Being a student can be hectic at times, and it’s a guarantee that you’re always busy studying, working, or socialising. But we think it’s important that you take some time out for yourself and your wellbeing. Over the past 12 months we’ve promoted our six ways to wellbeing, each of which has highlighted the different subtle changes you can make to your lifestyle for the benefit of your health. Take a look at how we’ve helped students put the six ways into practice over the past year…
Our first way to wellbeing, Connect, was the focus of September and October. As our new students arrived in September and we welcomed our returning students back, Connect was all about connecting with those around you by meeting new people, joining societies, and simply connecting with others by putting your phone away, listening carefully and engaging in conversation.
For the Give campaign over November and December you may remember seeing, or even opening, one of the “Open Me” envelopes dotted around campus. The aim was to give you a little motivation on Giving Tuesday and remind you that there are simple act of kindness that can go a long way. Not only do we lift the mood of the person we are giving to, but by being kind it also helps us to feel good.
January and February were dedicated to our Take Notice campaign which focused on ways to be present in the moment, notice the things around us, and notice our own feelings. Taking notice helps to enhance our mood and wellbeing and helps us to recognise any negative thoughts we have and look beyond them. With some new additions to campus over February, we encouraged you to stop, take a moment, and take notice of your surroundings. Alan Gilbert Learning Commons was home to a flower wall, whilst funfair mirrors encouraged student selfies in University Place! You may have heard the wind chimes along Lime Grove too. Why don’t you take notice when you’re next on campus, and see if you can spot any of these unusual things?
Over April, you may remember seeing staff and students lunging their way to improved wellbeing, or you may have even been a lunger yourself! The Lunge Challenge was a highlight of the broader Be Active campaign over March and April that promoted getting active in whichever way possible from taking a walk, to getting on a bike, and of course lunging! Being active isn’t just about getting fit – there are so many benefits to exercising such as clearer thinking, increased self-esteem, reduced stress levels, and better sleep. And, it’s never too late to get lunging – check out the demonstrations from Shelagh and Barnabee below!
Being healthy encompasses numerous factors to ensure a healthy brain and a healthy mind. Our Be Healthy campaign across May and June was all about making sure you take the time out of studying to keep hydrated, eat well, sleep well, and exercise your brain. One of the key messages of the campaign was “everything in moderation” – it’s important not to push yourself too hard, go overboard, and also to set yourself limits.
Learn and Discover
For the focus on our final way to wellbeing over July and August, we showed that Manchester is the ideal place to continuously learn and discover, both on campus and in the city. We put the spotlight on the University’s cultural institutions in particular – The Whitworth, The John Rylands Library, Manchester Museum, and Jodrell Bank. All of these institutions offer the perfect opportunity to learn new things, but they also offer a great day out for those looking to take a break from studying. Learning and discovering can be subtle too, and it’s easy to learn something new every day as students.
As we approach a new academic year, this doesn’t mean the focus on wellbeing will come to an end – keep an eye out for how we mark each of the six ways to wellbeing during the 2019/20 academic year! In the meantime, if you’d like some inspiration for staying healthy, check out Lauren’s tips and tricks for putting the six ways to wellbeing into practice.