It’s been a rough couple of years for students up and down the country. Not only did the Covid-19 pandemic lead to closed campuses and enforced distance learning, it also meant that many students missed out on vital work experience opportunities, placements and more. And while we’re now getting back to normal, it’s likely that lots of people will still be experiencing lingering stress or other wellbeing issues.
We know that the best way to shore up your wellbeing is to tackle any issues proactively – working to build positive habits and manage risk factors. So how do you do it?
Even if you’re feeling well, it’s important to keep track of any pressure points or anticipate times in the future which may cause you issues, and then take steps to mitigate any negative feelings.
Some people find that journaling helps here – and if your institution uses PebblePad, you might be interested in the Digital Wellbeing Workbook, which has been designed in conjunction with Alexandra Fusco, an experienced psychodynamic psychotherapist, wellbeing and life coach and educator.
The new toolkit will consist of an interactive digital workbook with three key themes: managing overwhelm, self-care and resilience. You’ll be asked to think around the ideas introduced in the digital workbook and to complete activities that can be recorded in a ‘wellbeing blog’. The resource is designed so that it can be used in many ways, either as a series of stand-alone resources, or a full ‘learning journey’ workbook.
There are many studies which have shown that increasing how much you move each day can improve your mental health – so exercising more is likely to have a positive effect on how you’re feeling.
Some people find that just increasing how much they walk can make a difference – choosing to walk into campus if possible or even just taking the stairs rather than the lift. And if you’re into group activities, take advantage of any classes your uni runs – offering not just a great way to get moving, but the chance to meet people and socialise too.
It’s good to talk. Opening up can be a great way to cope with your problems, help you feel supported and ensure you know you’re not alone. And it works both ways – if you talk about your feelings, it might encourage others to do the same.
Of course, it’s not always easy to describe how you’re feeling. Many people feel more comfortable when these conversations develop naturally – maybe when you’re doing something together – so that you don’t feel put on the spot. And if it feels awkward at first, give it time.
Remember that your uni will have support in place too. Ask for help and guidance – it’s there to be used.
Learn new things
Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence, helping you to build a sense of purpose and allowing you to connect with others
Even if you feel like you do not have enough time, there are lots of different ways to bring learning into your life. Talk to your uni about what’s on offer – whether that’s a language course, a new sport or something else entirely. And, if you’re really time poor, consider apps where you just have to commit a few minutes each day.