Wellbeing tips – physical and mental health

Studying and working at home for a long period of time is not something that any of us have been used to be before, but it is becoming something of a ‘new normal’. During this time, it is vital that we stay connected with our classmates, friends, colleagues and those we socialise with.

The College’s Wellbeing team is available to support you and has provided this list of tips and advice to help us while we all #StayAtHome.
The Wellbeing team along with useful information can also be accessed via Moodle.

Below are some tips to help you keep physically fit and stay mentally healthy during this time.

Stay hydrated, eat healthy food and boost your immune system

This really does make a difference to our mood, increases our energy and stops us feeling sluggish. Try a new smoothie recipe, like this one from BBC Good Food. Please also keep an eye on the College’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where our Professional Cookery and Hospitality team are posting recipes for you to try at home.

Get active, even if you’re stuck indoors, move and stretch

Make some physical activity part of your daily routine at regular times in the day. Our Sport and Fitness lecturer Scott Hislen has created a series of home workouts for you to try. Watch them on the College Facebook page.

You could also try out Joe Wicks’ daily PE lessons.

If you are planning on taking your exercise outdoors (walk, run or cycle) please make sure you continue to observe the Social Distancing measures which are in place to protect us all. Stay at least 2 metres away from others and only stay out for as long as necessary.

Take 5 minutes to sit still and breathe

Using breathing techniques as part of daily life can really help with managing anxiety – here’s a good link to a simple technique: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/ways-relieve-stress/

Further examples of breathing exercises are available for free on the Headspace app.

Find a fun way to do an extra 15 minutes of physical activity

Why not set yourself a challenge, how far a distance can you get within 15 minutes by walking and can you start to pick up the pace to get further within this time? Exercise has a massive positive impact on your mental health, relieves stress, improves memory, can help you sleep better and boosts your overall mood.

Remember to keep observing Social Distancing measures if you plan to do this outwith your home or garden and only do this during your one permitted form of outdoor exercise a day.

Connect with nature. Breath and notice life continuing

As we come into spring, flowers are starting to blossom and nature is coming alive so why not spend some time enjoying it. Go for a walk, run, cycle or relax in your garden. Enjoy being outside breathing in the fresh air and noticing the nature around you. This is also good for our mental health.

If you are out of your home and garden, please continue to observe the Social Distancing measures and guidelines on exercise which are in place to protect us all.

Have a tech-free day. Stop scrolling and turn off the news.

It’s good to keep up-to-date on what’s going on in the world and with family and friends, and of course College work, but this can also cause stress and anxiety for people. Why not pick a day and set yourself the goal of not watching the news and not going on social media? Instead think of other ways that you can relax such as:

  • Going for a walk (make sure to observe Social Distancing rules at all times)
  • Painting or colouring in
  • Reading a book
  • Baking or cooking

Enjoy washing your hands – remember and be grateful for all they do for you

Current advice around hand washing may trigger particular anxieties for some of us. Try to keep it in perspective as far as possible, and use it as an opportunity for some self-care and nurturing. You could try using some soothing hand cream to give yourself a gentle hand massage.  

Here is some helpful guidance:

https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/tips-for-coping-with-ocd-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Make time for self-care.  Do something kind for yourself

It is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself as it produces positive feelings and boosts your confidence and self-esteem. It also lets you remind yourself that your needs and health are important too.

Get good sleep – no screens before bed or when waking up

At a time of increased anxiety and uncertainty, it’s really important we find a way to promote restful sleep, using a lot of the suggestions about exercising and breathing techniques will help. More useful help can be found via the link below, including lots of information about general wellbeing, and a dedicated section on sleep.

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

Put your worries into perspective and try and let them go.

Sometimes we can worry too much about things and this causes us anxiety and stress. However, you could try and put your worries into perspective as well as trying to let them go. Try this technique:

  1. Identify when you are worrying
  2. Identify whyyou are worrying
  3. Try to relax as soon as you start worrying
  4. Separate fact from fiction
  5. Devote time to worry
  6. Go easy on yourself
  7. Get moving

Remember that you can contact our Wellbeing team on wellbeing@edinburghcollege.ac.uk if you want to talk about how you’re feeling.

Further resources include:

A directory of local and national support organisations which offer support in a variety of areas

A list of online resources and self-help apps

Home study guides from our Student Experience team