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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 

Take a look through our Wellbeing activities, designed to support you throughout your learning journey at UCLan and beyond.

Assertiveness is a communication skill that requires being clear about your thoughts, wants and needs while still considering the thoughts, wants and needs of others. Assertiveness can be something that students struggle with especially if you have low confidence. Assertiveness is a good skill to develop as you can continue to use it throughout your life. This wellbeing activity gives some tips about how to become more assertive
Breathing. Throughout university life, you can go through a rollercoaster of emotions such as stress, anxiety or nervousness. These feelings are normal for any university student especially during anxiety provoking situations such as upcoming presentations, an exam or perhaps entering into a new social group. 

You have something at your disposal, it’s there 24/7 and it can help in these types of situations. Your breath. Learning to utilise calming breathing and controlling can help you immensely.
BREATHING.pdf 175.28 KB

Stress is a normal part of a uni life, due to challenges related to work-life balance, academic pressures, financial stress or external factors. Stress can sometimes become overwhelming due to not having healthy coping mechanisms. This can lead to either poor mental wellbeing or the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms. This task aims to highlight some of the healthy versus unhealthy coping mechanisms, so that you can see what strategies you may be putting in place that are working and what may need challenging.

Exercise and being active is an important part of staying well and improving our mood. It has been found that exercise can reduce stress and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Exercise can also help if you are struggling with fitting in at university or spending too much time in your room. This activity gives simple pointers and signposting options that encourages you to get moving and move your mood!
EXERCISE.pdf 144.79 KB

Face Avoidance. Often a symptom of struggling with anxiety or other mental health difficulties is avoidance. This can be due to the worries you might have about your own ability to cope in a given situation or imagining the worst-case scenario. These worries are often unwarranted and false but can cause you to change your behaviours. This activity encourages you to face your fears in a safe way, and to help you find ways to overcome avoidance.
Goal setting. Attending university is a skill, with juggling a social life, extra-curricular activities, lectures, assignments, perhaps a job and other things going on at home. It is important for you to try to get a good balance and stay on top of everything you must do. 

Goals are a great way for you to set intentions for the day or week to help you stay on track. Your goals should be realistic and personal, and should work with what resources and time you have available.
GOAL SETTING.pdf 157.09 KB

Gratitude has been found to significantly increase positive wellbeing and can help people feel happier. Gratitude is feeling thankful but also having a deep appreciation for someone or something that produces a long-lasting effect.

Mindfulness is about being present, in the moment, and not holding any judgment of yourself or your thoughts. We can spend up to 46.9% of our time thinking about something other than what we’re doing, and this thought-drifting can typically make us unhappy.

My shield. We can often get trapped in negative cycles of stress and negative thought patterns, so it can be vital to highlight positive aspects of our day-to-day lives. Highlighting what you do well and what helps you to stay well can impact your mental wellbeing and improve your university experience. This task helps to highlight these areas, and can identify what aspects of your lives help to build a shield against stress and ruminations of negative thoughts.
MY SHIELD.pdf 223.94 KB

Priorities. Prioritising tasks is a skill that everyone will need in their day-to-day life, but it is something that can be difficult for people who have competing demands. Prioritising tasks can help with time management and organisation, which can positively impact wellbeing and academic studies. 

This task gives some simple tips about how to better prioritise.
PRIORITIES.pdf 140.03 KB

Problem solving. Sometimes people can experience problems that they struggle to know how to solve or who to ask for help from. This can particularly be an issue if you feel anxious or have several problems occurring simultaneously. This is where the saying ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’ is an apt description for when you are struggling with ongoing issues. This activity can help you think of solutions to your problems, how to implement them, and to evaluate how it went.

Procrastination. Often a symptom of those who are struggling with anxiety or other mental health difficulties is procrastination. It is a common difficulty and it may be something you regularly struggle with. Procrastination is the avoidance of completing tasks or postponing something. Procrastination can be a symptom of a different underlying issue, but hopefully using these tips will mean one less symptom to worry about.
Reflection time. Worry is a common problem amongst students. Worry is the term given to anxious thoughts and the feeling of anxiety. Worry can impact your day to day life as it effects your concentration, sleep, memory, mood and decision making. Thoughts can be intrusive, constant, intense and often about many different things all at once. If you are struggling with ‘overthinking’ or ‘worry’ this activity might will help you set time aside to go through some of your recurrent worries.

Rollercoaster. University can be an immensely rewarding and a positive experience, however, it is not without its difficulties. Your university career can be described as a roller coaster, with many ups and downs whilst you are studying.

Sleep difficulties are commonplace, especially at uni. Taking notice of your sleeping routine or bad habits you may have fallen into overtime is a useful practice that all people should do if they are struggling to sleep. You might even be in the majority of people who are struggling with sleep even more since lockdown because of the relentlessness of isolation. Poor sleep can have a large impact on our wellbeing, as it can impact concentration, mood, motivation and memory. There are small changes you can make to your sleep routine that may help you to sleep better. This page will provide several different recommendations and tips that you could try to improve your sleep.

STOPP. This activity can assist you in challenging any negative thoughts you have and help refocus your attention to the task at hand. Thoughts such as “I fail at everything I hand in” or “no one likes me”.  Having thoughts of this nature can be common and it can affect different areas of your life such as sleep, confidence or academic performance. This activity asks you to challenge your thoughts, and STOPP them before they spiral.
STOPP.pdf 130.43 KB

Support networks can be vital in enabling good wellbeing. For those who may be estranged from family members, introverted, or have difficulty making friends, social connection is still important. Support networks can consist of family, friends, academic support, support from services or helplines. This activity will help you highlight who you can lean on when you are struggling or who to ask for help when it’s needed.

A worry tree is a tool that can help sort thoughts, by turning worries into something more manageable.
WORRY TREE.pdf 316.8 KB

Worry writing. This activity can help you to control any rushing thoughts, worries or constant planning that might often run through your head. It is common at uni to ‘over-think’ or struggle with staying focused. Having lots of thoughts in your head is something a lot of people can struggle with, and it can affect different areas of your lives such as sleep or academic performance.

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