We all have mental health – it exists on a spectrum. Like physical health, in order to maintain good mental health, we need to have some healthy habits and routines in place.  This is where the 5 ways to wellbeing can help you. These are 5 evidenced based steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Read on below to find out more:

1. Connect with others

Connecting with those around you is important to staying well – whether that’s friends, family or peers.  You can find new people to connect with every day in your life as a student. Through your course, accommodation, clubs and societiessport, the chaplaincy and the wider university community.

If you’re looking for new ways to meet people come to Café Connect – where students are invited to discuss positive messages around self-care and wellness while having a free hot drink. It’s a great place to chat to with others, watch a 10 minute Ted Talk and learn something new.

Find out how to connect with us in Student Support Services.  We can help you get ready for university life, make valuable connections while you’re here, and maintain a happy and healthy mind-set – as well as helping you navigate through difficult times or experiences.    

2. Get active

Exercising, moving and getting outside all help you to feel good and change your mood. Whether it’s trying a new sport, taking a break to walk around the loch, getting involved in the Community Wellbeing gardening club, going to the gymswimming or doing a yoga class – getting active will make a massive difference to your wellbeing.

3. Learn something new

Coming to university is a great opportunity to embrace new experiences. When you first arrive learning new skills can really help with this transition time – such as cooking, managing your money and study skills.

It’s also a chance to try something completely different – and Stirling is the perfect place to do it. Whether you join one of the hundreds of clubs and societies, try a new sport, get creative, learn a language, try gardening or learn yoga – there are opportunities everywhere. Surprise yourself. 

4. Give

Giving your time, your words, your presence or your skills are some of the many ways to feel happier and more fulfilled. Whether it’s the small act of saying hello, smiling, thanking someone – or volunteering for a charity or to be a buddy to a new student, there are limitless ways to give back. 

5. Take notice

Being aware of the world around you, noticing the changing seasons, appreciating a cup of coffee or a chat with a friend, taking a deep breath, noticing how you are feeling, going to a meditation or yoga class are some of the ways you can take notice and be more mindful in your life, reduce stress and feel calmer and happier.

This week is Wellbeing Week and a perfect opportunity to explore each of the 5 ways to wellbeing. If you haven’t yet had a chance to get involved, it’s not too late.

During semester time, there are activities happening every week based around the 5 ways to wellbeing. Look out for the new Wellbeing Calendar, launching in the next few days, which is an easy way to find out what’s on offer.

There are times in life when it’s not possible to manage your mental health alone. This might be because of a specific event that has happened in your life, a sense of increasing stress which suddenly becomes unmanageable, an existing physical or mental health condition, a bereavement or relationship breakdown or re-emergence of distress relating to events that happened in the past.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, contact the Student Hub. We have a fantastic, approachable team of qualified mental health advisers, counsellors and Student Advisers, Chaplains, and Sexual Violence & Misconduct Liaison Offcers, who are all available to help, whether you are in crisis or just needing some extra guidance to stay on track.

Don’t hesitate to start the conversation early.  They can help you to get the support you need, even if that means referring you to partners who can help. They will work in partnership with you to find out what you need.

For more on the wellbeing support offered by the University of Stirling, as well as contact details of other organisations who can help, you can find out more information here

You can also #JustAsk and visit the Student Services Hub, call on 01786 466022 or email ask@stir.ac.uk and one of the team will make an appointment for you.