Wellbeing &

Mindfulness

Whilst you are studying with us, your wellbeing is our priority. We want to help make sure that you are feeling happy, content and fulfilled so that you are successful in your course.

 

There’s so many things you can do to give yourself a well-deserved boost but how about trying these 5 steps to a happier, more positive life.

1. Connect with the people around you. Your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.

2. You don't have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. 

3. Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike?

4. Even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.

5. Be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.

SELF CARE CHALLENGE

Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it's a simple concept, in theory, it's something we very often overlook as a last priority but good self-care is actually key to an improved mood and reduced anxiety. 

We all tend to think the worst of ourselves when under a lot of stress, but feeling anxious, low, scared, angry or frustrated are all normal reactions to the unprecedented and uncertain circumstances we are in. The next time you realise you're being too hard on yourself and feel like you need a break, try these simple practices for looking after yourself. You don’t have to follow them exactly or in this order but it’s a great starting point to help you focus on your wellbeing and find new ways of self-care. You may even find it more fun to follow along with a friend so you can talk about how you're finding it.

Day 1: Unplug

That's right, step away from your iPhone, turn off the TV, it's time to re-wire your brain.

Day 4: Treat yourself

If you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else, can I get an Amen?! 

Day 7: Random act of kindness

When you make a cuppa for a friend, it's like giving them a hug in a mug.  

Day 2: Listen to a podcast

Give your ears a treat with our conclusive list of every great podcast available. 

Day 5: Get moving

It's time to move it, move it. It's time to move it, move it. It's time to.. MOVE IT!

Day 8: Practice mindfulness

Feeling anxious and out of control? Give mindful thinking a try!  

Day 3: Spend time in nature 

Remember that bit in Cinderella where the birds dress her?? TODAY THAT'S YOU!

Day 6: Write about it

Dear diary, the 10 Days of Self Care Challenge is the best thing ever!  

Day 9: Declutter

It's the final day of the challenge but this doesn't have to be the end, reuse these tips any time you like!

 
 

HOW TO BE MORE MINDFUL

Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you can also be called "mindfulness". Practising mindfulness aims to help you:

  • become more self-aware

  • feel calmer and less stressed

  • feel more comfortable to choose how to respond to your thoughts and feelings

  • cope with difficult or unhelpful thoughts

  • be kinder towards yourself.

Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness. Try these simple tips to practicing mindfulness; 

1. NOTICE THE EVERYDAY. Make an effort to avoid ‘autopilot’. Focus on the details of what you’re doing, eating, seeing and spend time enjoying those things.

2. KEEP IT REGULAR. It can be helpful to pick a regular time during which you decide to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you – your morning walk to Uni for example. 

3. WATCH YOUR THOUGHTS. It can be very easy to let thoughts and worries crowd your mind as soon as you try to relax, mindfulness isn't about making these thoughts go away, but rather about seeing them as mental events that you can think on for a moment and then allow them to leave your mind.

4. NAME THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. To develop an awareness of thoughts and feelings, some people find it helpful to silently name them so instead of "I might fail that exam" think: "this is anxiety".

5. FREE YOURSELF FROM THE PAST AND FUTURE. You can practise mindfulness anywhere, but it can be especially helpful to take a mindful approach if you realise that, for several minutes, you have been trapped in reliving past problems or pre-living future worries.

As well as practising more everyday mindfulness, you may find it really helpful to dedicate time for some meditation, yoga or more formal mindfulness practise.  Setting aside just a little time every day can have some real benefits. Why not try our MOVE Yoga classes?

student.union@leeds-art.ac.uk

0113 202 8296

Leeds Arts University

Blenheim Walk

Leeds

United Kingdom

LS2 9AQ

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