Find the joy in January

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We know, it’s cheesy but once the festive cheer has passed, assessments might be looming and everything™ is a bit, well, rubbish; the start of the year can feel pretty bleak. The holidays aren’t full of joy for everyone, and especially if you’ve returned home from uni for the first time since starting – or, haven’t been able to – things might be feeling heavier than usual.

We’re here to help you along and make sure you find some joy in January. It might be harder to find, but it’s worth it – we promise!

  • Look after yourself. You know the drill: a varied diet, plenty of sleep, and daily movement will all help you feel your best. Really.
  • Take January at your own pace. It’s the first chapter of the year: don’t feel you need to jump straight into the action if you don’t want to. If you’re setting goals, make them realistic and start small. Easy wins, for the win!
  • Make plans to look forward to! For January and beyond, schedule time amongst your studies to relax, recharge and reconnect with your people.
  • Stuck for ideas? Feel Good Fortnight is coming up, or check the UWE events calendar in the meantime for things to do on campus.
  • Do a good deed. Big or small: leave a 5-star review for your favourite café, buy a coffee for a friend, or search for volunteering opportunities online or in the local area. You’ll make someone’s day, and it feels good to do good.
  • It’s annoying but it’s true; you really DO feel better after exercise. Get moving – just 10 minutes a day will help! Who knows, once you’ve started you might just carry on..? And don’t forget – your MOVE membership is free, make the most of it!
  • Find your rhythm. Keeping up with regular routines, however small, will support your mental health.
  • Feeling the freeze? Make use of warm spaces on our campuses – they are here for you. Free meals on campus will continue, and from 9 January to 5 March you can get free hot drinks in Frenchay’s SU if you bring your own cup. 
  • Ultimately – take what you need from this list. You know you best, and you know when it’s time to do something different.

Your University Health Centre

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by the University Health Centre

Did you know we have our very own doctors’ surgery right in the heart of Frenchay Campus?

It’s open to all UWE Bristol students, no matter which campus you’re studying at. You can stay registered with us for your whole time at university, which means you won’t have to worry about finding another doctor as you move in your second and third year. Plus, as we work in partnership with The Old School Surgery in Fishponds, registering with us means you’ll be automatically registered with them too. Effectively you’re getting two doctors’ surgeries for one!

It’s easy to register online and registering now means that we’ll be able to get your records from your previous GP so that we’re ready to treat you if you need us. It also means you won’t have to worry about going through the registration process or finding a walk-in centre when you actually need to see a doctor – you can just book an appointment with us without all the extra hassle.

And don’t worry – you can still see your previous GP if you go home for the holidays. You’ll just need to see them as a temporary patient. It won’t affect your registration with us in Bristol and you can easily re-register with them if you move back home once you’ve finished your course.

So why register with us?

We make it really easy for you to book appointments that fit around your lectures – you can even do it online. We only book appointments up to five days in advance, which means you’ll be seen quickly – no more waiting weeks to see a doctor. And if you need to be seen urgently we’ll make sure we see you on the day, either at the University Health Centre or just up the road at The Old School Surgery.

We’ve got a great team based at the Health Centre, made up of GPs, nurses and same day Urgent Care Practitioners. We also have three Mental Health Nurses, Ciaran, Naomi and Hillary who are available to assist you with any concerns or support you might need whilst you are studying at UWE. We’re a friendly bunch and you can talk to us about anything – trust us, we really have heard it all before!

We offer all of your standard GP services, including appointments, blood tests, travel vaccines, sexual health advice and free chlamydia screening kits. We can arrange your MenACWY vaccination, which protects you against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia, if you didn’t have it before you arrived – and we really recommend that you have it. We also work in partnership with the University’s Wellbeing Service, offering you support for your mental health and wellbeing. We’ll refer you to other services in and around Bristol where required, to make sure you get all the medical help you need.

Remember that some common minor health concerns like coughs, colds, hayfever or an upset stomach don’t need to be seen by a doctor, unless they last for more than a week. Pop in to talk to your local pharmacist for advice – they’re experts who can recommend certain medications that you can take without a prescription. If the doctors’ surgery or pharmacy is closed, you can call NHS 111 for urgent medical advice.

If you’re an international student our healthcare system may be different to what you’re used to – don’t worry, we’re here to explain everything you need to know. Most services such as GP consultations and emergency treatment are free for everyone. You may need to pay for prescriptions, dental treatment and sight tests – although most students can get these at a reduced cost or free (just complete an application form). Doctors’ surgeries don’t provide eye tests or dental check ups – you can find an optician or a dentist through the NHS website.

Remember, we’re here to help you so that you can get on with your studies and fully enjoy your university experience – so register with us now!

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