Skip navigation to content

Wellbeing calendar

What's happening? Our programme of scheduled health & wellbeing events/ campaigns, as well as news and updates on recent activities. 

August 2019 - Active August month

Bike to Work Breakfast

Get a FREE breakfast every month if you cycle to work - sit in or take away!  Available every third Thursday of the month from 8am to 9am at the Rector's Cafe.


There will also be Bike to Work Breakfast events at The Medical & Biological Sciences Building Cafe, 07.30 to 09.30 on 19th September and 21st November 2019


You are keeping the air clean and yourself happy and healthy so you deserve FREE food and coffee!

Academic Bicycle Challenge

The Academic Bicycle Challenge combines healthy exercise and social interaction with sustainable mobility and practical climate protection.

The ABC is expressively for all, both students and staff members. The common goal: to collect as many miles by bike as possible.

The University will be participating in the Academic Bicycle Challenge for the whole month of September.

To participate, simply:

  1. Go to their website,

  2. Download and register on the free app, "Naviki"

  3. In the app, go to "Settings" → "Contests" → "ABC!"

  4. Cycle, record your trips, and enjoy ABC Leaderboards

For more information, contact Callum and Ailsa at

Additional activities for Active August

Dundee Cyclathon 2019 - Camperdown Park | Sunday 15th September 2019 | Starting at 10.30am

Starting and finishing at Camperdown Park, the full Cyclathon will take place along Dundee’s dedicated 26 mile Green Circular Cycle Route.

For the first time, there will also be a Mini-Cyclathon around and within the perimeter of Camperdown Park of 3 laps, a distance of approximately 10 kilometres, for those who would prefer a shorter distance, or for younger children in the family.

To enter, please go to the Entry Form.
To find out more information about the Cyclathon, please visit


Active August - BOOK on PDMS

Outdoor Fitness - These 1-hour sessions focus on bodyweight-based exercises designed to increase your levels of aerobic fitness, stamina, strength and mobility.   Taking place outside, classes may include individual, pair, or group games, featuring squats, push-ups, sit-ups, high-knee sprints, burpees... the list is endless!


Gym Workout - Join instructor Ailsa Gow for these 1-hour sessions focusing on gym-based equipment exercises designed to develop your competence in using gym equipment for targeted and full-body exercises efficiently, effectively and safely.   Taking place inside the Univeristy Sport Centre, classes may include individual and paired exercises featuring a variety of gym equipment and workout machines.


Essential Cycling - Join the Transitions Team for a comprehensive 2-hour course for those who want to develop their confidence on a bicycle.  The course, taking place at the Observatory Car Park, provides you with the necessary skills to safely and confidently utilise the road on a bicycle as well as the basics of bicycle safety-checks and maintendance.


Yoga on the Lawn - Designed to relax and revive you from prolonged periods of sitting, this 30-minute standing yoga session includes guided breathing, gentle stretching and movements to improve circulation and pep you up for the rest of the day.


Wellbeing with Waterstones

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.


Waypoints (Seascapes & stories of Scotland's West Coast) by Ian Stephan

Adventure, memoir, storytelling and celebration of all things maritime meet in Waypoints, a beautifully written account of sea journeys from Scotland's west coast. In the book, Ian Stephen reveals a lifetime's love affair with sailing; each voyage honours a seagoing vessel, and each adventure is accompanied by a spell-binding retelling of a traditional tale about the sea. His writing is enchanting and lyrical, gentle but searching, and is accompanied by beautiful illustrations of each vessel, drawn by his wife, artist Christine Morrison. This book will be a delightful and absorbing read for anyone with a passion for sailing and the seas, Scotland's landscape and coastlines, stories and the origins of language and literature.


Miracle at St Andrews by James Patterson & Peter De Jonge

Travis McKinley's golfing career is over. After a string of poor performances he crashes out of the US Senior Tour and faces a future of watching the game he loves from the sidelines. In a bid to escape, Travis decides to take his family on a long-awaited trip to the UK - a pilgrimage to the world-renowned golf courses of Scotland. Travis dreams of treading the hallowed fairways of St Andrews, where the game began. But when an opportunity to play in the Scottish Open unexpectedly presents itself, Travis can't believe his luck. Could he have one last shot at the big time on the most famous course of all?

July 2019 - Healthy Sleep month


*Bishops Bed competition*

In collaboration with Bishops Beds UK for Healthy Sleep month, we are giving University employees the opportunity to win a brand new double (4 feet, 6") matress worth up to £250.  For a chance to win, correctly answer the question and send your answer via internal mail to CAPOD, Well Now Sleep Competition Hebdomador's Block OR email your entry to (email subject "Well Now Sleep competition").


Question:  What is the recommended number of hours before bed you should stop drinking caffeine?

A) 1 hour

B) 3 hours

C) 6 hours

Hint: The answer is in this month's issue of Well Now.


All entries must be in by 23.59 on Tuesday 25 July for a chance to win.  To see the range of mattresses available from Bishop Beds visit the July 2019 issue of Well Now!.

Sleep hygiene

‌If you find falling asleep or staying asleep difficult, consider whether your habits during the day are affecting you at night.  Try following a routine that maximises your body's ability to prepare you for a long, deep, refreshing sleep ....


  • Get up at the same time each day!

  • Go outside.

  • Stop drinking caffinated drinks 6-8 hours before bedtime.

  • Finish eating 3 hours before bed.

  • Don't exercise right before bedtime.

  • Get off your phone, tablet or laptop at least an hour before bed.

  • Limit your liquid intake from 1 hour before bed.

  • Make your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible.

  • Make sure your bedroom is cool enough.

For more details on each point and further information please visit the Sleep Hygiene article in the July 2019 Well Now!.

Digital Detox for Sleep

We're increasingly glued to screens, but is it good for us?  We are becoming increasingly distracted by social media feeds that are explicitly designed to provoke anxiety, form habits and profit from our compulsive need for instant gratification.


Alarming statistics show that UK adults spend an average of 8 hours 41 mins a day on screens and that the average smart phone user checks their phone 150 times a day, racking up a massive 2.5 hours a day just on social media.


Higher levels of smartphone usage are associated with anxiety, depression, narcissism, and missing out on sleep.  Excessive online TV also affects us, especially now instant video automatically plays the next episode without any prompt from the viewer.


Visit the July 2019 Well Now! for futher information on how to detox and take the 'Do I need a digital detox?' quiz.

Apps to relax by

The Calm App is already know for its meditation series, its 10 minute 'Daily Calm's and its 'Breathe Bubble' feature.  Introducing Calm Sleep Stories which are stories read by soothing voices designed to get you into a state where drifting off to sleep seems natural and easy ...


The stories feature famous voices such as Stephen Fry, Bob Ross, Anna Acton, Peter Jefferson and Jerome Flynn.  For details of the two newest stories visit the July 2019 Well Now!

Wellbeing with Waterstones

The Little Book of Calm Colouring by Victoria Kay & David Sinden

Beautifully hand-illustrated and thoughtfully designed to be the perfect size for portability, you can now take colouring art therapy with you wherever you go. With beautiful anti-stress designs on quality paper, this gorgeous colouring book will help your creativity flourish.

Take a short relaxing breather from your day to colour the calming images and feel inspired by the poignant quotations that accompany each elegant artwork.


Sleep: Change the way you sleep with this 90 minute read by Nick Littlehales

In his book, Nick Littlehales debunks many myths around sleep and introduces the reader to many new concepts, including:

  • Why the fabled eight hours a night just doesn't add up

  • Why you might need less sleep than you think

  • The power of the nap and how you can nap with your eyes open in a room full of people

  • How to manage the impact of technology

  • Why teenagers should be lying in and should be starting school later in the day

  • How to discover your own sleep cycle


The Litle Book of Meditation by Patrizia Collard

Meditation is an easy way to bring more peace and tranquillity into your life. Packed with practical advice, useful meditations and affirming thoughts, this little book teaches you how to be happier, healthier and more relaxed - without sitting for hours on a meditation cushion.

Dr Patrizia Collard, bestselling author of The Little Book of Mindfulness, shows you another way, with these fun and efficient exercises: just 5 to 10 minutes a day is enough to strengthen your immune system, relieve stress and clear your head. Whether you like mindfulness or movement meditations, or simple mantras, everyone will find a meditation to suit them

June 2019 - Community

For the Wellbeing Calendar.

This month's focus is on the Community and interacting with the community around you.  The Community Section of the University's Wellbeing is being developed so that staff can promote groups, clubs and societies that they support.


The aim is to help staff within the University connect with clubs and community groups in and around St Andrews and build stronger social ties within the town. 


If you are interested in promoting your club, group or society, please email


Dementia Friendly St Andrews

The group works with people in the local area to run and support fun and enjoyable events and activities within St Andrews that people with dementia can attend and particpate in. The group has hosted fashion shows, concerts and afternoon tea fundraisers to name a few.

The group is always looking for volunteers that can support or host events and come up with innovative ideas for raising funds for research foundations.


If you are interested in participating in any upcoming events or wish to learn more, please go to their Facebook page or contact Dr Maggie Ellis at


'Doing Art in the Bell Pettigrew' Society

The informal sessions start with refreshment and discussion, followed by dispersing around the museum to draw or paint. It's a great opportunity to meet colleagues and students from across the University who enjoy art in a fascinating and absorbing environment.


Bird picture.All staff and postgraduate students are welcome to join. No artistic ability required. Participants must bring their own materials. This is not an art class so there is no fee or formal instruction.


Sessions run on Tuesdays (fortnightly), 7PM - 10PM  throughout the academic year (September to June). If you are interested in coming along, or have any questions, please email Alice Carradice:

Volunteering helped me rebuild my life ...


Kirsteen Cruickshanks from CAPOD talks about how volunteering at her local community cafégave her a new lease of life and self-confidence after an extended recover period from hospital.  To read her story visit the Well Now! June 2019 newsletter.

Know your Scottish words and phrases

Test your knowledge by taking our community language quiz and see how many you get right.

Wellbeing with Waterstones

Extra Helping by Janet Elsbach

There is no more essential place to show up for people than on the plate.  Extra Helping is for anyone who wants to cook for their community with compassion and creativity.  With recipes tailored to meet many dietary needs.  Extra Helping walks you, the helpful friend, through cooking for people who are dealing with illness, recovery, and loss, or celebrating babies, birthdays, and new homes.


Doing Good Better by William MacAskill

William MacAskill has developed the concept of effective altruism, a practical, data-driven approach which shows you have the power to do an astonishing amount of good, given the right information.  Most of us try to do good through charitable donations and reducing carbon emissions, but rarely do we know if we're really helping, and sometimes our actions can have ineffective or harmful outcomes.



A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bachman

A New York Times Bestseller about a grumpy yet lovable man finds his solitary world turned on it's head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.  At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet.  He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer propperly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association.  He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.


May 2019 - Mental Health Awareness

This month we are focusing on Body Image, which is this year's topic for the national Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May 2019)


There has been a lot of focus in the media about the exclusionary body and beauty standards that exist within our society. Many movements and campaigns have come to the forefront to advocate and celebrate the diversity of shapes, sizes, and colours that bodies come in, and refocus our self-worth towards our other non-physical attributes, achievements and talents.


Join in - Listen to 5 special podcasts (due to be released to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week):, Watch Dr Lindsay Kite's TEDx Talk: and Follow the #Iweigh Instigram feed launched by Jameela Jamil which encourages us to feel valuable and see how amazing we are beyond the flesh on our bones:

Additional activities and events

  • How Body Positive are you? Take the quiz ...

  • Body Image talk,

    29th May 2019

    12.30 - 13.30

    ‘All of us live with our bodies as they evolve and change.  Just as all of us have a role in shaping an inclusive culture where we help others feel comfortable in their own skin...For too many of us, our bodies are sources of shame and distress.  From an early age, we are bombarded with images that define what an ‘ideal body’ looks like.’ (Mark Rowland, CEO, Mental Health Foundation).  An interactive discussion with Julie Cameron (Head of Programmes, Mental Health Foundation), FREE lunch is provided.  Book your place now - Body Image talk

  • Eating Well: Menopause

    20th June 2019

    14.00 - 16.00

    The two-hour session provides information about how our diet and lifestyle can affect the menopausal experience and what foods can cause, exacerbate and relieve menopausal symptoms.  Book your place now - Eating Well: Menopause

For more events and activities please see the University online booking system (PDMS).

Wellbeing with Waterstons

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Matt Haig has been open and honest with his battles with depression and in this book, he uses his personal experiences to offer support and advice to readers on how to stay happy and human in the 21st century. His writing is timely, witty and a must read for everyone who feels a little bit nervous on our planet.


Am I ugly? by Michelle Elman

Michelle Elman is a leading part of the body positivity movement that has been gathering momentum to liberate people from these unrealistic standards, recognise that all bodies are equally valuable and broaden the billboard definitions of beauty. Am I Ugly? is this inspiring woman's compelling and deeply personal memoir.



Cheer Up Love by Susan Calman

After receiving a positive and overwhelming response to her writing about mental health, Susan Calman was inspired to continue her discussion of how she has survived with depression. Using the Crab of Hate, her personification of her depression, she describes how the crab has helped provide her with her best and worst moments. Susan's writing is inspiring, informative and a reminder that you are not alone.

April 2019 - Love Later Life

Love Later Life logo


Love Later Life workshop - April 30th

Each of the 4 sessions in the workshop:

  • Financial and Tax,

  • Health and Wellbeing,

  • Legal,

  • Work Options

is designed to get you thinking through personal reflection and small group discussion so that you leave with a clear personal action plan of next steps: what to do, where to go, and who else to talk to about your specific situations.  Local professionals will deliver these, and all advice will be impartial.

Book your place now on April 30th 09.30-16.45

Menopause 2019 Festival

On 26th and 27th April the Menopause Festival returns to Perth Theatre with presentations, marketplace stalls, creative workshops, film, panel discussions and stand-up comedy. All ages and genders welcome.


For more details and how to buy tickets please visit the Festival webpage


10K for Marie Curie: 8th June

Join us for this annual walk in aid of Marie Curie. Staff, friends, family, and even dogs are all welcome!  The route takes in some of St Andrews' most iconic sites and will take around 3.5 hours at a comfortable pace.

For those doing the Step Count Challenge this is a great way to combine stepping and spending time with family and friends!

To register your interest please fill in our online form

Wellbeing with Waterstones

Me.You. Not a Diary (Dawn French)

Dawn French has created a spectacular book which encourages readers to document and reflect on the patterns and changes from the year. It is a perfect accompaniment for those who wish to create their own happiness and is perfect for reflecting on the current year or the years still to come.




Menopause: The one-Stop Guide (Kathy Abernethy)

Kathy Abernethy is an award-winning Menopause Specialist Nurse and is the current chair of the British Menopause Society, with over twenty years of experience in the field. The book provides clear and helpful information about the symptoms, help, treatment and staying positive. An essential book to understand the menopause.



 With the End in Mind (Kathryn Mannix)

Dr Kathryn Mannix has collated over thirty stories of humans facing death to help break the biggest taboo of our society: death. She answers intimate questions about the process and offers help, reassurance, and encouragement to all: the grieving and bereaved, ill and healthy.


March - Heart & Lungs month


CPR & Defibrilator training


Book Now: March 27th 12.30-13.30

Help raise the survival rate for out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK by learning CPR.  This brief class with Henry Rae and Mike Fearons, University First Aiders, will teach the Instinctive CPR method. There is very little to remember, but learning the method will give you the confidence to believe you could cope with a  real emergency.


No experience is required - just come along and get hands-on!  This class is also suitable as a refresher for those who have previously had training but have not done CPR for a while.

How healthy is your heart?

Find out with the NHS Check Your Heart Age Tool

Diabetes a major risk factor for heart disease

According to the British Heart Foundation, 'Diabetes causes damage to your blood vessels. This makes you two to three times more likely to develop heart and circulatory conditions like coronary heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia.'

Find out more with the BHF's 'Diabetes and your heart' booklet which can be downloaded here.

If you are concerned you may be at risk of high blood sugar, make an appointment to see your GP.

NHS guidance states 'Symptoms of hyperglycaemia in people with diabetes ‌tend to develop slowly over a few days or weeks. In some cases, there may be no symptoms until the blood sugar level is very high. Symptoms of hyperglycaemia include:

  • increased thirst and a dry mouth

  • needing to pee frequently

  • tiredness

  • blurred vision

  • unintentional weight loss

  • recurrent infections, such as thrush, bladder infections (cystitus) and skin infections

  • tummy pain

  • feeling or being sick

  • breath that smells fruity'


Scottish Workplace Journey Challenge

The aim of the Challenge is to get as many people as possible commuting to work by walking, cycling, public transport and lift-sharing. You can log your journeys for business travel too. 

Anyone who works for an organisation in Scotland can take part. 

It’s great fun and Sustrans will be giving out loads of prizes along the way. Compete on your own or as part of a workplace or workplace team. All you have to do is register and then start logging your journeys to get on the leaderboard.

For more info visit:

Wellbeing with Waterstones

Fragile Lives (Prof Stephen Westaby)

Professor Westaby has saved hundreds of lives in his thirty-five year career as a heart surgeon, and has written this poignant memoir recalling some of his most remarkable and challenging cases. The book offers a fascinating and in-depth insight into the world of heart surgery and how it feels to play a vital role in saving someone's life.



 Cut Your Cholestrol (Dr Sarah Brewster)

Although cholesterol is essential for good health, high levels can lead to serious health issues. In her book, Dr Brewster provides useful information about cholesterol and how to identify whether you may have raised cholesterol levels. She introduces a clinically proven three-month programme to help you manage your health and cholesterol.



 Stop Smoking with CBT (Dr Max Pemberton)

Dr Pemberton has spent several years helping people to overcome addiction and as a former smoker, he understands how difficult it can be to quit. In his book, he teaches readers to overcome smoking with a range of mind-training tools which will encourage you to quit for good. He also provides useful information about how to kick any habits and to avoid pitfalls to avoid to prevent starting again.

February 2019 - Love Yourself month


Hands in the shape of a heart in the sun.

During February, we’re encouraging you to Love Yourself:

  • Eat well with our Fresh Produce Giveaway! Be one of 50 staff members selected to receive 2KG of fresh fruit and vegetables - FREE! Register by emailing

  • Give yourself a health MOT!It's easy to get bogged down in the day to day routine, but don't forget to look after yourself too. There are a few appointments and easy habits you can make to ensure you are keeping yourself in the best possible health. A 20 minute eye appointment could reduce eye strain, or getting that niggly tooth fixed would make meals more enjoyable. And of course, if there is some health issue that has just been making you wonder if you should do something, whether an ache, persistent cough, mole or lump, make that GP appointment. Appointments to think about making:

There may be other appointments that you need to make depending on your circumstances for example any Family History Flags. If you have anything that runs in the family, make sure you are up to date with any checks specific to your own family history.

If you haven't signed up to a dental practice or GP, this is as good a time as any, before any problems arise.

Love Your Smile with Gentle Dental Care

Gentle Dental Care (in St Andrews) is offering a FREE New Patient Assesment (worth £85) to any University member of staff signing up for a 12-month membership plan.  This offer is only available until 1st June.

The New Patient Assessment is a 30-minute appointment which includes screening for gum disease, mouth cancer and x-rays.

Contact details for the dental practice - email: or tel: 01334 475 433

And because prevention is better than a cure, check yourself:  

Make those appointments you've been meaning to get round to - you are worth it!

Wellbeing with Waterstones

Calm by Fearne Cotton

Finding calm is Fearne Cotton's mission as she teaches us to find simple things which will divert us away from stress towards the good stuff.  Although at times it can feel as though everything is busy and it's impossible to relax, Fearne emphasizes the value of finding calm.  Her writing is honest, reassuring and filled with helpful advice which anyone can use in their daily life.


The Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer

The idea is simple: using fresh ingredients and minimal prep time, these recipes are all made quickly in the oven and are perfect for those with busy lives.  The recipes are divided into several different categories featuring veggie feasts, supergrains, fish and roasts.  A great accompaniment to any kitchen looking for new, feel-good, and exciting foods to try.


Love for Imperfect Things by Haemin Sunim

We may be aware of our flaws, but Haemin argues we should embrace these qualities and celebrate them.  Only then are we able to benefit from stronger relationships with those who are important to us.  A great read to remind yourself how special you are and how to love yourself.



January 2019 - Physical Fitness month


Get your new year off to an active start with some physical exercise. Why not try:


Wellbeing & Engagement Group

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

Sign up to the Well Now! newsletter email:

Related links

    Calendar archives

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

    2018 calendar

    2017 calendar

    2016 calendar

    2015 calendar