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The Counselling, Mental Health and Wellbeing team at UCLan are available to support you on 01772 893020 or Wellbeing@uclan.ac.uk 
Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing and now more than ever, it is increasingly important to look after ourselves. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.

Connect 

There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. 
 
It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages. 
 
Try to do something different today and make a connection: 
 
·           Talk to someone face to face or give them a call 
·           Speak to someone new 
·           Sign up to a Sports Club or a Society 
 

Take Notice  

Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities. Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations. 
 
Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas: 
 
·           Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day 
·           Go for a walk, put your phone in your pocket and take in the scenery.
            Why not give one of our UCLan walking routes a try to explore the campus and beyond
·           Visit a new place for lunch, dependent on the current restrictions in your area 
 

Give 

Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research. Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. 
Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing. 
 
Why not try some of the ideas below: 
 
·       Fundraise for a charity close to your heart 
·       Do a Random Act of Kindness for someone 
·       Volunteer your time to help someone in need.
 
 

Be Active 

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. 
 
Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being but it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good - slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise. 
 
Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas: 
 
·           Take the stairs instead of the lift 
·           Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to uni/work 
·           Sign up to a Sports Club or a Society.
·           Make use of your free gym membership at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre.
·           Get up 15 minutes earlier and try a Yoga practise. Unsure where to start? Give this Sunrise Yoga practise a go:
 
 

Keep Learning 

Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem, encourages social interaction and leads to a more active life. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression. 
 
Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas: 
 
·           Sign up for a language elective as part of your course.
·           Set up, or join, a book club 
·           Try out a new recipe and prepare tea for your flatmates/family 
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