Self-care and staying well
Taking care of ourselves can really help us to feel mentally and physically well. We have pulled together some tips and resources below. Choose what works for you, but don’t feel pressure to try all of these things at once, the important thing is to do activities that help you to feel well with the time that you have.
The Five Ways to Wellbeing
Evidence suggests that taking these five steps can help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life:
- Connect with other people
- Be physically active
- Learn new skills
- Give to others
- Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)
Take a look at our Five Ways to Wellbeing online brochure to find out more, including links to resources and activities.
We all have nights when we find it hard to sleep. You may find this is happening more often during the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are some resources that could help:
- Sleepio sleep programme
- Relaxation and Mindfulness exercise and soundtracks to help you relax and prepare for sleep.
There are many ways to be active during social-distancing/ self-isolation:
- Do a regular online exercise class – The University of Exeter Sports Park has daily exercise classes that you can join for free, including Hiit, pilates, Body Balance, boot camp, yoga, Zumba and more. Alternatively, try the free NHS online fitness studio, which has options for aerobic exercise, strength/resistance and yoga/Pilates.
- Sport England’s Join the Movement campaign has lots of free resources to help you get active at home, as well as advice on exercising outdoors. Share how you are getting active using #StayInWorkOut
- Go for a walk or run if you are able to keep your distance from others. If you live in a crowded area, you could try running up and down your stairs and/or garden if you have one.
- Stretch regularly – give these NHS desk-based stretches a go.
- Staff Life has a range of activities for staff to take part in remotely, including yoga, pilates and tai chi.
- Think about what kind of exercise you most enjoy and are most likely to engage with – you may prefer a solo run, or a group video workout.
- Watch this video from Prof. Andy Jones about the benefits of exercise and nutrition, and how to keep healthy during lockdown
* Please note: It is important that if you have an existing health condition or are on any prescribed medication that you seek professional/medical advice before starting any new form of exercise or fitness regime.
- University of Exeter Clinical Psychologist, Vikki Barnes, has developed a series of webinars called 'The Positive Mindset Toolkit' to help you foster a positive mindset and continue to learn and grow from experiences.
- Mind Over Natter talks are short wellbeing sessions designed to provide you with tips and advice to help you improve your own wellbeing. Keep an eye out on upcoming talks and speakers as they are announced. You may also find these pre-recorded sessions helpful: Anxiety in the Time of Coronavirus; Looking after your Wellbeing during the Coronavirus.
Wellbeing self-assessment tools
Wellbeing self-assessment tools can be a helpful way to check if you are effectively managing your own physical and mental health and get advice on how to make improvements.
Below are links to three self-assessment tools that will enable you to learn more about your health and your resilience. Each tool will provide you with tailored feedback along with guidance and recommendations. All of these tools are external and publicly available with their own privacy policies. The University of Exeter does not have access to any information that you enter into these tools.
- How Are You? The quiz asks questions about your health behaviours (e.g. physical activity, diet, smoking) to let you know how you are going. It takes about 5-10 minutes to complete and provides links to useful resources, such as apps and web resources.
- How Resilient Are You? This quiz helps you to assess how resilient you are and provides advice and guidance to become more resilient. It takes 5-10 minutes to complete.
- i-resilience This can be used alongside the How Resilient Are You? if you would like to get a deeper understanding of your resilience and how you might respond to workplace pressures based on your resilience profile. It takes around 10-15 minutes to complete.
Managing the after effects of COVID-19
Increasing medical evidence and people's testimony is showing that a small but significant minority of people who contract Covid-19 experience symptoms for some time afterwards. This should get better over time and there are actions and support services that you can use to help. Take a look at the new ‘After Effects of Covid-19’ brochure from our Occupational Health team to find out more.