Wellbeing advice for students
The coronavirus pandemic has presented a significant challenge to our mental health and wellbeing. It is important to look after your mental and physical wellbeing while studying and staying at home.
Below you can find guidance and resources for how you can take steps to study and live well, as well as key contact points you can get in touch with during this challenging period.
In crisis now?
Essential contact points for students in the event of emergencies, crises or urgent situations.
Adapting to remote learning and finding a good routine studying from home can be challenging. Advance Higher Education has produced helpful guidance and information about learning in the time of Covid-19 and getting through your learning online. You might also find some helpful tips for establishing a sustainable routine and studying at home effectively below:
Establish set study hours
Make sure you establish study hours so that you have a defined start and finish time. Stick to your chosen hours and make sure you do take time to switch off at the end of the day. Establishing an overall routine that incorporates working hours can be helpful. Find out more about daily routine guidance.
You should take regular breaks from studying. Short, frequent breaks are more satisfactory than occasional, longer breaks. Ideally, try to take a 5 to 10-minute break after every 50 to 60 minutes of work.
Take your lunch break away from your screen or books, and (where possible) away from your study desk or room altogether. Eat well guidance has some helpful guidance for meals and snacking while working from home.
Incorporate desk exercises into your daily routine. You can download and print Desk exercises (PDF) . Try to incorporate some form of stretch or exercise every time you take a break.
See the Sports Centre's ideas for staying fit at home. They will be providing a programme of content, information and guidance designed to help you take part in suitable exercise while you are at home.
Keep in touch with classmates
Maintaining social interaction is important so that you don't feel isolated.
- Check-in with your classmates or friends throughout the day as you normally would.
- Set up group chats at least once a week (for example, virtual study groups, coffee breaks or lunch online).
Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development (CEED)
CEED (formerly part of CAPOD) provides learning development for students, including academic and study skills support. The majority of CEED’s face-to-face activities have been moved online where possible.
You can book a Study Skills or Maths and Stats appointment with one of our experienced postgraduate tutors online—these are free and last up to an hour. Our tutors are happy to discuss strategies for working remotely. If you have a quick study skills question that you don’t think requires a full appointment then you can drop our tutors an email using the new Ask a tutor service.
If you have any enquiries about our services for students, please get in touch on email@example.com.
If you want to talk about any stresses or worries, and specifically stress in working from home, please remember you can still get in touch with Student Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The ASC will be able to help connect you with the right service, but please bear in mind they are currently delivering their services remotely.
If you are still living in University residences, you can call your hall duty phone to speak to the duty warden for help and advice. Although office hours have been cancelled, the normal duty hours are still in operation.
- You can contact the Agnes Blackadder Hall wardennial team on +44 (0)1334 46 7019 (internal extension 7019) or by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You can contact the David Russell Apartments and Fife Park wardennial team on +44(0)1334 46 7103 (internal extension 7103) or by email at email@example.com.
Guided self-help: University resources
SilverCloud is available to staff and students and is a computer-based system that offers helpful programmes to address a range of issues including:
- low mood and depression
- body image
- eating worries.
The content comprises audio, text and video clips and is intended to be motivational, easy to use, and interactive.
University Library ‘Shelf help’ collection
If you or someone close to you is going through a difficult time or struggling to cope, sometimes reading about these situations can help. The University Library together with Student Services and the University Occupational Health team have brought together a selection of books under common themes for you. These books and resources are available to read online.
Nightline is remotely running its instant messaging service from 8pm to 2am during coronavirus. Emails will continue to run as normal. Nightline has closed its phone lines and Skype services.
Phone: 116 123
- Breathing Space (for people in Scotland)
Phone: 0800 83 85 87
Weekdays - Monday to Thursday, 6pm to 2am
Weekends - Friday, 6pm to Monday, 6am
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
Phone: 0800 58 58 58
Webchat is open 5pm to midnight every night for free and confidential support.
- Andy’s Man Club
Online support groups for men over 18 years of age.
The current situation can present challenges for our mental health and wellbeing, by making us feel more anxious, low or stressed. The BBC has published information and advice on how to protect your mental health during this period, from social media use to how to avoid burn out while working from home.
The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) have also published helpful advice on coronavirus and your mental wellbeing with topics such as anxiety, OCD and mindfulness.
Dr Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap, outlines how to respond effectively to the corona crisis, and may be particularly helpful if you are feeling anxious or experiencing low mood.
Five Ways to Wellbeing
Evidence suggests there are five steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life, even in these very challenging times. The Five Ways to Wellbeing (NHS) are:
- Connect with other people (while maintaining social distancing and self-isolating) - for example, phone to check in on your friends and family.
- Stay active - see the Sports Centre's 'Stay home, stay fit' programme of exercise routines.
- Learn new skills - for example, actively engage with your studies.
- Give to others - keep an eye on the University's wellbeing page for upcoming ideas on how to help the community.
- Pay attention to the present - practise mindfulness and breathing techniques.
Find out more about getting started with Five Ways to Wellbeing.
In these difficult times, an opportunity to work out is more important than ever for those wishing to look after your physical and mental health. The sense of routine and normality or even escape that exercise can provide is also more important than ever.
You may also be able to set up an area in your garden, driveway or front room. The most important thing here is for you to enjoy what you are doing, whilst experiencing all the physical and mental benefits.
To support you in staying fit in these challenging times, Saints Sport has put together a 'Stay home, stay fit' programme.
- Information about wellbeing during coronavirus and a wellbeing assessment tool are available from the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
- Student Minds have put together advice for mental health during coronavirus.
- Covid-19: How LGBT-inclusive organisations can help (Stonewall)