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Explore the outdoors and boost your wellbeing

The theme for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is nature, so we're encouraging you to take a break from deadlines and revision and explore the great outdoors. It's good for you, promise!

Mental Health Awareness Week, 10-16 May 2021

In our monthly Pulse surveys, the one thing that students have consistently said they want universities and students' unions to prioritise is protecting students' wellbeing. Check out our tips for an instant boost.

Get outside

It's been a tough ol' year, and now that spring has arrived we can make use of those natural mood boosters which are right on our doorsteps.

Did you know that spending time in the garden is linked to better health and wellbeing? If you've returned to campus, make sure you take regular breaks and explore our stunning gardens. Penryn Campus has loads of hidden treasures and is bursting with wildlife. Why not join the Sustainability Team for a nature tour of the campus, starting at Heart Reception at 1pm every day this week.

Penryn Campus gardens map

Penryn Campus wildlife

There are some great local walking and cycling routes too. Living close to the South West Coastal Path offers us a host of additional health and wellbeing benefits. Not in Cornwall at the moment? Even just listening to nature sounds has been shown to have a significant impact on wellbeing. The same is true of blue spaces. Can't get to a beach for a quick dip? A virtual experience could help.

Ask for help

We know how quickly stress levels can increase around deadline and exam season. Our Welfare Database has a fantastic range of resources to support you, including info on how to book an appointment with the Student Support Services team, links to online services, relaxation techniques, how to get organised, coping with exam stress, and more.

The StudyHub is worth bookmarking ahead of your next deadline. Packed with advice on everything from digital skills and accessibility to language and time management, they're here to help. One of our favourite resources is the Assignment Calculator, which takes your deadline date and breaks down your tasks into manageable chunks.

Take a break

Worried that you've got too much on and just haven't got the time to get outside at the moment? Just two hours a week can make a huge difference. Research led by the University of Exeter found that people who spend at least 120 minutes a week in nature are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who don’t visit nature at all during an average week. The study used data from nearly 20,000 people in England and found that it didn’t matter whether the 120 minutes was achieved in a single visit or over several shorter visits. So get out there!

Join a sports club or society

Our student groups are pretty awesome and this week several of them will be taking over our Instagram to talk about their activities, the benefits of outdoor extracurricular activities, and their own mental health experiences. Takeovers will take place at 2pm but if you miss them you can catch them on our IGTV.

SUP Soc

Keep moving

Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, ward off anxiety and feelings of depression, boost self-esteem, and improve sleep - a great reason to make the most of this week's freebie. The Sports Centre is offering a free gym session, studio class, or group MUGA session for Mental Health Awareness Week. Just set up a profile at fitnesscentre.fxplus.ac.uk and use the code Mentalhealth1 for a gym/studio session, and contact the Sports Centre reception on 01326 370770 to book a MUGA session.

Sports Centre facility/campus grounds fitness tours will also take place at 10am – 11am each day, departing from the Sports Centre reception. The tour will introduce you to the Sports Centre facilities and campus grounds areas that can be used for various fitness opportunities.

Practice mindfulness

“Mindfulness” has become one of those buzzwords. It pops up everywhere, in the media, schools and workplaces. But what actually is it and can it really help alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression? Sign up for Wednesday's Mind Over Natter session to find out.

Mind Over Natter

Be pro-active

Looking for interactive tools to help you be proactive with managing your wellbeing? We highly recommend downloading the UniWellbeing app, which features tools to help you build healthy habits, a built-in mood tracker, podcasts, and challenges to get stuck into.

Additional resources

If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us”. Human beings are hardwired to nature, not only to live sustainably on our Planet, but also to take care of our mental health. Research shows that people living near greenspaces tend to be happier, healthier, and live longer! There’s so much to discover about the importance of nature to our mental health – check out these resources to learn more and help you feel great!

  • This session recording on “Shared Ground, Ecotherapy & Wellbeing”, which explores the links between regenerative activities and our health.
  • This virtual tour of our Penryn Campus, which showcases the beautiful, biodiverse and calm spots that are a must to explore in person someday soon!
  • This podcast on 'Ecotherapy', where a GP outlines our underlying biological connections with the natural world, and recommends nature-based therapies we should all try!
  • For some, spirituality is key to their mental health. If that’s you, be sure to watch this session recording which explores spirituality, religion, and their links with environmentalism and sustainability.

Talk to us

Please keep talking to us about how you're feeling and what we can do to better support you. You can log feedback on any aspect of your student experience via ROS (the Rep Online System - now available to all students), talk to your Rep, book an advice appointment, or drop us an email. We've got your back.

 

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Falmouth & Exeter Students' Union
Penryn Campus
Penryn, Cornwall
TR10 9FE

© Falmouth & Exeter Students' Union 2021

Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) registered in England and Wales, charity number 1193045