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Your physical and mental wellbeing has a huge role to play in your academic performance and the extent to which you enjoy your learning. Fatigue, illness or injury, anxiety and low mood deeply affect your concentration, motivation and energy levels. As a result, you may find it difficult to keep up with coursework and lose interest in topics you'd normally find fascinating. A healthy mind and body helps you maintain enthusiasm for your studies and enhances your learning. It's therefore crucial you take steps to look after yourself, particularly during periods of high pressure. 

  • Mental Wellbeing

    A bit of self-care while you study can make a real difference in helping keep stress, low mood and anxiety at bay. You might want to try the following:

    • Mark out time in your schedule for hobbies, seeing family or friends or even to binge-watch your favourite shows
    • Take breaks in your study sessions for breathing exercises. Apps such as HeadSpace or Calm have 5-minute exercises.
    • Setting up study circles or chats with your coursemates so you can offer each other support
    • Make sure you're getting enough quality sleep 
    • Read for pleasure, not just for study. Have a look at the Library's Reading for You scheme
    • Head outside for some daylight and interaction with nature, if possible. 

    Many students will experience stress at some point, but for some, stress tips into anxiety, worry and depression. You may have a pre-existing mental health condition which can have an impact on your studies or you might also have things going on in your personal life outside of university.

    Visit Health and Wellbeing to learn more about the self-help resources available and how to access the University counselling and psychotherapy services.

    TogetherAll is a community-driven online resouce where you can access self-help materials on a range of mental health topics. It also grants you access to a wide network of peer support where you can anonymously seek advice, ask questions or just express how you're feeling.

    Additional resources

    Live Well @ Cumbria  Blog from the Mental Health and Wellbeing team for tips on looking after your mental health whilst at University.

    Self-help Reading List Books to help you work on improving your mental wellbeing, including anxiety, depression and self-esteem. 

    Helpful links A list of charities and support groups complied by the Mental Health and Wellbeing team

  • Physical Wellbeing

    There is plenty of research evidence to link physical wellbeing with academic performance including Florence, Ashbridge and Veugelers, 2008 and Rasberry et al., 2011

    Be active

    UoC Active provides sport and exercise opportunities at Carlisle and Lancaster. Running and walking are free activities available to all. You don't have to be a sporty person, just do some activity that raises your heart rate three times a week and you'll feel the benefit.

    Eat and drink well

    Studies have shown how poor diet negatively impacts cognitive performance. Fatty foods and sugar can leave you feeling lethargic which can have consequences for your motivation and capacity to learn. Try and reduce your intake if you can and snack on fruit and vegetables. Hydration is equally important. Your brain relies on water so always keep a topped-up bottle handy during lectures and whilst studying.

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