Feeling Blue? Here's what to do...

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Welcome to the 91st week of January (or so it feels).

We've got over #BlueMonday but there is still a way to go.  Read the helpful hints below to get through this meh time.  Please share your comments on your own tips that might help others keep on track

PLAN

Time to get your year in order!

  • Budget planning! No one wants to but it’s super helpful. EVERYONE feels the pinch, especially after winter break, start to think about your spending habits and see if you can start saving. There are even handy apps to do it for you like Yolt, Goodbudget Budget Planner, and Moneybox.
  • Declutter – an easy win. Declutter your car, workspace or bedroom. Clear space has strong positive links to a clear mind. Plus, you’ll be able to find all that stuff you thought you lost…
  • Keep a routine. Set a structure to your day and your body will thank you for it. Make sure it includes enough time to sleep and when to finish studying for the day. Remember it’s a goal not a deadline.
  • Book a holiday – or any future treat. Having something to look forward in your diary can significantly improve your mood. Then it makes milestones easier and a bonus pre-booked reward.

ALONE TIME

What you can do if you just fancy recharging your batteries on your own.

  • Happy Music – it sounds simple because it is. Turn up the volume and put on your favourite jams because music will release mood enhancing chemicals in the brain.
  • Take time to read a book – make sure it’s not related to your studies and isn’t too heavy going and it will do you the world of good. Reading helps you to utilise so many parts of the creative side of the brain. Download an app like Audible and you can get a free download too so you can play in the background while you do something else. E.g. adult colouring, washing up, sit in the dark and try not to let existential dread creep in…
  • Mindfulness and Meditation. Sometimes it’s not as boring as it sounds. Apps like Calm and Headspace offer guided meditations to help with things like creating sleeping patterns, getting over writer’s block, and improving your memory. Free trials for a lot of content so give it a try!
  • Binge-watch a boxset. An old favourite or a new gold mine it’s time to take the phone of the hook, log out of emails, and order dinner to your door (hello Dominos deals) because this is an evening for you.
  • Social Media Savvy – final thing for your best me-time experience is to take a break from social media and remember the world keeps turning even if you miss a phone call. Not many things need your immediate attention and bombarding your brain with blue light and #fomo thoughts is only going to bring your mood down. So do like the Mums say and PUT THAT DAMN PHONE DOWN

SOCIAL TIME

Getting out and about in your community has never been easier.

  • Pet your Pet -  Scientific fact has been proven: petting your pet for 10-30 mins a day can really improve your mood by decreasing your blood pressure, bringing you into ‘the moment’ and clearing the mind. If you don’t have a pet no worries, come along to see the doggos at Pets As Therapy here at the hub January 28th 1-3pm.
  • Days out. Get planning some days out and take a real break by doing something that takes you off campus and away from an environment of stress. If you are stuck for ideas don’t forget that there’s loads coming up this month like nights out in London, Crazy Golf and Ice Skating at super affordable prices. Head to gkunions.co.uk/activities/giveitago/ to view more.
  • Meeting Friends. The best way to beat the blues is to make time for old friends or create some news ones. Keep an eye out for activities with the Buddy Scheme logo if want to meet people in a fun and friendly environment.
  • Get Active – you all the know the drill. Being active even with a small amount of exercise does wonders for mind, body and soul. And that’s why we are such avid believers in our Team Medway Social programme where sports is SOCIAL. Everyone’s welcome.
  • Meet others like you and get advice based on your situation but with others who can share your experience. There are loads of people to chat to like Student Advice advice@gkunions.co.uk or wellbeing@kent.ac.uk or counselling@gre.ac.uk or medwaycampuschaplain@greenwich.ac.uk We told you there’s a lot!

TRY

The hardest step to take is the first one so here are some easy things to try at first.

  • Crafting – this gets talked about a lot because it works. Do ANYTHING which allows your brain to switch off for a while. It can be repairing a scratch on your car, painting a new picture frame or neatly writing out your notes (whatever floats your boat). Plus, you can then tick off an item from your to-do list.
  • SAD Lamp -  they are NHS approved. A simple light therapy lamp can really help with sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder (where we get moody and irritable from it being too cold and dark in Winter) because it gives us the sunlight we’ve been missing. And they aren’t all expensive! Try Aldi or Amazon to find yours.
  • Body Treat – why not create a tasty smoothie it’s fun to do and totally delicious. Your body will thank you! If you need inspiration for recipes try this link for 25 delicious ideas shorturl.at/tuwT2
  • Vitamins – this is the time of year of too much indulgence and not enough useful fuel. If your body needs a boost, make sure to take a vitamin or two (even if you need to buy a single vitamin water drink) to give your body the goodness its missing. Seek advice if you are conscious of clashes with medication.

Remember if you are feeling persistent low mood, anxieties or depression then you could benefit from having a chat with a friendly expert for more professional & tailored advice. You can ring Calm on 0800 58 58 58, Mind on 0300 123 3393, and Anxiety UK on 03444 775 774. Or you can visit gkunions.co.uk/advice/wellbeing/

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