Simple Mindfulness Practices for Reducing Stress

THE WELLBEING CAFE in the RUSU Study (behind Cafe Mondiale)   Wednesday (11th May) – 1 to 2.30

Have you heard about Mindfulness but aren’t sure what it is?

Have you been feeling stressed and worried about how much work you have to do?

Would you like to learn simple exercises you can do to help manage your anxiety?

IF YOU WANT TO LEARN ABOUT MINDFULNESS AND HOW IT COULD HELP YOU… WHY NOT come along to this friendly session run by Viv Hill from the Counselling & Wellbeing Service, who will share some easy to learn ideas about how mindfulness can be part of managing exam anxiety and finding ways of being more “in the moment”

Come along and share coffee, a chat and quite possibly CHOCOLATE!!

We look forward to seeing you!


Getting a good night’s sleep

At Student Wellbeing we have had a large number of students coming in to talk with us about the problems they are having sleeping!  Getting to sleep, sleeping through the night, disturbed sleep patterns – all can have a hugely detrimental effect on the ability to concentrate, to study, to attend lectures and hand work in on time.  So what can be done about this problem?

Interestingly, there are many things you can do to improve your sleep pattern and sleep better.  To find out more students just need to come to the next ‘Life Tools’ talk:  Getting a good night’s sleep’ which is on Monday 9 May, at 1.00pm in Carrington Room 101.  At this talk, Dr Claire Gregor will provide practical resources including relaxation and mindfulness tools such as a Body Scan, and tips on improving the quality of your sleep and sleeping better.

This talk is one of a series run by Student Wellbeing.  This is what students who have attended this talk in the past have said about it:

“Gives advice with direction to multiple techniques and resources”

“Full of useful, practical advice.  Definitely worth giving a try”

“Really handy tips and ways of improving your thinking so you feel less worried about getting to sleep”

“It makes reference to scientific studies and proven psychological methods”

“Go to this talk!”


The talk is open to all students and there is no need to book – just turn up on the day.


How to Use Time Between Exams Most Effectively

THE WELLBEING CAFE in the RUSU Study (behind Cafe Mondiale)    Wednesday (4th May) – 1 to 2.30

‘My Exams Have Started & I’m Still Revising…  How to Use Time Between Exams Most Effectively’                          

It can be hard to know how best to use your time between exams.

What’s realistic to do after one exam and before the next?

What’s the most useful thing to do just before an exam?

What should I prioritise if I don’t have time to do everything I planned to do?

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW BEST TO USE THE TIME YOU HAVE AVAILABLE… come along to this friendly session.  Michelle, one of the Study Advisers, will share some effective revision strategies to help you make the most of the time you have.

Drop by and have a coffee – and help yourself to exam success… We look forward to seeing you!


Women Progressing, Progressing Women

This afternoon Professor Athene Donald will be presenting our first Diversity and Inclusion staff seminar Women Progressing, Progressing Women. Tuesday 3 May, LT1 Chemistry Building, Whiteknights Campus, 2pm – 3pm.  All staff are invited to attend.  Professor Donald will discuss how seemingly small culture changes and heightened self-awareness can have a profound effect on team morale and an individual’s ability to feel encouraged and supported. Hope to see you there!


Mindfulness for stress reduction

Managing stress during the examinations period can be really challenging and having a few extra practical strategies to help cope can be very useful.  With this in mind, the two ‘Life Tools’ talks next week are specially designed to enable students to reduce their stress levels and manage the pressure.

The first talk ‘Mindfulness for stress reduction’ is on Wednesday 4th May at 1.00pm.  Students should come along to learn some practical techniques to enable them to cope with the challenges of the exams period.  The talk will be in Carrington 101 and there is no need to book a place –  just come along on the day. 

Professor Mark Williams, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre says that “Mindfulness can be an antidote to the “tunnel vision” that can develop in our daily lives, especially when we are busy, stressed or tired…………  Most of us have issues that we find hard to let go and mindfulness can help us deal with them more productively.”   Mindfulness is also one of the 5 steps for good mental wellbeing advocated by NHS Choices (2014).

The second talk on Thursday 5th May at 3.00pm is Managing exams pressure’At this talk student will learn strategies to manage revision and exams pressure effectively.  The talk is also in Carrington 101 and will be around 45 minutes, followed by the chance to ask questions.  Again, there is no need to book a place – just come along on the day for hints and tips to help you through the exams.

Life Tools Talk - Mindfulness for stress reduction 4 May 2016



Athena SWAN results announced!

The results have been announced this morning and SAGES have been awarded a Silver Athena SWAN award!! Congratulations and thank you to everyone who worked so hard towards achieving this award. You made a difference!


Ruth Gilligan, ECU’s Athena SWAN manager said:

We are delighted to announce the 84 successful awards today. It is the culmination of many months work for institutions and departments, and for ECU as well. We held 32 assessment panels over the course of 11 weeks, and would like to thank the 168 panelists from across the sector for taking part.

‘It is encouraging to see universities engaging with the Athena SWAN Charter across disciplines, and rolling out the benefits of this work to colleagues in professional and support roles. It is a pleasure to confer the first awards to applicants under the expanded criteria.

‘We have seen a slight decrease in the overall success rate of applications, 66% down from 70% in the previous round. We provide unsuccessful applicants with full feedback straight away, so they know which areas to prioritise and where they are doing well. The difference in success rates can be attributed to the lower success rate of applications using the new process. We are providing ongoing support for applicants in how to participate in the expanded charter, through materials and workshops.’



On your feet Britain Day

Get on your feet – On your feet Britain Day is April 29th.  The aim is to raise awareness of the ill effects of sedentary work.

Prolonged sitting can increase the risk of the following:

  • Lower back pain
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity

 The campaign encourage employees to look at how they can sit less at work.  These are some of the ideas you could try at work:

  • Take regular breaks form sitting by standing every 30 minutes
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift
  • Standing up or pace while on the phone
  • Walk over to speak to colleagues instead of emailing.
  • Move your rubbish bin away from your desk
  • Limit the amount of time you look at your screen
  • Hold a standing or walking meeting.

As part of the campaign there will be two lunchtime walks to invite you to move away from your desk. The walks will be at  12.00 and 1.00,  and will be for approximately 25 minutes.  If you are interested please meet in front of the library . For more information please contact Dawn Grout or Alan Twyford.



‘So this is it! – How to Do Your Best in the Exam Room’

Ever wondered how best to approach questions in an exam?

How should you allocate your time?

Is it important to do an essay plan?

Should you answer the most difficult question first?

What should you do if your mind goes blank?

IF YOU WANT TO HONE YOUR EXAM ROOM TECHNIQUES…  come along to this friendly session.  Sonia, one of the Study Advisers, will share some effective exam room strategies to help you make the most of what you know in the exam. THE WELLBEING CAFE in the RUSU Study (behind Cafe Mondiale)   Wednesday (27th April) – 1 to 2.30

Come along and have a coffee – and help yourself to exam success…


Liverpool v-c calls for funding link to improve gender balance

Published in the Times Higher on 23rd April, Janet Beer (Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool) argues that a change in policy is needed to increase the number of women working at higher levels in universities.  Professor Beer has ‘called on senior figures within the research community to emulate the “incredible sector-changing leadership” shown by Dame Sally Davies, who, as chief medical officer for England in 2011, said that medical schools without an Athena SWAN silver award would not be eligible for Department of Health research funding.’ What do you think?  Would this work?  Could it be done….?

Professor Janet Beer

Professor Janet Beer

Managing exams pressure

The Life Tools programme continues next week with talks particularly designed to help students prepare for examinations.

Coping with the pressure of exams ranks very high on the list of student priorities at this time of year so the talk on Monday focuses on this subject:   ‘Managing exams pressure’ is being given on 25th April at 1.00pm in Carrington 101.    Students will be offered advice on strategies to manage revision and cope better with their exams.  The talk will last around 45 minutes, followed by a chance to ask questions.


On Tuesday 26th April at 4.00pm, a second ‘Life Tools’ talk will focus on ‘Increasing concentration’.  At this talk, student will find out how to focus better and work more productively.  This talk will also be given in Carrington 101.

Many of you will know the very high ratings these talks receive from students.  The phrases  ‘‘amazing’, ‘really helpful’, ‘motivating’, ‘well worth attending’ regularly appear on feedback forms.  Feedback last summer included:  

‘Good advice and learning techniques’

‘Useful tips for positive thinking, focus and motivation’

‘Gives you perspective and brings you back to reality’

‘It makes you more confident in your abilities’


These talks are part of a series run by Student Wellbeing. There is no need to book a place for either talk – students can turn up on the day.

 Life Tools Talk - Managing Exams Pressure