Your wellbeing Archives - Reed Business School

The Importance of Budget Awareness and Compassion – How to Navigate the Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, the air is filled with excitement, enjoyment, and the promise of quality time spent with family and friends. However, amidst the festive cheer, it’s crucial to be mindful of the financial implications that come with the celebrations. This month our hot topic explores the importance of budget awareness during the holiday season and how to manage your budget to ensure you’re not strapped for cash in the new Year. We also emphasise the significance of nurturing connections with loved ones, while also extending a hand of compassion to those who may be alone and vulnerable at Christmas.

The Season of Giving – Within Your Means:

It’s easy to get swept up in the magic of the holiday season and overspend on gifts, decorations, and lavish feasts. While the spirit of giving is undoubtedly one of the most valued aspects of Christmas, it’s essential to approach it with a sense of budgetary responsibility. Establishing a realistic budget for gifts, festivities, and other holiday-related expenses can help prevent financial stress in the aftermath of the celebrations.

Creating a budget not only ensures a financially responsible approach to the season but also encourages thoughtful and intentional gift-giving. Consider the value of experiences over material possessions – a heartfelt gesture, a shared activity, or the gift of time can often be more meaningful than extravagant presents.

Family and Friends – The True Treasures of the Season:

Amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, it’s crucial to remember that the true essence of the season lies in the company of family and friends. Spending quality time together, sharing laughter and creating lasting memories, far surpasses the material aspects of the holidays.

This year, make it a priority to engage in activities that strengthen your bonds with loved ones. Whether it’s a favourite family board game, a shared cooking session, or a simple walk through a winter wonderland, these moments contribute to the magic of the season. Embrace the joy of togetherness and create traditions that will be cherished for years to come.

Compassion for the Lonely and Vulnerable:

While many of us are fortunate to be surrounded by loved ones during the holidays, it’s important to recognise and extend compassion to those who may be facing the season alone or feeling vulnerable. Loneliness can be particularly acute during this time, and a small gesture of kindness can make a significant difference.

Consider reaching out to neighbours, friends, or acquaintances who may be spending the holidays on their own. Invite them to join in your celebrations or simply check in with a friendly message or Christmas card. Acts of kindness, no matter how small, have the power to brighten someone’s day and alleviate the sense of isolation that can be heightened during the holiday season.

Staying Safe this Christmas

While you’re out and about shopping and visiting friends this Christmas please be mindful of your own safety and security.

The Counter Terrorism police have shared the following advice and guidance to reassure everyone that their safety and security is paramount.

  • Tell us if you spot anything which doesn’t feel right. We can all play our part in defeating terrorism, by reporting at In an emergency call 999

As we approach Christmas and the New Year, let’s remember the importance of budget awareness, staying safe, mindful gift-giving, and, most importantly, the value of family and friends. Embrace the joy of togetherness, create meaningful traditions, and extend compassion to those who may be feeling alone and vulnerable. In doing so, we not only enhance our own holiday experience but contribute to a season characterised by warmth, generosity, and the true spirit of giving.

More information on how you can support people in your local community who may be struggling with loneliness can be found here:

Loneliness Guide | Marmalade Trust

Christmas and Loneliness in those living with mental illness (

Third of people too embarrassed to admit they are lonely at Christmas – Mind

Movember: Promoting Men’s Health and Wellbeing

As November rolls in, so does an important global initiative known as “Movember.” This month-long event aims to raise awareness of men’s health issues, with a particular focus on physical and mental well-being.

Originally rooted in the idea of growing mustaches to spark conversations and promote awareness, Movember has grown into a powerful movement that encourages men to take charge of their health, discuss their issues openly, and seek necessary medical attention. In this article, we’ll explore the multifaceted approach of Movember, which addresses key aspects of men’s health, including mental health, prostate, and testicular cancer.

Mental Health Matters

Mental health is an essential but often overlooked aspect of men’s overall well-being. Many men face significant challenges when it comes to discussing their feelings and seeking help for mental health issues. Movember strives to combat this stigma by encouraging open conversations, offering support, and emphasising the importance of staying connected with friends and family.

Staying Connected: One of the primary goals of Movember is to encourage men to reach out to their loved ones. Simple conversations can be therapeutic and can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and feelings of isolation. Whether it’s a heartfelt chat with a close friend or a deep discussion with a family member, staying connected can have a profoundly positive impact on mental health.

Talking Through Problems: Movember urges men to share their thoughts and feelings. Talking about problems and issues can help reduce the burden of emotional distress. Opening up about challenges can lead to finding solutions, gaining support, and ultimately improving mental well-being.

Seeking Professional Help: For men facing more serious mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts, Movember encourages seeking professional help. Speaking with a mental health expert can provide valuable guidance and strategies for managing and overcoming these challenges.

Physical Health Focus

In addition to addressing mental health, Movember places a strong emphasis on physical health issues that affect men, particularly prostate and testicular cancer. Early detection and awareness are key to increasing survival rates and improving the quality of life for men diagnosed with these conditions.

Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. Regular check-ups, discussions with healthcare professionals, and understanding the risk factors can lead to early detection and more successful treatment. Movember encourages men to get regular screenings and discuss their prostate health with their doctors.

Testicular Cancer: Although less common than prostate cancer, testicular cancer is primarily diagnosed in younger men. Self-examination and understanding the signs and symptoms are essential for early detection. Movember provides information on how to perform testicular self-exams and raises awareness about the importance of seeking medical advice if any abnormalities are noticed.

Physical Activity and Nutrition: Leading a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of developing various health conditions, including prostate and testicular cancer. Movember promotes physical activity and proper nutrition as preventive measures. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help maintain a healthy body and reduce the likelihood of health problems.

Movember is more than just a month of mustache-growing; it’s a powerful initiative that aims to make a difference in men’s lives by addressing both their physical and mental health. Through open conversations, staying connected with friends and family, discussing problems, and promoting early detection of conditions like prostate and testicular cancer, Movember is making a substantial impact on men’s health and well-being. By participating in or supporting this movement, you can contribute to a healthier, happier, and more open society where men are encouraged to prioritise their health and seek help when needed.

Find out more about Movember at

Sign up for Movember at

 Download guidance on men’s health via this link Men’s health guide | World Cancer Research Fund UK (


October: Speak Up Month and World Mental Health Day 2023

October is not just about Halloween and the slow transition into the chilly embrace of winter. It’s also a time for something more insightful – a time for speaking up and raising awareness about issues that truly matter. In this month, we not only celebrate World Mental Health Day but also dedicate the entire October as “Speak Up Month.” It’s a month when we should all encourage staff to find their voices, to feel confident and safe to express their concerns, and to provide a listening ear and access to support.

Speak Up Month: Fostering a Culture of Open Communication

In the modern workplace, communication is key. It’s not just about emails and meetings; it’s about ensuring that every member of the team feels empowered to voice their opinions, concerns, and ideas. This is why “Speak Up Month” is important.

A workplace that encourages open communication fosters trust, collaboration, and innovation. When employees feel confident and safe to speak up, they are more likely to share their insights, flag potential issues, and actively participate in problem-solving. This not only enhances the overall work environment but also contributes to the growth and success of the organisation.

Encouraging staff to speak up is not just about providing an outlet for their concerns; it’s about creating a culture where their voices are valued and heard. It’s about acknowledging that everyone’s perspective matters and that together, we can achieve better outcomes.

Moreover, speaking up is not limited to addressing work-related issues. It also extends to personal well-being, which brings us to an equally important aspect of October – World Mental Health Day.

World Mental Health Day 2023: Prioritising Mental Well-being

World Mental Health Day, observed on October 10th every year, is a global platform to raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate for positive change. In 2023, this day takes on a special significance as we continue to grapple with the mental health challenges brought about by the pandemic and ongoing global events.

Mental health is a topic that deserves attention throughout the year, but this day provides a focal point for a concerted effort to discuss, understand, and support mental well-being. It’s a reminder that mental health is as important as physical health and that we all have a role to play in creating a mentally healthy world.

To commemorate World Mental Health Day 2023, many organisations, including our own, are planning special initiatives. We are planning to hold a special afternoon tea at the Manor on the 10th March 2023. This is not just about sipping tea and enjoying a few treats; it’s about coming together as a community to talk openly about mental health, share experiences, and show support for one another. It’s a simple yet powerful way to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues and foster a culture of understanding and empathy.

Why It Matters

October’s dual focus on speaking up and mental health is significant because the two are interconnected. When employees feel comfortable speaking up about their concerns, they are more likely to discuss issues related to their mental well-being as well. In a supportive environment, it becomes easier for individuals to seek help and access the necessary resources to maintain their mental health.

Furthermore, a workplace that prioritises mental health and open communication is more likely to have engaged and satisfied employees. When employees feel that their organisation cares about their mental well-being, they are more likely to be productive and loyal, leading to a more successful and resilient organisation.

October is not just another month on the calendar. It’s a time to encourage staff to speak up, to create a culture of open communication, and to prioritise mental health. By doing so, we not only improve the workplace but also contribute to a healthier, happier, and more connected community.

So, let’s take time out to mark Speak Up Month in October and World Mental Health Day 2023 – because together, we can drive positive change and build a brighter future for everyone.

Find out more about Speak Up Month here and you can download resources on World Mental Health Day here.

At Reed Business School we offer one-to-one support from our Mental Health First Aider Sam Dean and while at The Manor anyone can use our Wellness Room for some time out as needed.

Celebrating British Values: A Pathway to Democracy and Inclusion

This month as we’re planning to commemorate the International Day of Democracy on September 16th, and the United Kingdom gears up for National Inclusion Week from September 25th to October 1st, it is an opportune time to reflect on the five core British values that underpin the nation’s social fabric.

These values – democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect, and tolerance – not only define the essence of the United Kingdom but also serve as a guiding light for fostering democracy and inclusivity around the world.

  1. Democracy: The Voice of the People

Democracy is the cornerstone of modern society, empowering individuals to participate in the decision-making processes that shape their lives. The International Day of Democracy highlights the importance of upholding democratic principles worldwide.

In the UK, democratic values are ingrained in the parliamentary system, allowing citizens to elect representatives who advocate for their interests through a democratic and open voting system. This approach ensures that the power ultimately rests with the people, demonstrating that a well-functioning democracy is not just a political structure, but an integral way of life.

  1. Rule of Law: Ensuring Equality and Justice

A society built on the rule of law is one where everyone, regardless of their background or status, is subject to the same laws and regulations. This principle safeguards individual rights and ensures a fair and just society. In celebrating the Rule of Law, we celebrate the impartiality of the legal system in the UK, where justice is blind and the rights of all are protected. This commitment to the rule of law is an embodiment of the belief that no one is above the law.

  1. Individual Liberty: Empowerment and Expression

Individual liberty is the heart of personal freedom – the right to express oneself, pursue one’s aspirations, and make independent choices. This British value enables citizens to flourish and contribute uniquely to society. As we honour this value during National Inclusion Week, it is vital that we recognise that individual liberty goes hand in hand with ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background, has equal access to opportunities that allow them to fully participate in society.

  1. Mutual Respect: Embracing Diversity

Mutual respect forms the bedrock of cohesive societies. It’s the understanding that our differences make us stronger, and that by valuing and respecting each other’s perspectives, we can create a harmonious community.

This British value encourages unity in diversity and provides a blueprint for celebrating the richness of culture, ideas, and experiences within society.

  1. Tolerance: Building Bridges of Understanding

Tolerance is the bridge that connects individuals from various walks of life. By fostering a climate of respect and open-mindedness, we create a space where diverse opinions can coexist peacefully. Tolerance doesn’t mean agreeing with everything, but it does mean treating others with empathy and kindness, even when views differ.

As we observe National Inclusion Week from 25th September to 1st October, let us remember that a tolerant society is one where everyone’s voices are heard and valued.

British Values Across the World

As the world collectively acknowledges the International Day of Democracy and the UK celebrates National Inclusion Week, it’s imperative to recognise the interconnectedness of these events and their alignment with the core British values. Democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect, and tolerance are not just national virtues, but also global aspirations that transcend borders.

In honouring these values, the United Kingdom sets an example for the rest of the world – a reminder that by upholding the principles of democracy, justice, freedom, respect, and inclusivity, we can collectively build societies that thrive on the strength of their diversity.

So, as we mark these important reminders of democracy, let us recommit ourselves to nurturing these values not just within our own communities, but across the entire global community we share.

August is Happiness Month!

Celebrating the Essence of Well-Being and Self-Care

Happiness is not just a fleeting emotion; it is a state of mind and well-being that encompasses all aspects of our lives. In August 2023, we celebrate “Happiness Month” as a time to reflect on the importance of happiness, well-being, and the significance of self-care in our busy, fast-paced world.

The Pursuit of Happiness: A Universal Desire

Throughout history, humanity has been on a quest for happiness. From ancient philosophers to contemporary scientists, the pursuit of happiness has captivated hearts and minds. In today’s hectic world, where stress and anxiety are common companions, dedicating an entire month to happiness is not only valuable but also a necessary reminder of why we should all focus on our own well-being.

Understanding the Importance of Well-Being

Well-being encompasses more than just physical health; it also includes mental, emotional, and social aspects of our lives. Achieving a sense of well-being involves striking a harmonious balance between these different facets. However, in the hustle and bustle of modern life, we often neglect one or more of these dimensions, which can lead to a feeling of imbalance and unhappiness.

The Link between Happiness and Self-Care

Self-care is a fundamental pillar of well-being and happiness. It involves taking intentional actions to nurture ourselves physically, emotionally, and mentally. Self-care is not selfish; it is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship with oneself and, consequently, with others.

During Happiness Month, we are reminded to prioritise self-care and to view it as a non-negotiable aspect of our daily lives. From simple activities like going for a walk outside, reading a book, working on a hobby, or meditating, to more elaborate endeavours such as taking a day off to rest and recharge, self-care comes in various forms and can be adapted to suit individual preferences.

Cultivating a Positive Mindset

Positive thinking and gratitude play a significant role in cultivating happiness. While it might seem challenging to maintain a positive outlook amidst life’s challenges, adopting a growth mindset can help. A growth mindset encourages us to view obstacles as opportunities for growth and learning and can help us to shift our perspective from one of a feeling of imbalance to abundance.

Practicing gratitude is another powerful tool for enhancing happiness. Taking time each day to express gratitude for the people, experiences, and things in our lives can foster a sense of contentment and fulfilment.

The Role of Connection and Community

Human beings are social creatures, and a strong sense of community and connection with others is essential for happiness. In the age of technology, meaningful face-to-face interactions can sometimes be overlooked, and we can all become insular and introspective.

During Happiness Month, we are encouraged to strengthen our bonds with family, friends, and colleagues and to engage in activities that promote a sense of community and general well-being.

Embracing Mindfulness and Stress Reduction

In a fast-paced world filled with distractions, mindfulness can serve as an anchor, bringing us back to the present moment and allowing us to savour life’s simple joys. Mindfulness practices, such as meditation or yoga, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while promoting emotional well-being. Developing a regular practice in this can also help us to develop good habits dedicating time around self-care.

Spreading Happiness and Kindness

One of the most amazing aspects of happiness is that it grows when shared. During Happiness Month, we can actively contribute to others’ well-being through acts of kindness and compassion. Simple gestures, such as offering a helping hand, listening attentively, or expressing appreciation, can make a significant impact on someone’s day and foster a sense of interconnectedness and community.

Taking the Happiness Journey Together

Happiness Month in August 2023 serves as a reminder that happiness is a journey, not a destination. It is a collective effort that involves embracing self-care, nurturing positive mindsets, fostering connections, and spreading kindness.

By coming together as a community, we can create a ripple effect that extends far beyond this month, ultimately shaping a happier and more fulfilling world for ourselves and future generations. So, let’s be mindful of our own journey towards finding contentment and happiness during this summer month, and celebrating the essence of well-being and self-care every day of the year.

Happier Kinder Together | Action for Happiness

How to be happier – NHS (

Well-being & Happiness –

Cultivating Happiness –

Alcohol Awareness Week 3-9 July 2023: Raising the Bar on Alcohol and Cost

the United Kingdom will embark on a week-long journey of introspection and action, as part of Alcohol Awareness Week. Coordinated by Alcohol Change UK, this annual event aims to shed light on the repercussions of alcohol consumption while advocating for change. This year, the theme of Alcohol Awareness Week is ‘Alcohol and cost,’ urging individuals and society overall to consider the financial toll of excessive drinking.

The impact of alcohol-related harm is far-reaching, affecting millions of people each year. It manifests in various forms, including health issues, financial burdens, strained relationships, and family conflicts. Moreover, the social costs associated with alcohol misuse put tremendous pressure on vital public services such as the National Health Service (NHS), emergency services, police, and workplaces.

According to estimates, the total social cost of alcohol to society amounts to a staggering £21 billion annually. This figure highlights the immense strain imposed on public resources and underscores the urgent need for addressing this pervasive issue. On an individual level, people spend tens of thousands of pounds on average throughout their lifetimes to sustain their alcohol consumption habits.

Tragically, alcohol-related deaths have reached record levels since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, painting a grim picture of the escalating crisis. Mental and physical health have also been adversely affected for countless individuals, as harmful drinking continues to take its toll on society. The pandemic-induced cost of living crisis has further exacerbated the problem, leading some individuals to resort to excessive drinking as a coping mechanism.

However, the exorbitant costs associated with alcohol, both at the personal level and on a broader social scale, can be curbed. Alcohol Awareness Week serves as a rallying point for individuals, families, communities, and public services to come together and confront this pressing issue. By raising awareness, engaging in dialogue, and promoting responsible drinking habits, lasting change can be achieved.

Throughout the week, over 5,000 public health teams, workplaces, GP surgeries, pharmacies, hospitals, charities, and community groups will participate in Alcohol Awareness Week, utilizing the resources provided by Alcohol Change UK. These collective efforts aim to educate the public about the true cost of alcohol and empower individuals to make informed choices.

Alcohol Awareness Week 2023 provides an opportunity for reflection, as we think about the impact of alcohol on our lives and the lives of those around us. It prompts us to consider the financial, physical, and emotional costs of excessive drinking, and encourages us to seek healthier alternatives.

As individuals, we can contribute to reducing the burden of alcohol-related harm by adopting responsible drinking habits, supporting loved ones in need, and seeking help when necessary. By addressing the root causes of excessive alcohol consumption, we can alleviate the strain on our healthcare system, emergency services, and workplaces, allowing them to focus on other pressing issues.

During this pivotal week, lets engage in conversations, challenge societal norms, and advocate for change. By collectively striving for a society that is aware, informed, and empowered, we can redefine the relationship between alcohol and our lives, leading to a brighter, healthier future for all.


Alcohol Awareness Week

Alcohol Facts




Embracing the Spirit of Pride Month this June

June Pride Month is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community’s contributions to history, society, and cultures worldwide. Throughout the month of June the roots of Pride, tracing back to the pivotal Stonewall Riots in June 1969, are celebrated.

Origins of Pride Month

The foundations of the gay rights movement date back to the early 1900s, when courageous individuals across North America and Europe established gay and lesbian organisations like the Society for Human Rights in Chicago, founded by Henry Gerber in the 1920s.

Following World War II, groups such as the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis emerged, demanding recognition and fighting against discrimination towards gays and lesbians. In 1966, members of the Mattachine Society staged a historic “sip-in” protest at Julius, a New York City bar, challenging discriminatory laws by openly announcing their homosexuality.

However, it was a fateful night in June 1969 that sparked a monumental leap forward for the gay rights movement. On June 28, the Stonewall Inn, a bar nestled in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, became the focal point of a clash between the New York Police Department and a defiant group of patrons. The confrontation ignited a six-day wave of protests and clashes, known as the Stonewall Riots, thrusting the gay rights movement into the global spotlight.

The First Gay Pride Parade

A year later, during the Stonewall Riots’ anniversary, activists in New York City took to the streets of Manhattan in a march commemorating the uprising. Organised by the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Umbrella Committee, the march became known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, eventually evolving into the iconic Gay Pride Parade.

According to activist Craig Schoonmaker, who coined the term “pride” for gay pride, “There’s very little chance for people in the world to have power. People did not have power then; even now, we only have some. But anyone can have pride in themselves, and that would make them happier as people, and produce the movement likely to produce change.”

On June 28, 1970, the country witnessed its first gay pride parade in New York City. The event garnered tremendous success, drawing an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 participants along a 51-block route from Greenwich Village to Central Park. Marches and parades also took place that June in Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Save the Dates for Pride 2023

Pride Month 2023 commences in June it highlights diversity and unity within the LGBTQ+ community.

Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community During Pride

Pride Month presents opportunities to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community, not only in June but throughout the year.  Here are some supporting organisations who offer support to members of the LGBTQ+ community:

MindOut | Mental Health Charity for LGBTQ community

LGBTQIA+ mental health – useful contacts – Mind

Kids & Young People – Mermaids (

How You Might Feel – The Proud Trust

LGBTQIA+ Resources | LGBTQIA+ | Who else can help | The Prince’s Trust (


Mental Health Awareness

This month its Mental Health Awareness Week from the 15th – 21st May 2023, so we thought we’d concentrate on this subject as our ‘Hot Topic’ for May.

It’s important to remember that anxiety is a normal emotion that we all experience from time to time. However, when anxiety becomes overwhelming and interferes with our daily lives, it can become a mental health issue that requires attention and support.

Various factors can contribute to anxiety, including academic or work-related stress, relationship issues, and major life changes. Financial insecurity and struggling to meet basic needs such as food and shelter can also trigger feelings of anxiety.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health challenges that people face. In a recent survey on stress, anxiety, and hopelessness over personal finances, a significant percentage of adults reported feeling so anxious that it stopped them from doing the things they wanted to do. This underscores the importance of addressing anxiety as a serious issue that can significantly impact people’s lives.

During Mental Health Awareness Week, it is crucial to raise awareness and understanding of anxiety and provide information on the things that can help manage it. It is also important to continue advocating for change, making sure that improving mental health is a priority for both the government and society at large. By working together, we can ensure that everyone has access to the support they need to manage anxiety and other mental health concerns.

Look at the links below to find out more:

Mental Health Awareness Resources

A Student Guide to Loneliness

Mental Health Awareness Week – Rethink Mental Health

Also remember we have:

Our own (MHFA) Mental Health First Aider here, Sam Dean, can be contacted on

The RBS Wellness room for peace, quiet and to take some time away from your busy schedule.

How to beat exam anxiety

With exams due in the Spring, we know that these can be a stressful and overwhelming time for many students. However, with the right preparation and stress-management techniques, you can tackle exams with confidence and achieve your academic goals. Here are some top tips for revision and managing stress during exams:

Start Early: One of the most important tips for exam preparation is to start early. Begin by creating a study plan that covers all the topics you need to revise. This will help you to stay organised and ensure that you cover everything you need to know before the exams.
Use Active Learning Techniques: Passive reading of notes or textbooks is often not enough to fully comprehend the material. To maximize your revision, use active learning techniques such as practice quizzes, flashcards, and summarising key points in your own words. This helps you engage with the material and increases your retention.
Prioritise Your Revision: Focus on revising the most important topics first. You can identify the most important topics by looking at past exam papers, consulting with your teachers, or referring to the syllabus. This way, you can ensure that you have a solid understanding of the most critical concepts.
Take Breaks: Taking regular breaks during revision is essential to manage stress and avoid burnout. During your breaks, do something that relaxes you such as taking a walk, listening to music, or meditating. This will help you recharge and maintain your focus.
Get Enough Sleep: Lack of sleep can negatively impact your memory, concentration, and overall well-being. Ensure that you get enough sleep during the exam period by setting a regular bedtime and avoiding caffeine and technology before bedtime.
Exercise Regularly: Exercise is an excellent way to reduce stress and improve mental well-being. Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine during the exam period, such as jogging, cycling, or practicing yoga. Join in on our classes at The Manor!
Stay Positive: Positive self-talk can go a long way in reducing exam stress. Avoid negative thoughts or self-doubt and instead focus on your strengths and abilities. Visualise yourself succeeding in the exams and trust in your preparation.

There’s no doubt that exam preparation can be stressful, but by following these tips, you can manage your stress levels and feel confident in your revision. Good luck!

If you’re feeling anxious about your exams please let any member of staff know how you’re feeling so we can offer help and support. You can access some more advice and guidance on coping with exam stress by checking out these websites.
Exam Stress from Warwick University
Exam stress: 8 tips to cope with exam anxiety – Save the Student

How to stay positive and productive when working from home

Many of us have been working from home for a year now, and there’s still no clear end in sight. There have been difficulties, and we’ve found our way through them. But a year into lockdown, how can we maintain our productivity and positivity, to come out the other side of this as well as we went into it?

Upgrade your space

While this time last year might have been chaotic, with many thinking about temporary and short-term measures to maintain productivity, it seems now that we should look at making more permanent changes to adapt to our new ways of living and working. For many, having kids go back to school will be a big relief, but how do we adjust?

If you haven’t already, designate yourself a specific workspace, and make sure it’s fitted with more professional and long-lasting equipment and accessories. Maybe even invest in some attractive dividers to create a clear distinction between your home and office space. Home-working might be around for a lot longer yet, so put some real thought into it, or ask around to see how other people have done this.

In addition to having the right equipment like good lighting and a large computer monitor (or two!), the ergonomics of the workspace is critical. If possible, get hold of a professional office chair – hours a day on a dining chair won’t cut it in the long term. The more comfortable you are, the more productive you will be.

Manage your energy

The ability to manage your energy is crucial for maximum productivity. We all have different internal rhythms: some of us are night owls, while others are early birds. If you’re more focused early in the morning, schedule your major projects to align with that timeframe. One of the benefits of working from home is added flexibility, so think about what you can control and arrange your activities to take advantage of natural high and low energy times.

Set healthy boundaries

Recent research from Microsoft found that employees have been working an average of four more hours a week during lockdown.

To maintain a healthy work-life balance, create a schedule (including breaks) and end your workday at a specific time. Turn your computer off and disable work notifications on your phone so you can focus on personal time. You might even consider including your work hours in your email signature so clients and colleagues know when it’s appropriate to contact you. Also, make sure to enforce your new boundaries. Because if you don’t do it, no one else will.

Ultimately, it’s important to create a time management structure that works for the whole family. The more you focus on harnessing your time and energy now, the more likely you’ll emerge from this crisis with your relationships and happiness intact.

Maintaining a positive outlook

Positive thinking can be seen as quite wishy-washy and not the most applicable skill to professional life. It isn’t magic and it won’t make all of your problems disappear, but it will make each day seem more manageable and help you approach challenges in a more positive and productive way.

Focus on the good things

Challenging situations and obstacles are a part of life. When you’re faced with one, focus on the good things, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they seem. If you look for it, you can always find the proverbial silver lining in every cloud — even if it’s not immediately obvious. For example, if someone cancels plans, focus on how it frees up time for you to catch up on a TV show or other activity you enjoy.

Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude has been shown to reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and foster resilience even in very difficult times. Think of people, moments, or things that bring you some kind of comfort or happiness and try to express your gratitude at least once a day. This can be thanking a co-worker for helping with a project, a loved one for washing the dishes, or your dog for the unconditional love they give you. Even keeping a private journal of the little things you’re thankful for can make a big difference.

Spend time with positive people

Negativity and positivity have been shown to be contagious. Have you noticed how someone in a bad mood can bring down almost everyone in a room? A positive person has the opposite effect on others. Being around positive people has been shown to improve self-esteem and increase your chances of reaching goals. Get in touch with or look for those people who will lift you up and help you see the bright side.

Identify your areas of negativity

Take a good look at the different areas of your life and identify where you tend to be the most negative. Not sure? Ask a trusted friend or colleague. Chances are, they’ll be able to offer some insight. A co-worker might notice that you tend to be negative in team meetings. Your spouse may notice that you get especially negative while driving. Tackle one area at a time, and look for opportunity to turn each area into a positive.

Start every day on a positive note

Create a ritual by starting each day with something uplifting and positive. Either:

  • Tell yourself that it’s going to be a great day, or some other positive affirmation or mantra.
  • Listen to a happy and positive song or playlist.
  • Share some positivity by giving a compliment or doing something nice for someone.

Maintaining positivity during dark times

Trying to be positive when you’re grieving or experiencing other serious distress can seem impossible. During these times, it’s important to take the pressure off of yourself to find a way through. Channel that energy into getting support from others. Be aware of what you need from another person, and think about what you would say if they came to you with a similar burden.

Positive thinking isn’t about burying every negative thought or emotion you have or avoiding difficult feelings. The lowest points in our lives are often the ones that motivate us to move on and make positive changes.

These dark days won’t last forever, and as the summer beckons, so does hope for a happier and healthier future.