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.

Tackling loneliness

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Loneliness is something that everyone feels at some point in their lives and each of our experiences are individual to us. To find out more about loneliness and what can cause and contribute to it, take a look at Mind’s website.

We’ve pulled together some information on how to build connections and meet others. We hope you find this useful and remember, you can always reach out for support if you need help.

To find out how to access any wellbeing support you need, visit our wellbeing support information.

Tips to help with loneliness

Watch this short video from Mind for tips to help you with loneliness. 

Connect with others at UWE Bristol

University events

Take part in UWE Bristol events. The University hosts a wide range of activities throughout the year, from Feel Good to workshops and socials.

MOVE

This year MOVE membership, usually £40, is FREE! There are over 40 activities to get involved in – from football and hiking to Zumba and yoga – and it’s a great way to get active and meet new people!

The Centre for Music

The Centre for Music is open for members. Join them for music software tutorials, music lessons or music masterclass events. It’s free to become a member and it’s a great way to learn new skills and meet new people.

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to meet others, all whilst doing something great that makes you feel good. You can take part as little or as often as you like, and you’ll meet people whilst helping your community.

Connect with others through The Students’ Union

Events

The Students’ Union at UWE host a range of events to keep you connected to fellow students.

Societies

Get involved with The Students’ Union at UWE societies – it’s a great way to meet like-minded people who share your interests, learn new skills and most importantly, have fun!

The Discord networking platform

Join the Discord networking platform to meet and chat to other UWE Bristol Students online.

Hallslife

If you live on campus, HallsLife is here to help you feel at home at UWE Bristol. Throughout the year they organise events and competitions that you can get involved with. This is a great way to meet others living in halls accommodation.

Connect with others in the community

Meetup

Meetup is a great way to meet other people in your local area (events and group sessions are currently online). Browse groups by interest (like health and wellness, film, technology) or search for groups near you. Millions of people use Meetup and there should always be likeminded people nearby.

Time outdoors

Time outdoors provides a list of activity clubs in your local area, such as walking, running, climbing and cycling groups.

FriendMatch

FriendMatch works like a dating site, but matches people up with new friends rather than dates. Meet new friends near you, or connect with others around the world. There is a small fee of £4 per month to use the site.

Do It

Volunteering is another good way to meet other people. Search opportunities near you using Do It, the national database of volunteering.

Find support in the community

Befriending

Sign up for an informal weekly phone chat with Changes Bristol Befriending Service. Befrienders are trained volunteers who are happy to listen to you speak about how you’re feeling, what challenges you’re facing and how you’re coping.

Student Space

Student Space offer free, confidential, one-to-one support by text, webchat, phone and email. They’re there to help with whatever challenge your facing whether it’s loneliness, mental health, studies, money, relationships or isolation.

Mind’s online community

It’s a powerful thing to connect with someone else over shared experiences. Side by Side is an online community where you can listen, share and be heard.