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Wellbeing calendar

What's happening?  View the Campaign summary 2020 (PDF, 156 KB) for this year.

September 2020 - Sedentary month

Office with 'pods'

The last 6 months has seen a dramatic shift in how the University operates, which has had an equally dramatic effect on the wellbeing of staff. In the recent report of the Working in the Context of COVID-19 survey, approximately half of staff who offered qualitative feedback reported being less able to physically active or an increase in physical ailments as a result of working from home.


To support sustainable and healthy homeworking, the Wellbeing & Engagement Group are providing and highlighting resources and activities that can help you increase physical activity at home and reduce the risk of physical ailments from desk-based work.


So, in light of new guidance and as we prepare for a return to the campus, be mindful of how we can keep ourselves physically active at home and stand up to sedentary working.


Desk Exercises and Stretches

Doctor Jo presents these desk exercises and stretches are easy to do at your desk.

Following along with this 10-minute, real-time routine should help keep your muscles and joints moving throughout the day.

Saints Sport Outdoor Exercise sessions

The Saints Sports Health & Fitness Team are delighted to announce that FREE Outdoor Fitness classes, exclusively for University Staff, will commence from Monday 7 September.

All fitness levels are welcome. Classes are limited to 18 participants.

Social distancing will be observed at all times. Hand sanitiser will be available and there will be no sharing of equipment.

The meeting area for the classes will be the multi-sport cage near the running track.  
Classes will take place on: Mondays (5:15 - 5:45PM) AND Thursday (5:30 - 6:15PM).

Contact the Health & Fitness Team to sign up for the classes.

Outdoor Personal Training

Looking for some motivation to improve your fitness?

  • 1-1 Buddy sessions

  • Specific programme and sessions

  • Support and motivation

  • Dietary advice

FREE consultation, contact:

NHS 10-minute Workouts

Short on time? Hate the gym? Too tired to exercise after work? These 10-minute workouts are just what you need.

Additional opportunities to book through PDMS:

  • Seated Yoga (September)

  • Mental Wellbeing/Steps for Stress (October)

  • Mindfulness (November)

  • Love Later Life (November)

Wellbeing with Waterstones

  • The Desk Job Survival Guide by Jake Dermer

    The Desk Job Survival Guide is a practical, illustrated manual with simple strategies anyone can use to improve their wellbeing at the office. Filled with information addressing diet, nutrition, and exercise, Dermer’s invigorating tactics are designed to be easy to incorporate into anyone’s busy schedule. If you want to work pain-free, this straightforward handbook will help you slap down the rat race and put the spring back in your step.

  • Walking: One Step at a Time by Erling Kagge

    From the bestselling author of Silence comes an illuminating examination of the joy of walking. From those perilous first steps as a toddler, to great expeditions, from walking to work to trekking to the North Pole, Erling Kagge explains that he who walks goes further and lives better. Walking is a book about the love of exploration, the delight of discovery and the equilibrium that can be found in this most simple of activities.

  • Scotland's 100 Best Walks by Cameron McNeish

    This is a superb collection of the 100 best walks in Scotland, chosen by the country's foremost hillwalker, writer and broadcaster, Cameron McNeish. From the Borders to the northern islands of Orkney and Shetland, here are nothing but the best walking routes compiled by Cameron during his lifetime of walking in Scotland. From easy, low-level walks along forest trails and coastlines, to testing mountain tracks on airy ridges, there is something here for everyone.

    Routes are illustrated by distinctive hill-shaded maps and the photography of Colin Baxter, while detailed and anecdotal walk descriptions are accompanied by route summaries, walking times, distances and gradings.

August 2020- Active August month

The month of August focuses on activities that promote physical fitness and wellbeing. As lockdown and travel-for-exercise restrictions are evolving, we have a fantastic opportunity to enjoy some socially distanced walking, cycling and exercise in St Andrews’ beautiful surroundings. While the thought sounds nice and many of us start off with the best intentions of committing to going cycling or walking regularly, we often find it difficult to follow through with it.


Setting SMART objectives helps us make a clear path between us and our goals, but we need to change our behaviour to successfully navigate that path. The behaviours we create for goals such as these can come in the form of habits.

A ‘habit’ is a ‘context-driven repetitive behaviour’ and nearly half of our daily, routine behaviours are made up of habits. If you are able to form habits that help you reach your objectives, then you rely less on willpower and become more attainable and sustainable.

To help you build and form the habits you want, there are some steps you can take to make it easier:

  • Make the task as convenient as possible – making the task convenient and hard to avoid will cause you to rely less on self-motivation to complete it

  • Modify your environment around the task – by removing barriers to you completing your task, you require less willpower in getting started and reduce the likelihood you’ll skip it for the trouble

  • Set frequent reminders for your task – from calendar reminders to sticky notes, use whatever you regularly notice to help build routine

  • Make the reward bigger – if the reward of completing the task isn’t enough, find other things you can add on to it to make it seem more worthwhile but doesn’t cancel out your progress

So, if you are trying to make some healthy habitual changes, we hope that our guide has been helpful and more information is available on the Get Your Glow Back Podcast, featuring Dr Heather McKee. You can also check out Dr Heather McKee's Website.

Stay Home | StayFIT

The Health & Fitness Team are uploading daily YouTube videos and hosting Facebook Live events so you can exercise with them in your own time or join them live.

Follow the links below to see their new fitness videos and when their next live events are:

Looking for some motivation to improve your fitness?

Sessions are now available with the Saints Sports Personal Training Team.  Clients will have the opportunity to set and work towards specific fitness goals with the assistance of a Personal Trainer. Selected gym equipment will be available for use during sessions.

  • 1-1 or Buddy sessions

  • Specific programme and sessions

  • Support and motivation

  • Dietary advice

To book a FREE consultation please contact:

NHS 10 Minute Workouts

Short on time? Hate the gym? Too tired to exercise after work? These 10-minute workouts are just what you need.

These equipment-free fitness routines are great to do at home and short enough for you to easily fit them into your daily schedule.

There are 6 workouts, 1 for every day of the week if you include a rest day, each working on a different area of your fitness.

Active Yoga | 13, 20 and 27 August 2020

Designed to invigorate and energise, this 30-minute yoga class will involve yoga poses through a variety of positions.

If you have any challenges that may affect your ability to participate, please contact Penny Turnbull at

Please note that 3 dates are available to book separately on 13th, 20th and 27th August.

Wellbeing with Waterstones

Women in Sportby Rachel Ignotofsky

Women in Sport celebrates the success of the tough, bold and fearless women who paved the way for today's athletes. The sportswomen featured include well-known figures like tennis player Serena Williams and broadcaster Clare Balding, as well as lesser-known pioneers like Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, and Keiko Fukuda, the highest-ranked female judoka in history.


From the creator of the bestselling Women in Science, this richly illustrated book highlights the achievements and stories of fifty notable sportswomen from the 1800s to today, including trailblazers, Olympians and record-breakers in more than forty sports. It also contains infographics on topics such as muscle anatomy, pay and media statistics for female athletes, and influential women's teams.


Triumph: Jesse Owen's & Hitler's Olympics by Jeremy Schaap

The remarkable behind-the-scenes story of one of the most iconic clashes in sports and world history.


In 1936, against a backdrop of swastikas flying and storm troopers goose-stepping, an African-American athlete won a staggering four Olympic gold medals. Jesse Owens, the son of sharecroppers, had single-handedly crushed Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy. The story of Jesse Owens at the 1936 games is that of a high-profile athlete giving a performance that transcends sports. But it is also the intimate and complex tale of the courage of one remarkable man.


This is the incredible true story of one of the moment a black athlete beat Hitler at his own games.


Scotland's 100 Best Walks by Cameron McNeish

This is a superb collection of the 100 best walks in Scotland, chosen by the country's foremost hillwalker, writer and broadcaster, Cameron McNeish. From the Borders to the northern islands of Orkney and Shetland, here are nothing but the best walking routes compiled by Cameron during his lifetime of walking in Scotland. From easy, low-level walks along forest trails and coastlines, to testing mountain tracks on airy ridges, there is something here for everyone.

Routes are illustrated by distinctive hill-shaded maps and the photography of Colin Baxter, while detailed and anecdotal walk descriptions are accompanied by route summaries, walking times, distances and gradings.

June 2020 - Community and volunteering month

For the Wellbeing Calendar.

It is fitting that the theme of June is ‘Community and Volunteering’ when both have become such an important aspect of daily life. Covid-19 has forced us to reflect on our lives and our impact locally and globally. ‘Think global, act local’ is a phrase that has been around for years, but it has never been more poignant than now.


Community in the workplace | Staff networks

Staff Networks have the incredibly potential to support and empower people within an organisation.


They can develop community through shared characteristics, providing peer support, channelling resources and raising the profile of under-represented points-of-view.


As part of Community Month, we are taking this opportunity to promote the University's Staff Networks:

If you are interested in joining the network that provide a social calendar and other organised events, please contact

Volunteering and mutual aid | COVID-19 crisis

CASA's aim has been to help the community work together to stay as happy and healthy as possible. The group is very flexible: As the crisis has evolved, so has the group. While in the first few weeks we were dealing with urgent food and medicine requests, now the issues are mental health, social support, and sharing positive news.   CASA Organiser Lorna Hutcheon has also been working with local headteachers to produce beautiful Craft Packs, to deliver to local families to help find positive ways for younger children to make positive use of their time away from school and friends.


As someone who’s relatively new to St Andrews, and living in a typical university bubble, it’s been fantastic to get to know those who’ve lived here for longer and appreciate the diversity of St Andrews.


If you're interested in getting involved in CASA as a volunteer, you can email us:, visit our website or join our Facebook group.

- Katherine Keenan and Chris Wallard, Community Aid St Andrews -

Wellbeing with Waterstones

Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson

Can one child's good deed change the world?

It can when she’s Ordinary Mary—an ordinary girl from an ordinary school, on her way to her ordinary house—who stumbles upon ordinary blueberries. When she decides to pick them for her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop, she starts a chain reaction that multiplies around the world. Mrs. Bishop makes blueberry muffins and gives them to her paperboy and four others—one of whom is Mr. Stevens, who then helps five different people with their luggage—one of whom is Maria, who then helps five people—including a man named Joseph who didn’t have enough money for his groceries—and so on, until the deed comes back to Mary. It’s a feel-good story that inspires and celebrates a world full of ordinary deeds!


The Art of Community by Charles H. Vogl

Strong cultures help people support one another, share their passions, and achieve big goals. And such cultures of belonging aren't just happy accidents - they can be purposefully cultivated, whether they're in a company, a faith institution or among friends and enthusiasts. Drawing on 3,000 years of history and his personal experience, Charles Vogl lays out seven time-tested principles for growing enduring, effective and connected communities. He provides hands-on tools for creatively adapting these principles to any group—formal or informal, mission driven or social, physical or virtual. This book is a guide for leaders seeking to build a vibrant, living culture that will enrich lives.


Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch

You’re British.

Your parents are British.

Your partner, your children and most of your friends are British.

So why do people keep asking where you’re from?

We are a nation in denial about our imperial past and the racism that plagues our present. Brit(ish), a Sunday Times Bestseller, is Afua Hirsch’s personal and provocative exploration of how this came to be – and an urgent call for change.


May 2020 - Mental Health Awareness

This month we are focusing on Kindness, which is this year's topic for the national Mental Health Awareness Week


At the core of supporting our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others is our capacity for kindness. Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said:


"Now more than ever, we need to re-discover kindness in our daily lives. Kindness unlocks our shared humanity and is central to our mental health. It has the potential to bring us together with benefits for everyone, particularly at times of great stress."


One thing we have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times, helping people to connect and communities to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Homeworking staff wellbeing advice

With the majority of University staff working from home, the University Wellbeing & Engagement Group, OSDS Team and Mental Health Taskforce have all worked together to develop comprehensive guidance to assist staff in adapting to homeworking and helping to maintain staff wellbeing.


The new wellbeing advice for staff webpage includes information and advice on:

  • staying safe

  • working environment

  • physical wellbeing

  • mental wellbeing

  • staying social

  • further external resources


Working remotely during the coronavirus has its own separate webpage with specific information and advice on:

  • successful homeworking

  • working communications

  • environment and equipment

  • wellbeing in isolation


These webpages are being regularly updated with new advice, information and resources as they become available. Please check these webpages frequently for any new information.

Acts of kindness | share your stories

Nestled with equal importance amongst the University’s desire to act ethically, transparently and sustainably, as well as to the wider public good, the Principal noted: “We expect that our staff and students will at all times observe a culture of tolerance, respect, kindness, and courtesy towards each other, and to our broader communities.”


We have all seen the random acts of kindness undertaken during the current crisis, but it is all too easy to take for granted the impact both individual acts and sustained efforts through volunteering can have between the likes on social media.


We would therefore like to pay tribute to kindness within the University community to coincide with the theme set for May’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Selected stories will be published as a longform feature on the University website, and may cover the time period both during and prior to the current pandemic (the modest among you may prefer to be anonymous, if so please state on the form).


If you would like to take part please the email your stories of kindness.

University Mental Health Strategy

Launched at the end of January 2020, the University has introduced its first, institution-wide, mental health strategy.


The aim of the strategy is to:

  • raise awareness and reduce stigma about mental health issues

  • to foster a collegial, responsible and supportive workplace

  • to enhance the support available to students and staff

  • increase awareness of, and participation in, wellbeing activities


The strategy sets out a framework within which the University will address these aims, what the current practice is and, on the basis of evidence, what we need to do next in order to improve our mental health promotion and our support provision.


For more information and please see the University's Mental Health Strategy.

Wellbeing with Waterstons

‌The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig


A simple act of kindness can transform an invisible boy into a friend...


From esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton, this gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource.


‌The Language of Kindness by Christine Watson

Christie Watson was a nurse for twenty years. Taking us from birth to death and from A&E to the mortuary, The Language of Kindness is an astounding account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness.


We watch Christie as she nurses a premature baby who has miraculously made it through the night, we stand by her side during her patient’s agonising heart-lung transplant, and we hold our breath as she washes the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire, attempting to remove the toxic smell of smoke before the grieving family arrive.


In our most extreme moments, when life is lived most intensely, Christie is with us. She is a guide, mentor and friend. And in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages us all to stretch out a hand.


Dare to Be Kind by Lizzie Velasquez

Celebrated motivational speaker and YouTube sensation Lizzie Velasquez shows us how we can learn to accept all parts of ourselves and others to create a culture of kindness and a more compassionate world.


Born with a rare genetic condition, Lizzie Velasquez always knew she was different, but it wasn't until she was much older that she understood what that meant to others. At seventeen she came across a viral video entitled 'World's Ugliest Woman'- only to discover that it featured her. In response, she decided to stand up on behalf of victims everywhere and created one of YouTube's most popular motivational channels and a TEDx talk that has drawn tens of millions of viewers.


April 2020 - Loving Later Life

Love Later Life logo

In this month's issue, we are signposting staff to our new wellbeing for staff working from home resources, our wellbeing theme for the month of April is 'loving later life' and announcing some temporary changes to how Well Now will be delivering its usual content over the coming months.


Due to the change in how we are able to deliver our wellbeing activities, Well Now and its content are changing. Some of the changes that are occurring are:

  • Wellbeing activities, events and courses and initiatives are going to be delivered online until such time that we are able to host in-person courses and training.

  • The 'Wellbeing with Waterstones' monthly book giveaway will be giving away eBooks rather than physical paper books.

  • There will be a continuing emphasis on maintaining wellbeing at home for those University employees who are homebased.

We are still committed to delivering our wellbeing action plan and monthly themes as best as possible under the present constraints.

If you have any suggestions or feedback on home-based activities that you would like to have as part of our staff wellbeing provision, please contact the team at

Step Count Challenge 2020

This year, due to the present public activity restrictions a few things are changing about Step Count Challenge for 2020:


  • The challenge will start on Monday 4 May 2020

  • The challenge will run for 4 weeks and end on Sunday 31 May 2020, 11:59PM

  • You may form your team with members of your household, and they do not have to be associated with the University

  • There is no registration fee.


For more information about Step Count Challenge, see our dedicated webpage.

The closing date for Step Count Challenge team sponsorship applications is 24 April 2020, 5:00PM.

Positive Ageing | How to age gracefully

Positive ageing is about making the golden years of your life healthy and fruitful, engaging and meaningful. Positive ageing is more about quality than quantity.


Here are seven principles to supporting positive ageing:

1. Keep A Positive Attitude

Keeping a positive and optimistic outlook towards events and people around you, and feeling positive about life itself, can help you get more out of your years. Positive attitude increases longevity. You can age positively by keeping a positive attitude.

2. Lower Your Stress Levels

High levels of stress can cause damage to your psychological and physical self. Stress also pulls down your immunity, and makes you more prone to illnesses.


3. Maintain Social Connections

Maintaining contact with people is difficult in these present times but it is still important to try and keep social. Keep in touch with your family and people who care about you and utilise technology such as group video calls to socilaise.


4. Involve Yourself In Brain Activities

Carrying out tasks that give your brain a workout are important to keep your thinking sharp. It can as simple as reading books or listening to audiobooks, solving a crossword or sudoku, learning new skills as origami or playing chess.


5. Do Regular Exercise

Physical exercise is a proven way to increase your productivity and health in your golden years.


6. Eat Healthy Food

Old age is a prime time to value the importance of healthy and nutritious food.


7. Keep A Medical Diary

Keep a diary of your medical check-ups and doctor appointments. Set up reminders so as not to miss them.

Stop any unhealthy habits or addictions you might have, as smoking or drinking.

Ask for psychological help whenever you feel you’re unable to cope with a situation with peace of mind. Never miss your medical check-ups and doctor visits.

Call for participants in Health Psychology Survey

We invite you to participate in a research project about understanding the factors impacting participation to Wee Walk Once a Week (WWOW) walking group at the University of St Andrews. You will be asked to complete an online questionnaire about your attendance/non-attendance of WWOW. The questionnaire is expected to take no longer than 15 minutes.  The walk organiser will be unaware of your participation in this study.

If you are interested, please click on this link: Wee Walk Once A Week Questionnaire

March - Heart & Lungs month


While we work to inform and educate you on the importance of, and how people can best improve and maintain, good general hearth and lung health, recent global health concerns have brought the subject of respiratory health into the forefront of the public consciousness - the coronavirus pandemic.


Therefore, to support our colleagues, students and local community, we wish to highlight the following practical steps on protecting yourself and the community from the spread of general respiratory infections (courtesy of Public Health England and the NHS):


  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.

  • immediately bin used tissues

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you on what to do. If you have concerns about symptoms, the NHS recommend contacting NHS 111 in the first instance.


Further updates from the University's with respect to the coronavirus will be communicated via staff memo and In The Loop. You can also refer to the University's 'Novel Coronavirus' newspage for updates.

No Smoking Day | 11th March 2020

10 steps to stopping smoking

Stopping smoking isn't easy, but there are things you can do to improve your chances of success. Read our ten top tips:


  • Pick a quit date - choose a day that will be stress-free, and stick to it

  • Make a List - write down all the reasons you want to quit. Keep the list handy and read it when the cravings start

  • Build a support network - pair up with someone else who is looking to give up smoking and support each other

  • Remove any reminder - before your quit date, get rid of ashtrays, lighters and matches, and any remaining cigarettes

  • Use stop smoking services - contact your local NHS Stop Smoking Service for support from trained specialists

  • Try nicotine replacement therapy - consider using nictoine replacement therapy, which can more than double your changes of stopping smoking

  • Start moving - scientific studies have proven that exercise, as little as a five minute walk or stretch, cuts the urge to smoke and may even help your brain produce anti-craving chemicals

  • Avoid trigger situations - anticipate stressful or trigger situations. So, if you smoke after a meal, go for a short walk instead

  • Practice saying "no" - don't be tempted by just one cigarette; it often leads to another

  • Treat yourself - put away some, or all, of the money you would have spent on cigarettes and buy something special

For more information and support on quiting smoking, go to the British Heart Foundation's webpage for smoking cessation.

Scottish Workplace Journey Challenge | March 2020

The aim of the challenge is to encourage staff to actively commute to work through means of walking, cycling, public transport or lift share and help reduce our community carbon footprint and improving local air quality.


How to participate?

  • Sign up online at the following link

  • Use your work email address and, when prompted, make sure you attach yourself to your organisation: University of St Andrews

  • Upon registering you can either join an existing team, under your organisation, or create your own team. Alternatively compete as an individual

  • It is easy to invite others to join too – opt to send them either the direct link provided or an individual personal email. These can be found on your dashboard

Wellbeing with Waterstones

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between - perfect for fans of 'The Art of Being Normal' and 'Love, Simon'.


Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they've never met ... until one day when they're made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn't think he has a chance.


But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realised.


Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie's lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.


Healthy Habits for Your Heart by Dr Monique Tello

In Healthy Habits for Your Heart, you'll find over 100 heart-related habits, exercises, and strategies you can implement in your daily life to improve your heart health now and for years to come-all presented in a practical and easy-to-read format. Including information on how your heart works, what kind of dangers could threaten its health, and how you can make small changes every day to safeguard your heart's health, Healthy Habits for Your Heart, will help you take your heart's health into your own hands. Just turn the page to keep your ticker happy and strong.


Breathing with Lily by Heyley Parlen

A children's book where Lily and her mum turn a bad day around with a few simple breaths.


I was upset earlier because my friend said something mean, and now I know I can breathe to help me feel better.” –9 year-old reader


“This lovely book provides a beautiful lesson for all ages and it also gives kids an important tool that will be invaluable for the rest of their lives... using the breath to ease stress. I wish I learned that when I was young!” –Amazon Reviewer

Fabulous February - 'Self-Care' month


Fabulous February - 'Self-Care' month

Self-care really can be whatever you need it to be, but you need to listen to yourself to really understand what you really want.‌

  • Assess your situation

  • Learn to say 'No' - and not feel guilty

  • Nurture with Nutrition

  • Move your body

  • Sleep well

  • Talk to others

  • Ask for help

If you would like to learn more visit the Counselling Directory's Guide to "Self-care at work".

Fresh Produce Giveaway

We are working to make nutritional wellbeing easier to access by giving away a kilogram of fruit and a kilogram of vegetables to 50 lucky subscribers. 



Only one entry per person, closing date is Friday 14th February with winners being notified soon after.

Give a cup a go | Menstral Cup Giveaway!

To raise awareness of period poverty, menstrual wellbeing and the need for more environmentally-friendly mentrual products, we are delighted to be working with Hey Girls - a social enterprise based in Musselburgh - lead a workshop (Wednesday 4th March; 17.30 to 18.15 - book your place) in how to use a Menstrual Cup.  We are also giving away Menstral Cups during the month of February.

If you are interested in receiving a menstrual cup, please email: to request either a small or large menstrual cup. Size information is displayed below:

Small: for those aged under 25 and not given birth vaginally

Large: for those aged over 25 or have given birth vaginally regardless of age

Terms & Conditions:

  • Priority will be given to those who sign up to attend the Menstrual Wellbeing Workshop

  • Staff may only submit one request for a menstrual and receive one menstrual cup

  • Staff who request a menstrual cup will be contacted to advise where they will be able to collect their cup once it becomes available


Many Dads' that we spoke to said they don’t know enough about periods to feel confident having ‘the chat’ with their kids. Chances are no one told them about periods when they were younger, or maybe they just feel a bit awkward and leave things to Mum.

‌We think it’s a bit nuts that around half the population has a period almost every month, but that they can still be seen as secret and shameful. We’re pushing for better education about periods in schools for all pupils so we can end the stigma around periods.

In the meantime, Dads have told us that they need a helping hand. So, we have created Pads 4 Dads – a quick overview by Dads for Dads – to help you have positive conversations with all your kids about periods.

Check out Hey Girls' PDF guide for Dads to help support you in talking about periods.

StAIGS | Interdisciplinary speakers' series 2020

The St Andrews Institute for Gender Studies (StAIGS) brings together staff from across the university with research interests in gender. StAIGS has over 100 Academic Affiliates across 17 schools. 

Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field of research, encompassing the study of issues that range from feminism and women’s studies to masculine studies, queer theory, and sexuality studies. Gender Studies is deeply committed to an intersectional analysis of the phenomena it examines, understanding that gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, power, and inequality are inextricably connected.  For more information visit the StAIGS Home page.

All the talks take place in: Edgecliffe Room 104; 13.00 to 14.00 (Tea/coffee from 12 noon in Common room) on the relevant dates mentioned below.

  • LGBTIQ+ - February 5th

  • Dictatorships - March 4th

  • Climate Crisis - April 1st

    Wellbeing with Waterstones

    ‌Ice Cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams

    You can own your own home and want to build a blanket fort on a bad day. Hell! On a good day, too. Give yourself permission to seek praise, ask for help, and have something soft snuggled against your face because you're sad. You can pay your bills on time and still exclaim out loud when something is really f*cking cool, run a business and wear cat-covered thermals under your suit. You can take time to play, just because.

    Full of spirit and un-self-conscious enthusiasm, Ice Cream for Breakfast: Child-Like Solutions to Bullsh*t Adult Problems is the permission slip all too-grown-up-for-their-own-good-but-secretly-scared-of-adulting adults need to locate their inner-child nestled deep within, so that we might all relax enough to laugh harder, wonder more, and marvel at magic on the daily.


    ‌It's About Bloody Time. Period by Emma Barnet

    Emma loathes her period. Really, she does. But there's something she loathes even more: not being able to talk about it. Freely, funnily and honestly. Without men and women wrinkling their noses as if she's pulled her tampon out and offered it as an hors d'oeuvre.

    But somehow, despite humans having had periods since the dawn of time, we've totally clammed up on anything to do with menstruation. Why, oh why, would we rather say `Auntie Flo' than `period'? Why, in the 21st century, are periods still seen as icky? Why are we still so ignorant about such a fundamental bodily process?

    Now, in 'Period.', Emma draws on female experiences that will make you laugh, weep (and, most probably, squirm), in a fierce and funny rallying cry to smash this ridiculous taboo once and for all.

    ‌Eat Up!: Food, Appitite and Eating what you want by Ruby Tandoh

    Eating can be one of life's greatest pleasures. Food nourishes our bodies, helps us celebrate our successes, cheers us up when we're down, introduces us to new cultures and - when we cook and eat together - connects us with the people we love.

    In Eat Up, Ruby Tandoh celebrates the fun and pleasure of food, taking a look at everything from gluttons and gourmets in the movies, to the symbolism of food and sex. She will arm you against the fad diets, food crazes and bad science that can make eating guilt-laden and expensive.

    Filled with straight-talking, sympathetic advice on everything from mental health to recipe ideas and shopping tips, this is a book that clears away the fog, to help you fall back in love with food.

January 2020 - Physical Fitness month


The Wellbeing & Engagement Group would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  Many of us take the New Year as an opportunity to reflect on the year, and decade, that has past and set resolutions for change and improvement.

In the same way that we are asked to set our objectives for work, we would recommend the same approach for a New Year Resolution; by being SMART:

  • Specific - have defined, unambiguous parameters

  • Measurable - use specific criteria to measure progress

  • Achievable - be reasonably assessed as atainable

  • Realistic - be compatible with your life circumstances

  • Timely - have a defined timeline with milestones

For more information about setting SMART goals, follow the link: Setting SMART goalsBest of luck to those who are committing to a resolution this year.

Jump Out of January - workshop & 6-week programme


12.30 to 13.30


6-Week Programme
Date: 27th January for 6 weeks (Mondays)
17.30 to 18.30


Book your place on the 6-week programme.


Back by popular demand, improve your approach to physical activity and nutrition with a workshop which will give you the impetus you need if you're at the start of your fitness journey.  Following on from the workshop, you have the opportunity to book a personal fitness consultation, sign up for a 6-week get fit programme, Occupational Health assessment, or work with a workplace coach to help your changes stick.


Attending the launch workshop does not commit you to joining the 6 week programme – it will provide all the information you need to decide whether the programme is right for you.


A vegetarian hot and cold lunch will be provided.

Let's Talk: Menopause


Date: 16/01/2020
Time: 09.30 to 12.30

Book your place on Let's Talk.


The aim of the workshop is to discuss, inform and educate people on the effects of the menopause. This will encompass individual learning as well as group discussion, personal experience and theory.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Peri-menopause

  • Menopause

  • Post-menopause

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

  • Common symptoms of change

  • Healthy choices to consider at home and work

There will be many helpful reading resources and social networks to consider on completion of the workshop.

NOTE: All information discussed in the room will remain confidential.

Wellbeing with Waterstones

‌Mindset: Changing the way you think to achieve your potential by Dr Carol Dweck

Dweck explains why it's not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn't foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals-personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.


‌How to Fail: Everything I've Ever Learnt from Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day

Part memoir, part manifesto, and including chapters on dating, work, sport, babies, families, anger and friendship, it is based on the simple premise that understanding why we fail ultimately makes us stronger. It's a book about learning from our mistakes and about not being afraid.

Uplifting, inspiring and rich in stories from Elizabeth's own life, How to Fail reveals that failure is not what defines us; rather it is how we respond to it that shapes us as individuals.

Because learning how to fail is actually learning how to succeed better. And everyone needs a bit of that.

 ‌Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: How to turn your fear and indecision into confidence and action by Susan Jeffers

Susan Jeffers' timeless advice is as important and relevant today as when it was first published: we live in an era governed by fear - fear of failure, of missing out, of rejection, of the future, of change, of not fitting in, of intimacy, of being alone, of growing old ... the list seems endless. We are also easily paralysed by fear of the things we need to do from driving or public speaking to making tough decisions or asking for what we want or need.

Whatever your challenge and whatever fears are holding you back, Susan Jeffers' profound advice, insight and tools will help you move from a place of paralysis, pain and indecision to one of energy, enthusiasm and action.

Wellbeing & Engagement Group

Every month the group organises activities, events and promotions around different health and wellbeing themes.

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Related links

    Calendar archives

    To view events and activities from previous years, please click on the following links:

    2019 calendar

    2018 calendar

    2017 calendar

    2016 calendar

    2015 calendar