Best Night In

Are you one of Facebook’s 1.13 billion daily users?  Do you find it hard to resist posting a cheeky photo of a raucous night out, or an amazing activity that you and some mates got up to over the holidays?  Do you like catching up on what antics your old school friends are up to?

If yes… think back to the last time that you scrolled through your friends’ Walls – were there any pictures of them chilling at home, or enjoying doing something that wasn’t a huge adrenaline rush?

In our more rational moments, we know that someone’s Facebook profile isn’t the full story of their life, but at times, it can be difficult to sort out the fact from the fiction.  It can also sometimes be difficult to remind ourselves that people can have ‘down-time’ too, and just because their Wall is full of happy, smiling, party images, it doesn’t mean to say that they don’t also occasionally miss home / their old friends / crave a duvet day / enjoy doing things that don’t involve a 2am bed-time or copious amounts of alcohol.

During the first few weeks of university, there can be a lot of pressure to go out, or be ‘seen’ to be constantly up for social events.  After a while, this can take a toll on your pocket, not to mention your energy levels.  You don’t need to constantly go out to make new friends, many of the best nights in are spontaneous; sharing a cuppa and chat, binge watching a box-set, skyping an old friend.  Or why not arrange a bring-and-share flat meal, try out a new exercise class, have a board-game challenge, or have a pamper party?

Student Minds are running a campaign to encourage people,  to post pictures on Facebook or Twitter of them enjoying a great night in and reclaiming social media.  Why not take part?


Cultivating Positivity for the new academic year

Here we are, a new term, a fresh start. So how can we make the most of this opportunity, to feel fit, happy, healthy and productive for this academic year?students at a cafe

Cultivating a Feel-good Mindset

Everything we think, say and do creates a feedback loop of positivity or negativity in our lives. Try using positive language when you speak to others and even with the thoughts in your head. Feel thankful for the smallest of lovely things, a funny message from a friend, the ducks swimming on the lake, if we notice the good things along the way we can add to our list of ‘Gratitudes’ for the day, increasing positivity.

feel thankful for the smallest of lovely things...... the ducks swimming on the lake

feel thankful for the smallest of lovely things…… the ducks swimming on the lake

Positive Action

Any small action can make a difference. Ask for help, seek wise advice, do 20 minutes of your academic work, or 20 minutes of exercise. Focus on what you can do today and let go of things you can’t fix. All these actions will help to reduce stress.

Avoid ‘The Voice of Futility’

We all have a critic in our head that can sabotage our peace of mind and even our motivation to do things. Remind yourself that this is just a negative thought, it’s not a fact. Notice any small good thing as evidence against it. Whether you’ve managed to speak to a new potential friend, gone for a walk in the fresh air, or spent half an hour in the Library starting that new assignment, these are reasons to celebrate how you’re proactively contributing to the positivity in your life.

Creativity: your BFF

If you’re faced with an issue or a problem that’s difficult to resolve, try using your creativity to come up with a different way of finding a solution. Draw a mind-map or write a pros and cons list, distract yourself with a creative activity like drawing, photography or music for a short time, then return to the issue with a clear and open mind.

Mind your body

Your physical health is vital – so take some exercise that you enjoy

Your physical health is vital in your quest to feel positive and happy in your life. So brush up on your cooking skills and try some delicious, healthy, balanced meals. Drink plenty of water. Take some exercise that you enjoy, whether it’s walking, a team sport or a dance class. A good night’s sleep can be a challenge at Uni, but a healthy routine is the foundation of your mental and physical health.

The tools work if we use them, so have a go and enjoy your year.