Evidence suggests there are several key steps that you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive, and able to get the most out of life. Why not see if they help you?
- Connect with other people
Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can:
- help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth
- give you an opportunity to share positive experiences
- provide emotional support and allow you to support others
There are lots of things you could try to help build stronger and closer relationships:
- if possible, take time each day to be with your flatmates or course mates - for example, try arranging a fixed time to eat together
- arrange a day out with friends you have not seen for a while
- have lunch with a course mate
- visit a friend who needs support or company
- volunteer on campus, or locally in Bath, through the SU
- make the most of technology to stay in touch with friends and family. Video-chat apps like Skype and FaceTime are useful, especially if you live far apart
- Get involved in the University community – join a sports club or society through the SU
- don't rely on technology or social media alone to build relationships. It's easy to get into the habit of only ever texting, messaging or emailing people
- Be physically active
Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
- raising your self-esteem
- helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them
- causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood
You can get active while at University by:
- find free activities to help you get fit. The SU offer freea ctivity sessions on campus through Bath Active like yoga, dance, football and netball
- if you have a disability or long-term health condition, find out about getting active. The SU sports clubs run disability sports including wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball
- try out swimming or cycling. You can hire a bike for free through the SU or swim at your leisure in the Sports Training Village (STV) pool on campus.
- find out about getting started with exercise. Talk to the STV about one-off classes or an introduction to the gym
- do not feel that you have tos pend hours in the gym. It's best to find activities you enjoy, and make them a part of your life
3. Learn new skills
Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
- boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem
- helping you to build a sense of purpose
- helping you to connect with others
Even if you feel like you do not have enough time, or you may not need to learn new things, there are lots of different ways to bring learning into your life.
Some of the things you could try include:
- try learning to cook something new. Find out about healthy eating and cooking tips, or attend a cooking lesson with Student Services
- try taking on a new responsibility,such as becoming a Hall Rep or Academic Rep
- consider signing up for a course - you could try learning a new language on campus at the Foreign Languages Centre or sign up to one-off training session at Skills Training in the SU, such as improving your presentation skills.
- try new hobbies that challenge you, such as writing a blog, taking up a new sport or learning to paint. You can even attend gardening sessions on campus!
- do not feel you have to learn new qualifications or sit exams if this does not interest you. It's best to focus on the enjoyment and the feeling of the activity, rather than reaching a certain level of achievement.
- Give to others
Research suggests that acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by:
- creating positive feelings and a sense of reward
- giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth
- helping you connect with other people
It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community.
Some examples of the things you could try include:
- saying thank you to someone for something they have done for you
- asking friends, family or colleagues how they are, and really listening to their answer
- spending time with friends or relatives who need support or company
- offering to help someone you know
- volunteering in your community, such as helping at a school, hospital or care home
- Take part in fundraising activities for charity with RAG (Raise And Give)
- Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)
Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. This includes your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.
Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". Mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
If you'd like to talk to someone about how you're feeling, the University has so many options available to help. You can always speak to your Student Living Ambassadors, or find more support at the Wellbeing Service. We'd love to help you feel your best.