Use these self-help resources to take a positive approach to your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing during your University experience.
Coronavirus and your wellbeing
COVID-19 worldwide is an uncertain time for everyone. It is normal to feel anxious and low in the face of such an unprecedented global crisis. Therefore, now more than ever it is important to look after your mental health, especially as we continue to practice social distancing and may be isolating. Please see below for some useful tips and resources, as well as free online self-help booklets and courses to get you through.
Top tips to ensure your wellbeing during this period;
Stay Connected - having restrictions on how we might normally socialise and see family and friends can be difficult. Making an extra effort to stay connected with those important to us will help us to feel less isolated. Therefore, keep in contact with your family and friends, you can still connect from a distance - call your friend, have a video-call catch up with your family or check in with someone on social media.
Continue the things you enjoy - try reading that book you’ve been meaning to start, watch that new series, try out baking and using a new recipe or try a new skill
Keep a daily routine - you might find it helpful to plan out your time in advance and know what you are doing each day, so you have something to look forward to. But give yourself some slack if you do not always stick to it.
Look after your physical health – try eating regular healthy balanced meals, drink plenty of water, stay away from too much alcohol, ensure you get a good nights sleep and finally try to keep active.
Look after your personal environment - create a space that you are able to enjoy and feel comfortable in.
Take a break from social media and/or the news if you need to - if the updates are getting too much it is okay to take a step back or even just reduce your intake of news on the crisis to no more than once a day from a credible source and not before bed.
Keep an eye of updates from the university - this will help you to understand any changes to your course and assessments
These top tips are adapted from the UK’s leading student mental health charity Student Minds, for more information on looking after your mental health during Covid-19, guidance for those with ongoing mental health difficulties and these top tips click here; Student Minds Coronavirus information
Student Space provide easy access to support during the coronavirus pandemic and are run by Student Minds. They provide advice and information which includes access to dedicated support services for students, by phone or text and information covering aspects such as studying during the coronavirus, mental health and wellbeing, money as well as grief and loss.
Managing Stress and Worry during the Covid-19 Outbreak.
If stress and worry has got the better of you during the Covid-19 outbreak then this self help guide put together by The CBT Resource Team will help to put you back on track.
Outlook South West
If you are feeling anxious or low then Space from Covid-19 is an instant online self-help course provided by our local NHS provider for Psychological Therapies, through their Silvercloud programme. Anyone can sign up (for free) to this specific online self-help around the pandemic. Start right away on some emotional coping strategies and practical ways for maintaining well-being at this difficult time.
Sign-up here for Space from Covid-19
An official University of Exeter (Cornwall) and Falmouth University App, that can help you improve your wellbeing and resilience. The App includes a Live Feed, Healthy Challenges, Wellbeing Tips, Podcasts and more. With the different features this app offers you can quickly track healthy habits you might want to work towards that can help you to thrive and succeed. You can learn how to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as access practical finance advice and some student deals. Simply download the App below, follow the instructions and explore ways to a healthier and happier life.
Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Feel like you need somewhere to talk?
Togetherall is a free online safe community to support your mental health 24/7, they provide a safe place to talk, share and support others like you as well as offering you a range of self-guided courses to do at your own pace on various subjects such as improving sleep, overcoming procrastination, managing worry, depression or social anxiety to name a few.
Students against depression
Students Against Depression provides you with a calm environment and the resources to help you find a way forward - a website offering advice, information and guidance to those affected by low mood, depression, suicidal thinking and anxiety.
Supporting a friend can be difficult, friends are often the first person we speak to when we are struggling. Here are some useful resources providing you with information on looking after yourself, as well as giving you practical advice on supporting others.
Student Minds the UK’s leading student mental health charity provide advice for those supporting a friend, which include tips for starting that difficult conversation, making sure you look after yourself, support for specific difficulties as well as a full look after your mate guide.
5 Ways to Wellbeing
What can you do to take some simple but effective steps towards living well? Extensive reviews of research and expert opinion have identified the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’. You can start your journey now by taking action to have a healthier and more satisfying life. You can make conscious and deliberate choices to look after your wellbeing. Try to consider what do the five ways below mean to you and how you could implement them in your life.
1. CONNECT – building connections with other people around you will support and enrich your everyday life. Invest time in developing positive relationships with family, friends, flat mates, the people on your course. You may want to get in touch and connect with nature, music, animals, spiritual needs or yourself. Establishing connections, that you feel are meaningful, will help increase your mental health and wellbeing.
2. KEEP LEARNING – learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun. Try something new, rediscover an old interest, set a challenge and enjoy achieving. This could be cooking a new recipe, playing a new sport or researching something you are curious about. When we learn for our interest and gain satisfaction out of it, it will enhance our wellbeing.
3. BE ACTIVE – discover a physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness. This could be a walk, spending time outside, cycling, playing a game, dancing. Whatever exercise makes you feel good. Implementing physical activity as part of your routine, even if it is for 10 minutes, can help you to overcome mental fatigue and improve performance.
4. TAKE NOTICE – to take notice is to be in the present, in the ‘here and now’. Be curious, savour the moment, try being aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. The gateway to the present moment is often through our senses. Pausing and reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.
5. GIVE – do something nice for other people. This can be a smile, a compliment, words of encouragement, tolerance, or help. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, as linked to a wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you. You can also give kindness to yourself and remember that it is okay to take and accept compassion from others.
There is substantial evidence to support the ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ in living well and small changes can often make a big difference, so why not give it a go?