Managing your Wellbeing during the Coronavirus Outbreak
Service operation and contacts
The Disability, Dyslexia/SpLD, Counselling, Chaplaincy and Welfare teams are offering support remotely to students.
If you have a named contact for the disability team, you can email them; otherwise please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as we are able. Please bear with us. We are currently aiming to be open at the usual times, but this may change according to circumstances.
The Student Welfare team can be contacted via email email@example.com.
Contact details for the counselling team are on the Wellbeing website
We have put together these web pages as a resource for students during these difficult times. We will be updating these pages regularly - please do let us know if you have a resource which you think would be helpful to share with others.This first page includes general information about managing your wellbeing - see the menu above for more
Mind has an excellent resource on Wellbeing and coronavirus
Structure and Planning
Though the rest of this page is organised around the '5 ways to Wellbeing', we have added a sixth, which seems particularly important in these difficult times. For most of us, our usual routines, structures and plans have been thrown in the air; this is particularly true for students.
This simple weekly planner can help with structuring your time. Everyone's plan will be different. Try to find a daily/weekly plan that works for you; then find ways to help you follow it (alarms, help from others, apps, etc). As in other times, plan for your university work, but plan for other things too - from practical tasks to things which bring you joy.
Even though we need to maintain social distancing in order to protect ourselves and others, it is more important than ever to stay connected with others.
This might involve staying in touch with the people you usually do, but in different ways - phone, email, online chat, etc. In our teams, we're getting used to meeting via google hangouts.
Many groups and activities have set up online alternatives for now, with lots of new groups springing up all the time. There are suggestions of how to set up a remote book group, but this idea could apply to anything. There are suggestions from the Guardian and the Metro for social and/or free online gaming. And of course, there is always www.netflixparty.com.
We can also stay connected to people indirectly, eg through radio and podcasts, or just being aware of those passing by (in a socially distanced way, of course).
This is a good article on coping with being apart (and together, in different situations).
Stay connected through Brookes Union 'Isolation Station' - for this and more see www.brookesunion.org.uk/articles/covid-19-and-union-services.
Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Again, this may be particularly true in these difficult times. Supporting others can provide focus and structure. Please bear in mind specific guidelines on self-isolation and social distancing and your own personal situation when planning to help others.
Brookes Union have put together a great page on Mutual Aid.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has some great advice and ideas on how to help others right now.
In England, you can volunteer to support the NHS during this crisis: www.goodsamapp.org/NHS.
Being in the moment and noticing the world around you can have a significant impact on your mental health. Of course, in isolated and separated times, this needs to be done differently. There are loads of examples and ideas online, but we particularly like:
You can visit 12 of the best museums in the world from wherever you are.
And go on the best virtual field trips (including Mars!).
Take part in the Garden BirdWatch
More generally, MIND has some great information and resources on Mindfulness. As a way in to mindfulness, Oxford Mindfulness will be using Zoom to offer free weekly livestreamed mindfulness workshops on Wednesdy evenings. Due to the restrictions of Zoom, the actual call can only be viewed by up to 100 people, but they will also make them available as podcasts.
And ... get as much sunlight, fresh air and nature in your life as you can.
It can be especially hard right now to find focus for moments of learning. But learning can again provide structure and focus, as well as improve your self-esteem and connection with others.
Where you are able to, keep going with your study plans for this semester, working towards the new deadline of 24th April, and the online exams. Use the suggestions in our 'Structure and Planning' section.
Keep your brain occupied and challenged. Set aside time in your routine for this. Read books, magazines and articles. Listen to podcasts, watch films and do puzzles.
Brookes libraries are closed but support is available online through the website.They have a specific page for resources during COVID-19, including access to new resources not usually available. Some local libraries have apps you can use to borrow ebooks, audiobooks or magazines from home for free.
One amazing way to get involved with research is through Zooniverse. It's basically crowdsourced research - projects that need lots of data work eg a wildlife park in Africa, where motion sensor cameras take pictures and you go through identifying the animals.
An amazing source of brilliant 'boredom busting resources' is Chatterpack.net (no link as unpublished, but highly recommended).
The MARCH network has a page of links to creative, home-based resources
Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety, and helps us cope in difficult times. Yet is can be really hard to find the space, motivation and energy to exercise in a time of self-isolation and social distancing.
There are loads of online exercise classes out there. Aimed at school children, but a great way for anyone to start their day is The Body Coach's PE class.
Down dog are offering their Yoga, HIIT and Barre apps for free until May so you can get active at home.
There are loads of other free online classes listed on Good Housekeeping . A great chance to try things which you normally have to pay for ... And lots of inspiration and cheap home workout ideas on This Girl Can.