How to boost your wellbeing
During term time, student life can be a bit of a blur and sometimes feel overwhelming. With classes, assignments, socials, part-time jobs, managing childcare and commuting, having a few coping techniques to hand to help calm you down in times of need can make all the difference.
Mental health and wellbeing are often linked to academic stress and financial difficulties. In this blog, Prosasti, Hertfordshire Students' Union's Vice President Community (pictured below) shares her suggestions of ways to help you relax, clear your mind and take care of yourself - physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Tip 1 - Take a break
When you feel overwhelmed, it's easy to panic and end up doing too much, which ends up increasing your stress levels and reducing what you get done.
Try taking a break, even if it's just for a ten minute walk. Listening to music or talking to a friend can help you to reset, allowing you to go back to your tasks with a clear mind, ready to take on the day.
The Students' Union has lots of opportunities for you to get involved in societies that interest you. Taking a break to socialise can make all the difference to your wellbeing. You can also visit our multi-faith chaplaincy at The Key on College Lane campus to find out about prayer, meditation and reflection.
Tip 2 - Get active
It may be hard to find the motivation to exercise at this time of year, as it's easier to hide away, wrap up and relax., but physical health directly benefits psychological health and academic performance (Hughes, G., 2020:31).
For me, I like taking part in the Active Students' sessions. The endorphins from the exercise helps me to feel motivated and positive about tackling my to do list.
Take a look at the Active Students' classes available online and face-to-face or visit the gym and pool at the Hertfordshire Sports Village on de Havilland campus.
Tip 3 - Reach out
You are not alone. From talking to a housemate, to contacting the University's Student Wellbeing team, help is available.
Throughout my time at Uni, I've found mindfulness really useful in managing day-to-day stress and it helps me to calm myself down. Through breathing techniques, walking in the fresh air around our campuses and talking myself out of a stressful situations, I can manage my anxieties much more effectively.
Our professionally trained counsellors and mental health wellbeing advisors are available to help with one-to-one support or advise on managing conditions and concerns. Our student wellbeing advisors can be contacted if you want to speak to someone in your shoes. There's also our free 24/7 confidential counselling helpline for you to talk and get support whenever you need it.
Tip 4 - Assignment and study support
Balancing assignments is no easy task, but there is plenty of academic support available to help you succeed.
If you're struggling with how to approach an assignment, the University's Study Success Hubs have a range of resources available to support you to achieve your best in an assignment, presentation or exam. You can also get one-to-one support.
I'm part of the Herts' Business School, within your School you can talk to other people on your course via Canvas and share your knowledge and bounce around ideas. It's a great way to make friends with similar interests too!
Tip 5 - Plan your spending
One of the best parts about being a student are the discounts and freebies! From money off clothing with a TOTUM card to take-away discounts and deals by showing your student ID, it's worthwhile researching if any reductions are available before spending.
When I started Uni, one of my biggest challenges was budgeting and not overspending! By setting out a clear budget and knowing how much money I have spare, I can have fun with my friends and not end up in my overdraft!
If you need help, the Students' Union's Advice and Support team are on hand to offer guidance on your financial wellbeing. For issues with student fees, student loan queries or extra help managing your finances, contact the University's Student Centre.
Life can feel overwhelming at times, but there is help available - you don't need to suffer alone! We're all in this together.
Written by Prosasti Ganguly, Vice President Community, Hertfordshire Students' Union