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

MIND

NHS

Wellbeing at Oxford

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

5 March is University Mental Health Day

The SSL supports University Mental Health Day (Thursday 5 March)

Oxford University is committed to the Mental Health and Wellbeing of all their students.There are a number of services available which provide support to readers during their studies at the University. Advice is available from your college, department, central University services, fellow students and the Student Union.

Here are some of our Top Tips for how to improve your mental wellbeing.

TopTip 1: READ

Did you know that the Bodleian Libraries has a selection of reading lists specific for Student Wellbeing?

Reading Well Books on Prescription for Mental Health

Reading Well Books on Prescription helps you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using self-help reading.

The books are chosen by health experts and people living with the conditions covered. People can be recommended a title by a health professional, or they can visit their local library and take a book out for free.

Reading Well Mood-Boosting Books

Reading Well Mood-Boosting Books is a national promotion of uplifting titles, including novels, poetry and non-fiction. The books are all recommended by readers and reading groups.

Why not have a look and pick a book to read?

TopTip 2: TAKE A BREAK

Here at the SSL we would like to encourage all our readers to take regular breaks and study in healthy balance and moderation. Our Take a Break Blog Post highlights in greater detail all the ways readers can take regular breaks, including:

Walking

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

Food & Drink

Studying while hungry or dehydrated can make it much more difficult to focus and process information.

TopTip 3: CHANGE LOCATIONS

Changing Seats & Library Hopping

Working at the same desk on the same seat all day can sometimes hinder effective study.

You’d be surprised how physical perception can affect your perspective on work. Even something as simple as moving to a different desk, or seat, can help!

Or why not use your break to travel to a new library? Library hopping is a great way to break up your work and refresh your mind with a new location.

TopTip 4: SOCIALISE

 

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.

TopTip 5: 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.

Talking to someone or getting help for a mental health problem does not necessarily mean medication or counselling. There are all kinds of treatment for different conditions and there are often choices to discuss to see what will work best and most simply for you.

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

Sources of Help in Oxford

Sources of Online Help

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

Take a Break

Here at the SSL we would like to encourage all readers to take regular breaks and study in healthy balance and moderation.

Here are our top tips for taking a break!

WALK

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

The SSL is surrounded by so many green spaces.

From the University Parks, to the Magdalen College Deer Park, to even Holywell Cemetery, there are plenty of nearby green spaces to explore!

We’ve created a map of our favourite lunchtime walks.

Feel free to pick up a map and discover somewhere new during your break.

Or why not recommend your favourite walk to us?

CHANGE SEATS

Working at the same desk on the same seat all day can sometimes hinder effective study, so why not switch it up? You’d be surprised how physical perception can affect your perspective on work. Even something as simple as moving to a different desk, or seat, can help!

There are a variety of different study spaces in the SSL.

Why not try the comfy seating area, located to the right of the Issue Desk?

Or why not use your break to travel to a new library? Library hopping is a great way to break up your work and refresh your mind with a new location.

 

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.

If you want to chat with your friends and not leave the Manor Road Building, why not use the Manor Road Common Room, located on the first floor just past the Manor Road Cafe?

You can even eat in the Common Room.

FOOD & DRINK

Studying while hungry or dehydrated can make it much more difficult to focus and process information. Luckily there are spaces nearby to eat and drink.

Manor Road Café 

Open Monday to Friday 8:00-17:00

Missing Bean Café

(St Cross Building) 

Open Monday to Friday 8:00-16:00

Don’t forget if you use your KeepCup you can bring your drink into the library!

How do you take breaks? Give us your suggestions!

Welfare and Wellbeing

At Oxford we are committed to the mental health and wellbeing of all our students.There are a number of services available which provide support to readers during their studies at the University. Advice is available from your college, department, central University services, fellow students and the Student Union.

Click here to find out more about the support available.