18-24 May 2020 is Mental Health Awareness Week

The SSL supports Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May 2020)

Oxford University is committed to the Mental Health and Wellbeing of all their students and there are a number of services available which provide support.

Advice is available from your college, department, central University services, fellow students and the Student Union.

Whilst the Student Welfare and Support Services building is closed, you can still access support online.

Here are some of our Top Tips for how to look after your mental health while you have to stay at home, inspired by the Mental Health Foundation webpage.

1. Plan your Day

Maintain your routine. Adjusting to this ‘new’ way of life can be difficult. Try to maintain your routine. Rise at the same time each day, get dressed, have breakfast, and set aside time each day for movement, relaxation, connection and reflection.

2. Move more every day

Exercise is proven to improve your mood through the release of endorphins, helping to relieve stress. Something as simple as a walk can help to stimulate your brain, allowing you to study far more effectively.

Even at home, there are lots of ways to exercise and keep your body moving. Active Cumbria and Sport England have both compiled a page of exercise tips, videos and resources to keep you active as part of their #StayInWorkout campaign. A Weight off your Mind has lots of useful information about exercising, eating healthy and keeping fit.

3. Try a relaxation technique

Relaxing and focusing on the present can help improve your mental health and lighten negative feelings.

Try some different meditation or breathing exercises to see what helps. Progressive muscle relaxation teaches you to recognise when you are starting to get tense and how to relax.

There are a range of relaxation techniques available from the NHS.

4. Connect with others

Staying at home, especially if you live on your own, can feel lonely. Explore ways of connecting that work for you, whether that’s by post, over the phone, social media, or video-chat.


Coordinating breaks with your friends allows for social interaction which will break your own internal monologue and give you a chance to relax and focus on something outside of work.

5. Keep Occupied, but Make Time for Yourself.

Staying at home can seem overwhelming and sometimes filling time can be tricky. However, here are so many ways that you can stay occupied.

MIND have a useful page of information with lots of ideas on how to fill your time and Chatter Pack has a list of free, online, boredom-busting resources for ideas.

It is also important to know that it is ok to not be productive all the time. Resting helps to refresh the mind.

Unwinding and relaxing by doing the things you love like watching TV or reading a book can allow you to come back to your everyday life with a clearer mindset.


There are numerous e-books available on SOLO and you can access TV shows using your SSO login on BOB.

6. Improve your sleep

Feelings of uncertainty and changes to daily life may mean you have more difficulty sleeping.

Try to allocate 7-8 hours of rest per night. Allow an hour to wind down before bed and turn off screens. Blue light is activating and wakes up your brain.

A range of tips for improving sleep can be found on the Mental Health Foundation and NHS websites.

7. Ask for Help

Talking to someone or asking for help is a strong thing to do – it means you are taking control of a problem and your life.

Whatever is happening, the best way to make sure it doesn’t overtake your life and weigh you down is to talk to someone and get the support you need.

Getting help, helps you to manage the problem as quickly as possible. There are plenty of places to go to for help, including:

Every Life Matters

Mental Health Foundation



Wellbeing at Oxford

What do you do to improve your mental wellbeing? Share your TopTips with us!

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