World Mental Health Day is on Saturday 10th October 2020. It’s an important time to start talking about mental health, what people can do when they are experiencing poor mental health and tips to help promote positive wellbeing.
Here are the 10 top tips for maintaining your mental health, from the University Wellbeing Champions and the Students’ Union:
Be with nature
Sitting outside for 10 or 15 minutes per day and concentrating on your surroundings can help boost your mood. You could walk the University mile (maps in St John’s reception), sit quietly in the secret garden behind the Woodbury car park, or try the new Wellbeing Garden outside the Hangar.
Write stuff down
Get a journal, or just use the back of your lecture notes pad. Some people write down things that they have been grateful for that day. Others write to-do lists to help them feel in control. And some people simply like to get thoughts down from their head. This is
Have some tech-free time each day
Turn off your computer, take a break from your phone or laptop and just be in the moment with no distractions.
Eat and drink well
What you put into your body has a massive effect on how you feel. Try reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake, finding some alternatives for when the urge arises. Meg, Harry and Tish at the Students’ Union are going Sober for October and are already feeling the benefits!
Make a list of all the things that regularly worry you and come up with a realistic plan for tackling them. Looking at each problem on its own will make you see that there are some things you can control, and others that you can’t. There are lots of support services that help you take action including the money advice service, the careers and employability service and First Point.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is incredibly important to help maintain positive wellbeing. There are lots of great tips on how to get enough sleep, like developing a good routine, making sure your sleep space is tidy and the right temperature, as well as lots of great apps such as Headspace to help your drift off.
Listen to music
Music can have a powerful effect on mental health and wellbeing as it triggers the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine in the brain. Make a playlist of music that you feel lifts you up - whether it’s disco, 80s pop, rap or heavy metal - and use it like therapy if you’re feeling a bit low. Dance and sing for that extra feel-good boost too. We recommend Feel Good Friday!
Do something for others
Volunteering can not only look good on your CV but can be something that can help you feel like you are making a difference. There are lots of volunteering opportunities at the Students’ Union so make sure you go and check them out!
We all know that exercise provides so many positive benefits: to mood, physical health, sleep and memory. The University and Students’ Union have a recreational sport and physical activity programme you can get involved with (for free!). You could park down at Riverside or get off a stop early at the bus, do 15 minutes of stretching each morning, have a walking coffee break with a friend between lectures, or hire a bike from Woo bikes and go and discover the city. (https://www.worcester.ac.uk/about/sustainability/what-we-do/transport-and-travel/bike-share.aspx)
Connect with people
Building connections with people can improve how you feel. It’s not always easy to just go out and make new friends, so look at who you already have around you and put more effort into cultivating those connections. There are also lots of things going on the Students’ Union to help connect you with others including online events.
There are lots of support services on offer at the University, the Students’ Union and further afield. Make sure you take a lot at the Student Services webpages, Students’ Union Help and Advice pages as well as contacting First Point if you have any questions or concerns.
Finally, always feel that you can talk to someone whether it’s your personal academic tutor, a friend or a support service we are all here to support each other. We are all part of #TeamWorc.