Wishing you a healthy and happy Christmas and 2020

The festive season is largely a time for joy, celebrations, indulging, relaxing and time spent with loved ones. It can be fun, full and busy.  But even the biggest Christmas fans amongst us recognise that it does come with pressures. At this time of year with planning, financial pressures, family gatherings, shopping, preparation and all that comes with Christmas holidays, it is very easy to forget about your self-care.  It can also be a challenging time for some people who may be lonely or who find the pressures conflicting and/or overwhelming.

A reminder therefore about our Employee Assistance Programme – a free, confidential, 24/7 accessible service offering information, support and, if needed, counselling.  If you find Christmas difficult and either need a little support or want to talk to someone, you can use the Confidential Care service.  If you want advice about managing finances or debt, or just some information about local facilities to help with things like sourcing family care (and much more), then all of this can be sourced through calling the service.

Alternatively there is the Well Online web portal (username – UoRlogin, password – wellbeing) that offers a variety of free information and support – from work and home life to money and legal matters.  You can find information about health, nutrition, dealing with stress, general wellbeing as well as so much more to ensure you have the self-care you need for the festive season.

With all the many festivities, taking care of yourself can often come second – therefore make sure you remember yourself and take some time out for you, whether this is finding a quiet space, going for a walk, meditation or whatever brings you peace, build some time in for yourself to relax and recharge.  With this in mind and of course for the New Year’s most common resolution of getting healthier (in mind as well as body) – don’t forget about the SportsPark and its newly discounted staff rates.

Wishing you a healthy and happy Christmas and New Year.


Welcome to our new Muslim Chaplian

The University is pleased to announce the appointment of its first Muslim Chaplain, Javed Kachhalia.

Javed has been appointed in a part-time role (approximately 7 hours per week) to provide faith-based guidance and pastoral care to students and staff across the university, particularly of course our many Muslim colleagues and students.

If you would like to get in touch with Javed, his email address is: j.kachhalia@reading.ac.uk

Find out more  on the staff portal.

Looking after our minds

From the age we learn to walk and talk, we are told about the importance of looking after our bodies – why not our minds?

Society is now better at encouraging people to seek help if they are struggling with mental health issues, however many of us only think to look after their mental health when we feel at crisis point.

There are several ways that we can support our minds in our everyday lives – just as we would look out for our bodies.

It was World Mental Health Day yesterday, but rather than make a bit fuss about it yesterday and then revert to ‘normal’ I plan to regularly post a signpost to some wellbeing guidance/thoughts/insights.

This aims for it to become ‘normal’ that we pro-actively take care of our minds. For today I’d encourage you to take a few minutes to look at this guidance on minding your mind . I have taken it from the really helpful advice on the ‘Employee Assistance Programme – Confidential Care’ website where they have a wide range of guidance both general and very specific. Do have a look for yourself.