Mastering Wellbeing: The Wellbeing Masterclass
Mental health and well-being is a key component of our health overall. Especially as a university student, working on assignments while juggling society obligations can exact a hefty toll on our health (both physically and mentally). Although it is easy to be cognisant of the physical toll, the mental impact of the stress that we are sustaining on a regular basis is not as apparent. Most of us are not well equipped to deal with the stresses of university life; but, we do not have an idea of the tools that we can use to alleviate our stresses, either.
Most of us are not well equipped to deal with the stresses of university life; but, we do not have an idea of the tools that we can use to alleviate our stresses, either.
This is where the University’s wellbeing services can help. Unknown to many students, the University has a dedicated Wellbeing Services department, who are there to assist you when you feel low and give you the tools to help yourself along the way. The department runs dedicated skill-building sessions, each focusing on a particular aspect of improving mental health (and our ability to deal with issues that may affect us). There are workshops with advice relating to thriving in stressful times, mantaining work-life balance, and the like. However, these are fairly long (around 1.5 hours), and it is often hard for us to convince ourselves to dedicate this much time, even though it serves to benefit us. Honestly, I personally would try to continue life as normal, pretending that everything is alright (when it clearly isn’t). That isn’t ideal for maintaining your wellbeing, and the Wellbeing Services team has devised a new workshop to tackle that: the Wellbeing Masterclass!
The Wellbeing Masterclass is a brief 30-minute session which aims to equip you with some basic tools to preserve your mental wellbeing. Focusing on some key tools and techniques, it helps one build a mental health toolkit so that we know what would help when we feel anxious or too stressed.
To begin with, we looked at the 5 ways of wellbeing: Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Take Notice and Giving. These five aspects can go a long way to lower stress levels in general, and the University and Wellbeing Services team offers a lot of opportunities for students to actively engage in these activities. The Rock Up and Play and Study Happy sessions are great (free) opportunities to pursue this; while breaking a sweat (or getting some work done), you get an opportunity to meet new people, learn more about parts of campus you never knew existed, and learn something new. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
We looked at the 5 ways of wellbeing: Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Take Notice and Giving.
We also looked at some tips we could incorporate into our daily lives, achieving a healthier lifestyle as a result. All of us know that we do not really pay much attention to ourselves; in light of deadlines and exams, important things like sleep, food and exercise take a backseat. Their importance cannot be stressed enough, and it is imperative that we maintain a regular schedule of sleep, meals and exercise in order to remain physically and mentally well, too. We looked at little nudges we could give ourselves subconsciously to help us achieve these goals. Scheduling our time (in a diary) was a key tip in this regard; if it is down on paper, you are more likely to do it at the time it is meant to be done.
We were also given information on techniques to relax, and how we could challenge negative thoughts (the ‘catch it, check it, change it’ technique). A quick technique to catch yourself when you feel anxious/panicky is the ‘five senses’ method, shown below. I found this the best technique that I learnt about in the entire Masterclass, as it was simple yet effective.
The ‘Five Senses’ Method:
Finally, we covered the resources (both online and offline) we could use if we felt too overwhelmed by the stresses of university life. The Wellbeing Services team has a section dedicated to this on their website, linked here.
I really enjoyed this Masterclass; it was short and sweet, but it was needed to make me realise the amount of stress that I put myself through on a regular basis without even realising it. It always helps to be aware of the tools one can use to alleviate stress in times of extreme pressure, and also to know who to reach out to in case of any problems. I would definitely recommend this class; it could really help you out, and reassure you that you have the support of the Warwick community to help you through tough times at university.
I really enjoyed this Masterclass; it was short and sweet, but it was needed to make me realise the amount of stress that I put myself through on a regular basis without even realising it.
It could really help you out, and reassure you that you have the support of the Warwick community to help you through tough times at university.