Nurturing student success by prioritising mental health

Nurturing student success by prioritising mental health Share

At Reed Business school, we care about you. We want you to succeed, and in order to do that, we know you have to be well. While we’re unable to welcome students into our restful, beautiful (and extraordinarily well-catered!) Cotswolds location at the moment, we’re trying to look out for and look after you all as best we can, and that includes encouraging you to look out for each other and look after yourselves too.

Simple tips to stay mentally well
While there are some perks to working from home, feeling stressed, bored, anxious and lonely are also completely normal. Alongside this, many of us are worried about our jobs, maintaining relationships and trying to look after kids and other loved ones as well. We get it, we’re doing exactly the same.
But we thought we’d share some of our top tips to help you stay mentally well, and maintain the energy you need to get through the days as productively as possible.
1. Routine, routine, routine
With everything so uncertain, the lines between work, study and personal time can get blurred. But where possible, follow your normal sleep and work patterns, get up at the same time, eat breakfast and get out of your pyjamas. Try scheduling in your “commute time” and spend it exercising, reading or doing something relaxing before logging in.
Stick to your normal working hours as much as possible, taking breaks when you need to. But most importantly, when your workday stops, stop working. Shut down, stop checking emails and focus on your home life. Which leads us on to…
2. Have a dedicated work and study space
If you can, find a quiet space away from people and distractions, or even just have one corner of your room and a specific chair that is your office.
Get everything you need in one place, before you start your work or study session – chargers, pens, notebooks – and even shut the door if you can. While it might be tempting to sit on the sofa, it’s much better to sit at a desk or table. Use the NHS guidelines to set up your workspace correctly, as much as you possibly can.
3. Give yourself a break
Working at home can make us feel like we have to be available all the time. But just being “present” is no use to anyone if your mental health is suffering.
Try to take a proper lunch break and regular screen breaks – go for a walk outside if you can. Working from home means you might be spending a lot more time without moving your body, so if you’re feeling stiff or tense, try doing some light stretching or exercise with a 10-minute home workout. The same applies when you’re studying or revising.
4. Stay connected
We know a lot of you may be feeling quite isolated, while also suffering from Zoom/Teams fatigue. But there are lots of ways to stay in touch with those who matter – boosting their mental wellbeing as well as our own.
If you don’t want to video call, try a text or regular phone call. Say something witty in that WhatsApp group you’ve been ignoring for a while. If you’re struggling with working at home, speak to your colleagues, manager or us about your concerns.
And remember, your colleagues and classmates probably feel the same as you. Ask how they’re doing and whether there are ways you can support each other – schedule in a digital coffee break or Friday online get-together.
5. Be kind to yourself
Remember, this is an unusual situation and things will not feel normal.
Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you might not be as productive as you usually would be. Relish in those small achievements, and make sure to relax when your work is done. If you want to binge a whole series at the weekend, do it!

Looking out for others
We know it’s hard to sometimes look after yourself, but know there’s someone looking out for you – and if you’re able, be that someone for someone else.
– check in say hi, and ask them how they’re really doing
– listen properly and take them seriously
– follow-up on what they say to show you care.
For more advice, try the Time to Change website.
We love you, you’re beautiful, keep going, and we can’t wait to see you again soon.

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