Your December Feel Good Focus

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by the Feel Good Team

This time of year might seem all glitz and glam, but that often isn’t the case for everyone, so it’s important to look after your wellbeing and to keep in touch with your friends and family.

Here are some of our top tips to help look after your wellbeing during this time:

Talk about your feelings

When things are difficult or if you are feeling down, it is always a good thing to try and talk to someone. Message your friends, family or even speak to the university about how you are feeling.

Talking about how you feel always helps. Another idea is to write things down as it can help if you are feeling anxious. And remember that UWE Bristol are always here for you with a number of support options available to you if you need them.

Look after your health and wellbeing

Even though it is cold, it is important to try and stay active. Perhaps go for a short mindful walk around campus or around where you live. Try and not just walk, but take in what is around you, breathe in the fresh air and look at the different colours of the leaves on the trees.

Keeping active and being mindful can help you relax and improve your wellbeing. If you are more into activities rather than walking, sign up to get a free MOVE membership card from the Centre for Sport.

Be kind

Being kind helps give you a sense of feeling good since you have done good, which helps improve your wellbeing. This year, try volunteering some of your time. You can always look on the UWE volunteering page for current volunteering opportunities, or you can contact local homes or charities.

If you can’t give your time why not donate some old clothes to the salvation army or blankets to animal rescues. Many charities also allow you to buy presents or packages for specific causes, like the Hartlepool Giving Tree where you can presents for children.

Treat yourself

This time of year, is for giving, but don’t forget to also treat yourself. This could be from binge watching that TV show, watching Christmas movies, buying that thing you have wanted for ages or eating a little too much (as we all do this time of year).  Giving yourself a treat will help boost your mood and will make you feel happier.

Events to look out for

There’s always something going on at UWE Bristol especially during the festive period! Keep your eye out on the UWE events diary and The Students’ Union What’s on page for updated events and activities to get involved in.

And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for all things festive Feel Good!

Your November Feel Good Focus

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by the Feel Good Team

Hello November! Well hasn’t that come around very quickly.

We hope that you are all settled in and finding your feet. However, if you are not feeling ok, it’s ok! You have to remember that you’re not alone and others are also feeling the same way.

Being at university can feel like a lot sometimes and it can become overwhelming, especially when you start having deadlines. But don’t feel like you need to tackle the stress and worry alone. It’s important to get in touch if you feel you need some help or support – our kind staff here at UWE Bristol are here to help you.

It also doesn’t help that the days are getting shorter leading to people suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or the ‘winter blues’. Symptoms can include lack of energy, change of appetite or feeling sad, low or hopeless.

If you feel that you are suffering from this, here are some tips to help manage and overcome the winter blues:

Keep active

Even though it’s cold outside, make sure you get out during the day to get as much daylight as possible. Exercise is a great mood booster so whether it’s a short walk, run or going to the gym or a class, it can really help get those endorphins flowing. Why not make the most of this year’s free MOVE membership and try a class?

Eat well

When the days get shorter the amount of vitamin D we get from the sun decreases which is why many people feel the symptoms of SAD or generally feel unwell through the winter months. Make sure you’re getting vitamin D in your diet instead, by eating foods like oily fish, or by taking daily supplements.

Some people also find that they want to eat more during winter or snack more regularly. If that’s how you’re feeling, make sure you’re eating a balanced diet whilst also allowing yourself a treat!

Try something new

Try to take up a new hobby, whether it’s writing a blog, sewing, juggling or making banana bread, as it will give your mind something to concentrate on that you enjoy.

And finally…talk about it

Just talking to someone about your feelings and worries can make you feel better. Speaking to friends and family can work well as they know you best and can often give you the support you need.

But if you don’t want to talk to family or friends and are finding something difficult, don’t suffer in silence. Take a look at our wellbeing support options and find the help that you need. From counselling through the Wellbeing Service, to same day support and self-help, there’s always somewhere to turn.

Your October Feel Good Focus

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by the Feel Good team

What a welcome! We hope that you’re settling into university life here at UWE Bristol.

This month’s Feel Good Focus includes different recipes for you to try at home, more ways to get active, ways to relax and new things to try!

Eat well

Now we are fully into autumn, it seems to be that time of year where we fancy ‘cosy’ kind of meals. Especially foods packed with vitamins to help us now we will have less sunlight and to help build are immune systems. Here are a few of our favourite winter recipes!

Meat: Spiced Chicken, Spinach and Sweet Potato Stew

Vegetarian: Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Vegan: Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Get active

Even though the weather and cold can be off putting, it is important to try and stay active. UWE MOVE are kindly offering free MOVE passes for all UWE students normally costing £40 – how great is that!

The MOVE pass allows you to have access to a variety of weekly sessions such as meditation, badminton, touch rugby and more. It’s a great way to get active, clear your mind, improve your health and to make friends along the way.

You can view the timetable online or you can book through the Bristol Sport App. The sessions are flexible and all about having fun.

Relax

Starting a new course or a new year of studies can feel intense at times. Just remember to put some time aside each week for yourself. Your mental and physical health is the most important thing. You can watch that Netflix episode or you could check out what events The Students’ Union at UWE are running.

How I settled into University life

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by Salma, BSc(Hons) Architecture

I’ll never forget my first trip to get groceries. I had just arrived in Bristol and as I was heading to Lidl, I may or may not have walked into random strangers’ backyards trying to get there. It was also my first-time using Google Maps and my, what an invention!

People who don’t see the need to use maps and rely solely on signs scare me.

Luckily as I got to know my flatmates, we started going grocery shopping together. Soon, what seemed like an hour-long walk felt like nothing. It started out with a simple text in our group chat that went something like, “I’m going grocery shopping tomorrow, would any of you like to join me?” It’s very normal for the first few weeks, or sometimes even the first couple of months to be awkward, but these little walks to Asda or Lidl really helped me get to know my housemates better.

Cooking with flatmates

In my first year at UWE I lived in Wallscourt with fellow international students and one thing I learnt from living with people from different cultures is that offering to try your food is the best way to make a friend. You also get to try theirs the next time, so it is a win. Living in a multicultural house also gave me the opportunity to celebrate things like Eid, Diwali, and Chinese new year’s. These were also opportunities to cook together, share a meal and educate one another about our cultures. It is a gradual process.

During the lockdown last December, I decided to stay in university accommodation so I spent the Christmas holidays mostly in my room and with my flatmates. We would hold movie nights and bond over some popcorn and crisps. One of my favourite recipes to make for my flatmates was these quick and easy cinnamon rolls .

Eating well

Before coming to university, the closest I got to ‘cooking’ was ramen noodles. But now I’ve learned some recipes from my flatmates, I’ve come to really enjoy cooking!

There’s something about having your own stuff, which has it’s own place in the kitchen that also makes cooking much more appealing. And when you’re in charge of your own food, it’s much easier to make healthier changes to your diet that you’ve always dreamt of. I switched to brown bread, gradually reduced my sugar intake and switched to plant-based milk cutting down my dairy intake. This did wonders for my skin and if my skin is happy, I’m happy!

Joining a society

During my first year, I joined the BAME society and the Built Environment society. I wanted to join societies that catered to both my social identity and my academic side. Joining these societies helped me get used to university life, as I met students from other years who’d had more experience and could give me advice. Although covid restrictions limited my interaction with other people, joining a society and meeting my course mates during the campus workshops, allowed me to make those all important connections and build my own community.

Mindfulness and meditation

During the lockdown last December, I decided to stay in university accommodation so I spent the Christmas holidays mostly in my room and with my flatmates. We would hold movie nights and bond over some popcorn and crisps.

Day to day though, I like to keep a routine and it’s important for me that I start my day by dedicating an hour or two to myself. I normally start by having toast with coffee/tea and then read a portion of a book and then watch some vlogs and cooking videos on YouTube. I also try to reserve 20 minutes before going to bed to meditate and I’m an avid believer of spiritual healing through prayer.

It’s important to remember that there will always be days when everything gets overwhelming and it’s not easy to stay focused no matter what you do. On such days, I just let myself feel the feelings and remember that it’s ok to have a good cry if needed.

For more advice on how to settle in and start your year well visit the Feel Good webpage!

Your September Feel Good Focus

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by the Feel Good Team

Whether you’re just starting your journey at UWE or returning for another year, September is an exciting time for everyone!

But don’t worry if you’re also feeling a little bit daunted, we’ve been busy planning a variety of activities to help you eat well, get active, relax and try something new, to start the year in a healthy, fun way!

What is Feel Good and Feel Good Fortnight?

The Feel Good programme is based on healthy behaviours for your wellbeing. Feel Good Fortnight takes place in September and promotes a healthy way to kick off your time at university. We want to help you to plan your meals and learn to cook new things, meet new people, find a new sport or hobby and to learn how to relax yourself when you come under stressful times.

Eat well

Eating well helps you stay energised and helps your physical and mental health. Ways on doing this would be to try a veggie or vegan meal and to stay hydrated throughout the day. Vegan meals can seem a bit daunting to make if you have never done so before. Why not try one of these 15 easy vegan recipes once you’ve moved in? Trying new meals could be something to do as a flat or with a group of friends.

Get active

By getting active, it’ll not only keep us physically healthy, but it helps to manage stress and boost our mood. Getting active outdoors has been proven to boost your mental health. Ways to get active at UWE can range from our UWE Move programme to trying a variety of different activities, or by trying out a range of easy walking routes around our campuses.

Our favourite places to walk include Stoke Park which has lovely views and isn’t too far Frenchay Campus. You can also take a walk to Snuff Mills and Oldbury Court Estate if you’re based at Glenside. And for students studying at Bower Ashton, you’ve got the beautiful Ashton Court right on your doorstep. In this video Fashion Textiles student Imogen, takes us on a tour of Ashton Court, one of her favourite stress-relieving locations in Bristol!

Relax

Moving to university can be a stressful time and it’s vital to ensure you relax to focus on your wellbeing. Make sure that when studying you have small breaks to help re-energise and try some mindfulness or meditation. The Calm app is a great way to try some mindfulness or create a Spotify playlist full of relaxing calm music.

When studying, the Flipd app is great as it sets a certain amount of time for you to study so you can have short breaks. You can also work in groups on the app so you and friends can study together and motivating quotes come up before you start a new session, which is a lovely touch!

Try something new

Trying something new can be challenging and exciting! It can improve your sense of wellbeing and perhaps help you find a new hobby. At UWE, we have a range of activities you can try. At the welcome events, if you see a sport club or society you’ve considered doing in the past, sign up and give it a go! You will connect with new people and develop skills.

And don’t forget to check out our friends at Centre for Sport or Centre for Music.

Feel Good giveaway

We’re also doing a giveaway on our social media platforms, so make sure you are following us on Instagram and Twitter!

This giveaway will be spread across the Feel Good Fortnight events, with prizes related to the Feel Good themes, so keep your eyes peeled for some exciting goodies!