The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from 18-24 May is kindness.
We’ve included information from the official website below. You can find more information and resources at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week
You can also follow the week on social media
Kindness and Mental Health
Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference. Research suggests that kindness and our mental health are deeply connected. Kindness can act as an antidote to isolation and create a sense of belonging. It helps reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective and deepens friendships. Kindness to ourselves can boost our sense of identity and self-esteem, improving feelings of confidence and optimism.
Here are some ideas to add a little kindness into your day.
- Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
- Tell a family member how much you love and appreciate them
- Make a meal or even just a cup of tea for someone you live with
- Arrange to have a cup of tea and virtual catch up with someone you know
- Help with a household chore at home
- Arrange to watch a film at the same time as a friend and video call
- Tell someone you know that you are proud of them and why you are thankful for them
- Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling
- Send someone you know a joke or a funny picture to cheer them up
- Send an inspirational quote or an interesting article to a friend
- Spend a little extra time playing with your children or your pet
- Donate your time, skills or money to a charity
- Arrange to have a video lunch with someone
- Offer to skill share with a friend via video call – you could teach guitar, dance etc.
- Offer support to vulnerable neighbours
- Offer to send someone a takeaway or a meal
Please remember that there are also University resources and trained staff to help you with mental health issues, find out more on our Student & Library Support update.
Mood busting books: The Reading Agency has some excellent recommendations for books to uplift you, chosen this year by students from the University of Exeter. From this list I’d recommend The Night Circus: beautiful, magical. Previous years lists are worth a look too!
Eating well is even more important in these difficult times.
Join us each Friday from 11am-12pm on Microsoft Teams to discuss everything food and nutrition. Do you need some tips to cook with limited supplies or some nutritional advice to help boost immunity and mood? We are extremely lucky to have qualified nutritionist, Kelly Rose, online each week to answer your questions. We’d also love to hear about what you’ve been cooking and baking.
Alternatively you can request to join the team by emailing Hazel Wright on email@example.com
Here are some e-books and journal articles on nutrition and immunity
Fuller & Roy (2003) Gut Flora, Nutrition, Immunity and Health. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. Link
Kau, A.L., Ahern, P.P., Griffin, N.W., Goodman, A.L. & Gordon, J.I. (2011)’Human nutrition, the gut microbiome and the immune system’, Nature, 474 (7351), pp. 327-336. Link
Hall, G.H., Jean L. Wiecha Wiecha, L, J. & Georgia (2014) Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Out-of-School Time Settings. Jossey-Bass.
Here is my fruit rainbow
As it’s a bank holiday weekend we have brought forward the usual Fun Friday Finish to ‘Fursday’!
Here are two suggestions from our Library team.
Fran’s Hidden gems challenge: be an urban explorer. Your daily walk or run or cycle is the perfect opportunity to explore your local area and find hidden gems that you didn’t know existed before. Why not share what you find on social media @TeesUniLib.
Fran sent hers from a walk in Middlesbrough, anyone else know where this Viking warrior can be found?
Our second suggestion is from Emily, an honorary member of the team, who told her mum that she wanted us to have a piñata. Sorry Emily, we couldn’t create one but the link below will take you to one made by Google. Enjoy!
Google birthday piñata
In this week’s Wellbeing Wednesday we’re hoping you can take some time out to relax with an e-magazine from our PressReader collection.
PressReader has over 7000 newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries in 60 different languages. The collection covers many popular magazines and UK newspapers including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and Daily Mail.
You can find more information about using the collection on our PressReader LibGuide Or go straight to our databases page to find the PressReader link
And if you feel like something more in depth … why not join our Virtual Reading Group
The next meeting is on MS Teams on Wednesday 15 April at 2pm discussing 1984 by George Orwell. You don’t need to have read the whole book to join in the discussion. Some of you may have seen the film, so you can share your views on that too. Keep up to date with events on the Reading Group LibGuide using the link below:
Reading for pleasure
There are numerous studies pointing to the positive impact that reading for pleasure can have on our wellbeing. Find out more in the Reading Agency’s The Untold Power of the Book through the link below. https://readingagency.org.uk/news/GALAXY%20Quick%20Reads%20Report%202016%20FINAL.pdf
Whatever you look for in reading from escapism to enjoyment, knowledge or relaxation, it’s much more powerful when you share it with others.
Why not join our virtual Reading Group? Details will be included on the Student and Library Services update page https://libguides.tees.ac.uk/coronaviruslibraryupdate/studentsupport
Need more inspiration? Click on the link below to view the Unread Book video on YouTube. It’s a Bruno Mars parody from 2015 by Pogona Creative and the Orange Public Library in association with Chapman University for National Library Week. Have a funky weekend!
Faith and reflection online
Our colleagues are working hard to bring you virtual events and support. Some of the sessions will take place using Zoom (find help on Zoom) while others will be delivered through Teams (help Joining a Teams Meeting).
12pm – “Student prayer” (Zoom).
3pm – “Pasta Social” this is a chance to socialise online (Zoom).
7pm – Bible Study group (Zoom).
10am – Staff Prayer group (Teams).
2pm – Brengle live (live streaming of therapy dog, Brengle) this will be light hearted and fun.
2.30pm – Staff Prayer group (Teams).
4pm – Christian Union meeting (Zoom – contact Rony Roy through the Teesside Uni CU Facebook group).
Click the link below for more details and joining instructions: https://libguides.tees.ac.uk/coronaviruslibraryupdate/studentsupport
You can find information on the Faith and Reflection team on the page below:
Today’s post is a reminder to be aware of your own wellbeing and stress. It’s easy to forget about yourself when you are looking after others or adapting to new situations. Keeping in touch with your own emotions and mental wellbeing is just as important as physical health. There is lots of online support available, including the Mind website so please make the most of it and remember to ask for help if you need it. Be kind to yourself and to others!
Find out about Student and Library Services help on the Student support page
Here are some top tips:
When you are anxious you might feel stuck and unsure of how to feel better. You might even do things that unwittingly fuel your anxiety. Follow these simple steps to help you cope with your anxiety right here, right now:
- Take a deep breath
Remember the 7/11 rule.
Try slowly inhaling to a count of 7 then exhaling to a count of 11.
- Accept that you’re anxious
Remember anxiety is just a feeling, like any other feeling. By reminding yourself that anxiety is simply an emotional reaction you can start to accept it.
- Question your thoughts
When people are anxious their brain comes up with ideas that are often unrealistic and unlikely to occur, which can fuel the anxiety. Try asking yourself these questions when challenging your thoughts:
- Is this worry realistic?
- Is this really likely to happen?
- If the worst possible outcome happens, what would be so bad about that?
- How have I/others managed this before?
- What I might do?
- How could I prepare for this?
- Use a calming visualisation
Picture yourself somewhere that brings up a positive feeling, such as on holiday. Try to visualise using all of your senses; how did you feel, what could you smell, what could you see, what could you touch and what sounds could you hear?
- Use positive self-talk
Anxiety can produce a lot of negative chatter. Instead of thinking ‘I can’t cope’, try thinking ‘I can tell I’m feeling anxious because…but this won’t last forever and I have plenty of strategies I can use to manage it.’
- Focus on right now and take control
When people are anxious they are usually thinking and worrying about something that may happen in the future. Instead, pause, breathe and pay attention to what’s happening right now. Ask yourself what you would be doing if you weren’t feeling anxious today. If you were going to go to the gym, can you exercise at home? If you planned to meet a friend, can you ring them or arrange an online chat?