In this blog, Elaine Moore, Student Welfare Officer at CLL, discusses how you can look after your well-being during this ‘new normal’ we find ourselves in.
As the Centre Welfare Officer, I was asked to write a blog with some tips on maintaining your wellbeing during this difficult time. The truth is I don’t think I can better any of the wellbeing tips and inspiring ideas already being provided by so many. There seems to be so much out there on keeping fit, staying safe, eating well, practicing mindfulness, doing some yoga, running on the spot or doing a marathon in the garden.
I think the real challenge is not to try to do all these things, all at once and to the highest of standards. Staying true to who you are and what you’d normally be doing is, I have found, the best way to cope. Even when the normal we knew and took for granted is no longer available to us. We are often more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. This especially applies to all our Centre students, whoever you are and whatever programme you are studying. Choosing to study while also raising a family, managing a career and looking after people is something you all already do and do incredibly well. I have been supporting Centre students for nearly five years now and I am constantly reminded how individually determined, creative, energetic and motivated you all are.
I can tell you what I do to maintain my own wellbeing and then perhaps you’d like to share with me what you do. I set myself realistic goals, sometimes I manage to stick to them and achieve them and sometimes I need to re-evaluate or re-prioritise and that’s ok. I continue to work from home supporting and advising students via email, phone and Microsoft teams. I cook a hearty meal (sometimes that’s egg, chips and beans) each day for myself and my family. I try to do some “yoga” to keep fit and flexible, but honestly, it’s more like rolling about and stretching on the floor. Sometimes I will take a walk (not run) round the neighbourhood. Each day I try to find time to write some of my assignments (yes, I’m studying too) sometimes it’s just 10 minutes sometimes it’s up to a whole hour, depending on other work, family demands or what my own frame of mind is like. I try not to worry about the future or what might happen because I can’t change or know any of that. All I am sure about is what I can do in the moment, whether that’s support one of you during a phone catch up, support a neighbour or friend, chip away at an essay, peel some potatoes or catch up on a box set (or roll about on my yoga mat).
So, I guess my biggest tip is to keep it simple, stay balanced in all that you do and don’t expect too much of yourself right now. Most importantly remember I am still here to support your welfare as you continue in your studies.
And because I couldn’t resist or fulfil what I’ve been asked to do here are some useful tips to remember and consider when you do feel overwhelmed with trying to fit in your studies with the challenge of everyday: –
- I know for some life has got busier and more demanding. We may be spending more time with those we live with, in a way that might be difficult. For others it’s got quieter and perhaps more physically alone. For some there are money, work and study concerns. I am still working from home supporting students, so email me (Elaine.Moore@warwick.ac.uk) if you need to get in touch, remembering to include a contact number, I will get back to you.
- Everyone has a two-week extension on their assignments. Use it if you need to there is no judgement. You can apply for further extensions if you need them. Mitigating circumstances are there for those that are unable to submit assignments. Email your relevant course resource account for deadline details. Details and links can be found on the CLL Student Support Moodle pages.
- For finalist and intermediate students there is a safety net, which means that as long as you submit something averages of your work to date will be considered to inform your final class mark. (Finalist are those in the last year of their academic studies and graduating this year. Intermediate students are those in years 3 on the 2+2 programme or in the year before graduation on other CLL programmes). https://warwick.ac.uk/students/news/newsevents/summer_exams_2020_update-27-march-intermediate-final
The University Wellbeing Student Services are still running as normal, appointments are now just either via video or telephone. This includes all of wellbeing so counselling and disability as well as support from our mental health nurses. Brief consultations continue to run as usual Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm, they are just by phone now. You can submit an enquiry online via the wellbeing portal and one of the advisers will reach out by phone the same day where possible. You can still call as usual if you are unsure or need to ask anything on 024 7657 5570.
- Wellbeing Masterclass which were running every Mon – Thurs at 4.30pm are now available online for you to go through in your own time accompanied by a voice over to help explain it, why not make it a family activity: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/wss/students/masterclass
- The wellbeing section of insite is being updated constantly, and has a FAQ’s section for students specifically around Coronavirus: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/wss/coronavirus-update/
- Also just in case you haven’t seen, Warwick Sport have got a whole range of online exercise sessions available for us all to access now: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/sport/together/
And finally, our very own and much-loved Dr Dean Howes lecturer, teacher and coach in mindfulness and wellbeing is offering a day to day mindfulness session. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv_nTkpms1ZcvLlDrA_X7zA