As we come to end of the academic year we reach our final way to wellbeing – Learn and Discover. Arguably, you are learning and discovering new things continuously at University, however learn and discover isn’t just about attending lectures or doing research on you’re chosen subject,(although this is part of it) it’s also about stepping outside your comfort zone, pushing yourself a little, and giving yourself a challenge.
Not only will this stop you from getting in bogged down in your work, or stuck in a rut, but continuous learning can help build resilience and support your wellbeing. Changing things up and getting outside your head can help you see more clearly – you never know what connections your brain can make when being distracted by something else – think Newton and an apple or Archimedes in the bath.
Take the opportunity while campus is a bit quieter, or you have some free time over the summer to try something new or rediscover an old interest. Learn a new language, or learn that instrument you’ve always wanted to but never got round to. Discover a new podcast, favourite novel or watch a documentary. New starts and resolutions don’t have to start with the New Year, and we’ve all got things on our bucket lists to tick off.
Lifelong learning has benefits of enhancing your self-esteem, encouraging social interaction (why not learning something new with a friend?) and can lead to a more active life. Added to that the practice of setting goals, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing. (New Economics Foundation, 2008)
This may seem like a lot to ask with a degree and everything else that you have on your plate, but even the process of setting goals can have a positive impact. Especially if the goals you set are aligned to your intrinsic motivations and values.
With that in mind there’s lots on in Manchester over the next couple of months, giving you the opportunity to learn and discover something new. July brings the Manchester International Festival to the heart of the city with plenty of art, music, theatre and more – check out what events are free here.
There’s also plenty of suggestions from our content ambassadors – read Frances’ article on reading for readings sake, or Linda’s video tour of Manchester street art. With so much going on there’s plenty to choose from, to learn or discover something new every day. Whether that is practicing a new language for 20 mins each day, or visiting the Manchester art gallery one weekend. Do something that excites and inspires you, and challenges you a little.
To find out more about Learn and Discover and the Six Ways to Wellbeing visit the Six Ways to Wellbeing website.