Monday marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health. The week, which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is in its 21st year and runs from the 10th - 16th May.
As we approach the end of a long lockdown to deal with a pandemic that has had a huge effect on how we go about our daily lives, it's more crucial than ever to look after our mental health. This year's theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is nature, and it comes at a time when many of us might have realised how important nature is for our mental health!
Stress Less Campaign
For Mental Health Awareness week, your VP Wellbeing and Diversity, Fawziyyah, and your VP Education, Emi, are excited to launch the Stress Less Campaign. We know that studying, whether it's lectures, coursework, revision, tests, or any other type of academic activity, can be a huge source of stress for students, especially during exam season. This is why we are launching this campaign to support and help you in taking a break and improve your overall wellbeing while you study. This campaign will feature a number of online activities such as social media takeovers, study and relaxation tips, study with me sessions and much more.
Calm and Zoom Group: Every Tuesday at 12pm, the University Wellbeing team run calm and soothe sessions where they share tips and techniques to help you reduce stress and strengthen positive experiences. Find out more here.
Study and Chat: Join your VP Education and VP Wellbeing and Diversity for study and chat sessions. Come along to share revision techniques with other students plus easy recipes to try during the revision period. Come and join us for a chilled learning environment via Zoom.
Keep an eye on our social media channels throughout the week to find out more.
Get active in nature with the BRIT Challenge
Taking a break from studying and revising is crucial to avoid burning out and research has shown that increasing your physical activity can have a positive impact on your mental health. Mental health charity, Mind, have shared the following examples of ways that physical activity can benefit you and your mental health:
- better sleep – by making you feel more tired at the end of the day happier moods –?physical activity?releases feel-good hormones that make you feel better in yourself and give you more energy.
- managing stress, anxiety or intrusive and racing thoughts – doing something physical releases cortisol which helps us manage stress. Being physically active also gives your brain something to focus on and can be a positive coping strategy for difficult times
- better self-esteem – being more active can make you feel better about yourself as you improve and meet your goals
- reducing the risk of depression – studies have shown that doing regular physical activity can reduce the likelihood of experiencing a period of depression
- connecting with people – doing group or team activities can help you meet new and like-minded people, and make new friends.
This year we’re delighted to be taking part in the BRIT Challenge which is a national campaign to improve mental health and fitness while raising money for charities focussed on supporting young people’s mental health.
You can get involved by walking, running, cycling, rowing, kayaking, paddleboarding (or any other activity you can think of) for as little as a mile. Find out more and get involved here.
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek