying for graduate school.

“He’s a complete fucking mess”, says one of his friends. “He’s in five courses because his visa runs out this year, and I’m pretty sure that hasn’t slept for like, the past three days. Yesterday I caught him running around Provigo tearing open bags of coffee grounds.”

The Hygiene de Vie action plan is comprised of many individual steps: eating and sleeping well, exercising, managing time effectively, and abstaining from performance-enhancing drugs like Ritalin and Jingle Jangle, as well as coffee and cigarettes. Johnny insists that as a student who doesn’t have the time to do any of these fucking things, the action plan will benefit him.

“I just don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner,” he proclaims as he picks walnuts out of a Premiere Moisson sandwich – his sixth this week. “Like, to offset the effects of being too busy and mentally ill to eat well, sleep regularly, and schedule things in advance… I just need to eat well, sleep regularly, and schedule things in advance. It’s so simple, but brilliant.” Zoloft is out – only Ollivier Dyens’ Hygiene de Vie action plan will produce real change.

Johnny’s friends, however, have their reservations. “He quit smoking cold turkey, and it doesn’t seem to be doing him much good,” says one of his classmates. “Also, he asked me to look over his application for this MA program in Toronto, but instead of responding to the prompt he wrote a dissertation on the viability of yoga as a universal solution for psychiatric disorders.”

Another expressed concern at Johnny’s sudden shift in attitude. “I have ADHD, and he’s really been a prick about my Adderall prescription,” she confided to the Daily. “He keeps telling me that I can’t rely on performance-enhancing drugs as a substitute for maintaining a good hygiene de vie, whatever that fucking means. He also won’t stop sending me links to Buzzfeed lists for kale smoothie ideas.”

Johnny’s regular clinician at McGill Psychiatric Services had this to say: “Who?” [we describe Johnny to her, and it seems to jog her memory] “Oh, yeah. In all honesty all of my patients kind of run together at this point. I mostly see him to give new prescriptions. I told him that he couldn’t just go off his meds on a whim but he didn’t listen. It went terribly. He ended up coming in for a safety appointment. The poor bastard jumped the front desk when we told him there was no space left for the day.”

Psychiatric Services receptionists corroborated this. “He tore down our ‘chocolate is cheaper than therapy’ poster. It was fucking custom-made on Etsy. Do you know how much that shit costs?”

Johnny remains hopeful despite his clearly deteriorating emotional welfare. At the time of publication, students were seen quickly shuffling away from him in Schulich as he snorted chia seeds off his desk, sobbing uncontrollably, the absolute wreck.

Ollivier Dyens evaded all requests to comment. We chased him from James Admin to the McGill metro station but he’s just so fast. Why is he so fast.


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